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Review categories > Graphic Design Books > Getting Started With 3D
By: Jim Moran
Review for 'Getting Started With 3D'

Rating: 5 of out 6

Written By: Janet Ashford and John Odam

Page Count: 160

Cover Type: Softcover

Published By: Addison Wesley

Date Published: 6/1998

List Price: $34.95

Author's Site:

Creative graphic design plays an integral role in the development and success of any Website. The quality and thoughtful manner in which graphic images are created and put to use will say a lot about the companies, organizations, products, services, and other information represented on the Internet.

Janet Ashford and John Odam have teamed up to produce Getting Started With 3D to offer aspiring and seasoned graphic designers alike with the confidence and perspective they need to create outstanding 3D graphic images that can be used for a variety of purposes, including Website designing. With the heavy emphasis that is placed on Web graphics today, serious web developers cannot afford to ignore the visual impact that good 3D graphics can have!

There are a number of programs available today that can produce impressive 3D graphics images. Many of them are highly recommended. Samples of their work are provided and their general features are covered in this book. However, to fully appreciate and understand what is involved in creating 3D graphics one needs to develop an artist's eye for creative design. The authors provide a panoramic, in-depth education in 3D design concepts to aid in the design process. The use of shadowing, alignment, and textures are dramatically brought to light. The use of outstanding 3D illustrations, explanatory text, tips, and sidebar comments provided throughout the book contribute to a very fine educational experience!

I recently had the pleasure to interview the authors themselves, an event that turned out to be quite an educational experience! They discussed in detail how they would work with 3D modeling images to create their masterpieces. Janet discussed how she would insert 3D images into existing photographs, some of which she had taken, and apply graphic image rendering tools to achieve special effect results. Check out her Website for stunning images used throughout the book!

Their view of ready-made clipart: Even though you may use a standard clip art model, you still have to consider composition, lighting, camera angles, shadows, reflections, and atmospheric effects. It's fun to be able to pick and choose among ready made 3D "clip art", but the artist still has to do the choosing, have some concept in mind, and then set up the lighting, surface textures, camera angle and so on. Also, it often makes an image better to do some photo-editing of it after the 3D rendering process.

Both authors deplore the excessive use of metal figures and spaceship control panels, as well as the use of animated 3D text and logo images. John is not impressed with those images that seem to blow up in your face either! His tip for beginners: Ask around for local graphics professionals, establish good relationships with them, look over their shoulders, and consider working as an intern to gain a deeper understanding of 3D graphics design work. Bryce and Ray Dream Designer are among their favorite programs!

The large 8 1/2" by 11" format of this book makes for easy reading and viewing. Readers will be inspired to become more creative-minded graphic design artists by what they see and read in this book! They will have no trouble at all achieving favorable results. Highly recommended for every Web graphic image designer!