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Название: Maya for Games: Modeling and Texturing Techniques with Maya and Mudbox
Автор: Ingrassia M.
Having just entered a review for Lee Lanier's excellent and absolutely exhaustive treatise on "Advanced Maya Texturing and Lighting" (and rendering), I came over to review Michael Ingrassia's book, which I bought at the same time to help me to get up to speed on Maya after an update to Maya 2009.
This book is completely different in approach. I would describe it as an attempt by a long time game asset modeler to convey his own approach to modeling and UV layout, and his own usage of Maya to do this work. The book does not pretend to be nor is it an overview of Maya's extensive modeling toolsets, and its discussion of texturing (shading) is for the most part limited to straight-forward image-based UV mapping. Given the game asset creation context, the author focuses on the specific polygonal modeling tool and techniques he prefers, and then goes into great depth on UV mapping, what your overall objectives are, and what tools and techniques he uses to accomplish them. I think this is probably the most in-depth treatment of that complex subject I've come across. I thought it odd that there was little (no?) discussion of some of the more automated tools for unwrapping UVs (provided by the Maya UV Texture Editor, or 3rd party Roadkill, Headus UVLayout, etc.).
I always enjoy it when professionals show me their creative tools, techniques, and workflows, and share their knowledge of how to produce high quality work. The author worked hard to do this, and it made for a worthwhile read. He does include some material on what is emerging as a critical workflow — Maya to/from a sculpting app (Mudbox, in this case), and that's a plus. It at least gives you a flavor of that, though you will need to seek other resources to get into that topic in depth.
As pointed out in earlier reviews, the text could have used more extensive editing/proof reading, and online resources mentioned in the text were not available at the time I started to work through the book (annoying, but I believe that has since been corrected).
So, the book pretty much lives up to its title, and I would recommend it for late beginners to early/intermediate folks wishing to learn the ropes of creating game assets. Anyone expecting a more general treatment of Maya modeling tools or shading/texturing should seek other resources.