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Realistic Architectural Visualization with 3ds Max and mental ray Paperback – Apr 5 2007

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Very Disappointing Book with Poor Presentation April 29 2007
By Nicholas T. Fox - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The objective of Architectural visualization is to produce high quality photorealistic images. Unfortunately this book falls far short of achieving that objective. The illustrations throughout are a huge and major disappointment and printing photorealistic images with a semi mat finish kills the renderings stone dead. The book largely replicates the settings information available in the 3ds User Reference so you're not going to learn any secret techniques that will make you a rendering expert with mental ray. I'd have to rate the presentation of this book as being at the bottom of the pile and given the blurb on the experience of the authors, I really expected something that set the bar a whole lot higher. The Appendix section on HDRI images and their use for lighting is woeful and the images are tinted with a orange/pink colour that leaves you wondering what the authors were trying to do as HDRI for lighting can produce truly spectacular renderings. Unfortunately you're not going to learn how to do it using this book though your renderings may improve if your a total beginner. There is too much emphasis (and illustrations of) problem with mental ray renderings - one screen capture is a totally black box - that could have been described in a few sentences. Showing problems is not something that needs to be illustrated as that just wastes precious paper that could have been used to provide useful information. When combined with it's 'tick this, change that setting' approach of the authors, this book is a very unsatisfactory work that skips and skims over the workings of mental ray and its setting, which is probably something that more advanced users really want to know. What the authors tell you about mental ray can be found in the 3ds User Reference where it is clearly covered in about the same amount of detail. Readers are looking for snappy solutions for rendering with mental ray and unfortunately this book fails to deliver. As a reader I feel it's a total let down. The DVD with the book contains the models and textures used throughout the book and these are welcome. A redeeming feature of the book are the screen captures for 3ds settings, which are very clear. If you've used mental ray in 3ds for any period of time then this book probably isn't for you as it seems to be aimed more at novice users and those not totally familiar with the 3ds interface. The appendices take up one third of the book, which seems a bit excessive given that the book is supposed to be about producing high quality renderings with mental ray.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Be warned: You must have 3ds Max version 9 April 19 2007
By E. Kasparek IV - Published on
Format: Paperback
With the limited number of more advanced books regarding architectural visualization for 3ds Max, I was really looking forward to getting this one. To my disappointment, none of the tutorial files on the dvd will open because I have 3ds Max version 8, not 9 which the files require.

I think it's kind of misleading that there's nothing written anywhere on the books cover or in the online summary saying that you need version 9 to do any of the tutorials. I wish I knew this before I dropped $50. What a bummer.

Otherwise, the book looks full of useful information that other beginnner books don't get to. There's even a good chunk of info in the appendix at the end of the book with very useful tips for those working in architectural visualization.

This book is going to look great next to the other Max books on my shelf. In the meantime, I'll try to be patient until my employer can upgrade to version 9. Rrrr...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not even close to realistic Architectural Visualization May 12 2007
By Romulus W. Sugar - Published on
Format: Paperback
I must admit that i am really dissapointed with this book. To me it seems like the author just took the reference help menu and made it his own. These renders are not even close to realism. I thought by buying this book, i would gain some confidance in the archviz field. Unfortunately that is not the case. I will have to look elsewhere to gain that confidance and to get a better book or dvd tutorial on archviz. I am not new to 3D. I have worked in 3D for 7 years using 3ds max, and Maya. This book is more accurate to be marketed towards beginners and not towards mid level or professionals.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I expected more... Aug. 1 2007
By Jaramiah Severns - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you've never done any design viz before (and I mean NEVER) you might benefit from this book. My biggest beef is that 90% of this book's content is laid out almost word for word in the Mental Ray tuts and user reference that ship with Max 9. At this price...hold off.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Be careful April 20 2007
By bchan - Published on
Format: Paperback
to take notice that this will NOT work if you are not upto aleast 3dSMaxR9. I wish I had seen the above review befor doing the same exact thing. I have a feeling that we are not the only ones that fell for this. I'm sure the examples are great but I won't know anytime soon. The authors are responsible for putting out accurate information within the pages but they are reaaaaly not clear right on the cover.

If you have Max9 get it. If you dont' then don't bother. (unless they release the same examples that are usable to all.)