This useful book teaches you all about building lifelike creatures in a variety of 3-D programs. You learn how to create everything from fabulous monsters to action heroes by using LightWave 5.5, 3D Studio Max 2.0, and Animation:Master 5, and by applying general design principles to your work.
The book begins by helping you determine what your creature will look like by first thinking about its habitat, diet, defenses, and other traits. You choose source material and review the use of bones and single-mesh modeling. Next, the author takes you through the basics and advanced aspects of LightWave's Metaform, the polygon-smoothing feature; of 3D Studio Max's Bezier-patch modeling feature; of the 3D Studio Max plug-in, Surfacetools, for spline modeling and converting; and of Animation:Master's Hash-spline modeling feature. You're better off if you know your software fairly well, but if you don't you can still learn some useful design tips.
The final chapter is a general discussion of how to surface your characters using image maps for color, bump, specularity, and diffusion. Here you add color, scars, wrinkles, veins, light, and depth. Throughout the book you get a combination of technical discussion, usage tips, and step-by-step instruction. The included CD-ROM has project files that you use as you work along with the book. A full-color insert shows the resulting images. --Kathleen Caster
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3D creatures are everywhere - in movies, games, comics, videos, and advertising. Some of these creatures are lifelike and realistic while others portray bizarre fantasy images. No matter which type you want to create, this text provides ideas and hands-on techniques for bringing your creatures to life. Whether you are just beginning in 3D modelling and animation, are a seasoned pro, or a creative hobbyist, you'll find tools and techniques to enhance your creature creations. Four new chapters highlight fantasy creature creation, animating single mesh models, and cover new versions of 3D Studio Max 3.0, and Animation:Master 2000. Tutorials cover a variety of programs including Lightwave 6.0, Pixels:3D, Organica, RD 5.5, Carrara, 3D Studio Max, Animation:Master, Cinema 4D, and importing jointed characters from Poser 4. A Variety of new creatures are used to illustrate techniques