What You Need to Know

I'm not much of a Macintosh person, although game content creation is possible with that platform. However, for this book, you need to have a solid, working knowledge of Microsoft Windows and the ability to manipulate and handle files. You'll be creating and juggling files all over the place, so keep that in mind when creating your game characters.

Also, I don't assume you have decent artistic ability, especially when it comes to computer graphics. I will walk you through step by step with the design process—the most difficult being the texturing and animating of the character. But don't fret. Most of my techniques involve simple mesh modeling techniques (like working with clay), use of some general Photoshop tools and filters, and lots of experimentation.

Finally, I won't be introducing 3ds Max or Photoshop as I would to a beginner. This is an intermediate-level book where I assume you've poked around with 2D and 3D graphics programs and aren't wholly unfamiliar with what's going on. My tutorials are stepwise, and simply following them verbatim will produce the results you're looking for. A beginning graphics arts student with the acumen to figure out software packages in general can easily cut through this book. I also understand that these programs are expensive and that demos are always limited by either the inability to save work or by a 30-day trial period, but this is software that a majority of game artists must know to work for a game development house. The cheap stuff, such as freeware and the like, simply won't do. It isn't powerful enough to get the job done for the big games. The other competing titles like Maya and SOFTIMAGE are also popular and are just as or more expensive, but knowing how to do character design work in 3ds Max will easily get your foot in the door with the latter.


You can use many of this book's modeling and texturing tutorials with previous versions of 3ds Max (5, 6, and 7) and Photoshop (6, 7, and 8).

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