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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simplifies the creation of beautiful animations
Peter Ratner did a wonderful job explaining the complex techniques used to create beautiful animation in a simple, easy-to-digest manner. The chapters flow smoothly and follow a logical step-by-step progression that de-mystifies the oftentimes overwhelming results achieved by industry professionals.
His tried-and-true techniques have helped his students secure...
Published on Oct. 15 2003 by Justin Jenkins

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly worth the price
This book was assigned for an introductory modeling course that I took at RIT last year. I and all of my (about 35) classmates had major difficulty with it. Our professors got so frustrated with it that they stopped giving us assignments from it within six weeks. If you're an educator, consider the following before giving this book to your class:
The modeling...
Published on July 13 2004 by Nathaniel Hubbell


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly worth the price, July 13 2004
This review is from: 3-D Human Modeling and Animation (Paperback)
This book was assigned for an introductory modeling course that I took at RIT last year. I and all of my (about 35) classmates had major difficulty with it. Our professors got so frustrated with it that they stopped giving us assignments from it within six weeks. If you're an educator, consider the following before giving this book to your class:
The modeling section is unbelievably vague. How do you model the interior of the human ear, or the human torso? Ratner frequently answers both questions (and many others) with, "cut polygons and move points," rarely saying where to cut or what to move. Simple tasks are covered in multiple steps, complex tasks are glanced over. The illustrations are uninformative, often jumping from a rough template to a fully articulated model in one or two steps. Worst, Ratner omits a lot of crucial modeling fundamentals. He never mentions edge-loops, the concept of topology following the contours of form, or the prevailing practice of using mostly quads (in fact, both the patch and subdiv examples are loaded with triangles). Incidentally, the NURBS/patch exercises are incompatible with Maya because of all the triangular patches.
Beyond the modeling section, the book is even less useful. It's not bad, just very incomplete, and what is there is not terribly well-explained. For example, Ratner touches on the principles of animation but gives no tutorials on how to employ them. (The only animation tutorial in the book is a walk cycle, and it's both simplistic and confusing.) Moreover, the example animations from book's accompanying CD are lacking in those fundamentals. Typical of beginners' CG, they show a poor sense of weight, their timing is off, and the characters MOVE, but don't ACT. They're not terrible, but they clearly need work.
Judging from all the glowing reviews, it's obvious that a lot of people disagree with me. Let me clarify what I mean to say about this book: it's not worthless, and it WILL provide someone new to CG with some basic information. However, you can find the same information and much more on any high-end CG website, free, better-written, and with much more detailed tutorials. And, if you want books that go even more in-depth than that, I'd recommend any of the alternatives other reviewers have offered up on this page, especially Richard Williams' definitive text "The Animator's Survival Kit." I would also recommend "Anatomy for the Artist" by Sarah Simblet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simplifies the creation of beautiful animations, Oct. 15 2003
By 
Justin Jenkins (Harrisonburg, VA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 3-D Human Modeling and Animation (Paperback)
Peter Ratner did a wonderful job explaining the complex techniques used to create beautiful animation in a simple, easy-to-digest manner. The chapters flow smoothly and follow a logical step-by-step progression that de-mystifies the oftentimes overwhelming results achieved by industry professionals.
His tried-and-true techniques have helped his students secure careers with such noteworthy companies as Blizzard, Pixar, Square, Metrolight Studios, Big Idea, Bethesda Softworks, etc. His former students have worked on Monsters Inc, Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life, Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft, Total Recall, Final Fantasy, Veggie Tales, Penguins, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Elder Scrolls and many others that are too numerous to list here.
I'm aware of this because I'm currently a senior animation major and have learned the majority of what I know from Mr. Ratner. I feel justified in my praise of his work. His lessons have inspired me to go above and beyond what I thought was possible and will play an integral role in my securying a career in the highly competitive field of computer animation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable resource for animators, Oct. 11 2003
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This review is from: 3-D Human Modeling and Animation (Paperback)
I've been an animation student for 2 years and this has been the most helpful book on human modeling and animation I have read. My animations have gone from moving puppets to life-like humans thanks to the priniciples taught in this book. The hair tutorial alone makes this book an invaluable resource for animators looking to create realistic models with natural looking and reacting hair. The lighting discussion has improved the visual quality of my renders ten-fold. Buy this book.
Professors: this is THE book to use in teaching both theory AND application of all that is 3D human modeling and animating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Ratner Magic Continues, June 10 2004
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This review is from: 3-D Human Modeling and Animation (Paperback)
For people with an inclination towards 3D modelling, human or otherwise, Peter Ratner's series of books are perhaps indispensable. For people who are just starting out on the magical world of 3d graphics, Peter Ratner's series of books are god sent.
The technical nitty-gritties of modelling and animation are carefully, thoughtfully and thoroughly dealt with in this book. The advances of 3d graphics made since the last edition are expertly covered.
I am sure that budding 3d artists like me shall find this book to be a veritable asset.
regards
Partha from India
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing content, few supporting visuals, June 9 2004
By 
S. Chan (Berkeley, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 3-D Human Modeling and Animation (Paperback)
I had hope for this book; glowing reviews online and (admittedly) the slick cover compelled me to purchase this to learn about human modelling. While it seems to thoroughly touch upon many aspects of modelling techniques and tools and human anatomy, the book's diagrams are not very helpful and often jump steps. For example, the chapter on head modelling using polygons only shows perspective views, omitting the front and side views, and often skips several steps without much explanation as to why particular polygons were created. The rest of the book acts in a very similar fashion. The author's own models don't look particularly aesthetically appealing, as they look like they come straight out of Poser. This doesn't offer much encouragement. ~_~
For more comprehensive modelling and animation techniques, I'd recommend Maestri's "Digital Animation 2." It is much easier to learn from, and its full-color diagrams and easy-to-digest text help with the learning process.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for 3d Modelers and animators., April 29 2004
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This review is from: 3-D Human Modeling and Animation (Paperback)
I have purchased many books on this subject, and I would recommend this one for the following reasons. My best 3d work has always come from a thorough understanding of the object(s) I am attempting to model. Mr. Ratners book not only covers modeling in a detailed and thoughtful manner, but also takes time to take an in-depth look at the subject matter - anatomy in this case.
I have found this book extremely useful, and look forward to more titles from this author.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Reviews are pointless, Feb. 29 2004
By 
Kareef Arzadon "arzadon28" (Dagupan City, Pangasinan Philippines) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 3-D Human Modeling and Animation (Paperback)
Yup, review of books online is a lost cause. How many times have I bought a book which looked interesting and substantial only to end up with sloppy editing, crappy tutorials, poor writing, uninspiring artwork, and a huge dollar sign on its dust jacket that made me lose a quarter of my arm and leg?
More often than once. That was the case with this book.
Lessons learned? Reading reviews online is a tricky affair. Usually, the attacks are personal. They may find the book hogwash but it might just be the right one for you. Others might even have a violent reaction to the book not because it was really a trashy book to begin with but only because the reviewer misses the whole point. Imagine a raffia hobbyist reacting to a book on Javascript for Rocket Scientists and Engineers.
So no matter how advanced information technology has become there is still no better substitute for fondling the physical diomensions of a book in your local bookstore and reading it at length to have a better grasp of its usability. I know it is hard but walking is such a great exercise it will strengthen your cardiac muscles and save you hours of writing acerbic reviews of books which did not meet your expectations.
May I also remind you this book is a rehash of an old material the author has written almost eight years ago. Nothing much has improved. The author obviously is finding a way to resell an old book by coming up with a new cover but the change is clearly a cosmetic one as the contents are still MEDIOCRE.
You are better off buying Jason Osipa's book. I have it and it is brilliant both for beginners and professionals.
And, please, stay away from all Bill Fleming books on modelling and texturing digital characters. His models look so plasticky. With CGI written all over its pixels. I bought them a few years ago when I was still a fresh-faced newbie. Now they are under my bed gathering molds with my old copies of National Geographic.
I hope I helped you save some money. Support your jobless but very talented friends with it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars To vague, Jan. 9 2004
By 
David Smith (Danville, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 3-D Human Modeling and Animation (Paperback)
I bought this book after reading all the reviews thinking it would help me finally make a good human character. Sadly it didn't. The section on modeling the simply stuff like the knife and cow are pretty good but when you get to the modeling of a human part it becomes so vague you have to guess at everything and the picture don't even help that much. You start of with the box and make some cuts then all the sudden it says make a general shape of the head with no help at all. He could have atleast showed it lined up with a referance picture. The guy that said the animations were poor on the cd was right. I mean body parts passing through each other is pretty bad. I know they are student animations but come on do you think thats usefully to me? Another thing that bothers me is the cover. Anyone that looks at this would think wow I can make something like that after reading this book but the fact is that model is created by the great Steven Stahlberg who is as far as I'm concerned the best human modeler out there (He should write a book). Look at the cover model by Steven and compare it to Peters enough said.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What's with the idiot critic?, Oct. 8 2003
By 
"thompson1186" (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 3-D Human Modeling and Animation (Paperback)
This guy who claims to have "20 years CG experience" needs to have his head checked for an overblown ego. I only have 4 questions for him:
1. If you're such an expert why do you still need to read student books?
2. If you know so much more than the author, why aren't you writing your own books?
3. Since you claim to have "20 years of CG experience" where can we find your great work?
4. Why won't you at least give us your name and the companies that you worked for so that we can see what you have accomplished?
I get sick and tired of these know it all critics who claim to have all this experience and knowledge but still need to buy a book to get information that they should have been using for years.
I bought this book and really liked it. It helped me a lot in my animation classes. The author knows what he's talking about and his sample animations are clever and illustrate the principles of animations very well. I wish he was teaching at our university because his students, judging from their animations, appear to have learned a great deal from him. I first found out about this author from using his tutorials which are all over the Internet. Just do a search for his name and you will see what I'm talking about.
To all these self proclaimed experts who love to criticize other people's accomplishments I say stop your whining. In other words, Put Up or Shut Up!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I've never seen a 3D book like this before..., June 6 2003
By 
Choe Hun-Hwa (Seoul, South Korea) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 3-D Human Modeling and Animation (Paperback)
I haven't finish reading this book but I'd say this book is definitely great. and I think the book is all about human model. and I think i've never seen a book that has detail about facials, anatomy, chacter animation like this before. and surely it's very useful. We don't have a CG book like this and I really hope we can have translated one in Korea. as you know, the most important thing about computer graphic is not the skill about using tool. I think it's artistic license and basic theories...
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3-D Human Modeling and Animation
3-D Human Modeling and Animation by Peter Ratner (Paperback - April 22 2003)
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