38 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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I recently evaluated several books on this topic for inclusion my spring term reading list, and Jeremy Birn's "Digital Lighting & Rendering" has emerged as the clear winner. I learned a great deal from reading it myself, and am highly recommending it (although not assigning it) to the students in my Advanced Rendering class.
The book has "quality" written all over it: color printing throughout every page, Mr. Birn's own professional 3D renderings illustrate every section with an inspiring attention to detail, and every topic from art theory to the latest rendering algorithms is accurately researched and crisply described.
The book did not include a large number of tutorials or step-by-step projects, but was generously spiced with tips, tricks, and web links that I found immediately useful to my 3D work. The processes of developing professional lighting schemes, color schemes, and cinematic compositions were covered with a depth and thoroughness that has actually helped my concept sketches and oil paintings almost as much as my 3D work!
It was not focused around any specific application software, although I noticed a high-end bias, with examples and screen-shots frequently based in Softimage, Maya, 3D Studio Max, Lightwave 3D, and Renderman, although this book could easily be used by any reasonably experienced artist working in Hash Animation Master, POV-Ray, Truespace, or other affordable programs as well - high quality lighting is equally important in any 3D rendering package, and Mr. Birn has beautifully presented everything that a professional 3D artist needs to achieve it. In a sea of weak and mediocre computer graphics publications, this is a shining example of what can happen when an accomplished pro labors to share all of his knowledge - if you are currently creating any 3D renderings, I recommend buying and reading this extraordinary book as soon as possible.
24 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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If you aspire to be a 3D artist (3D modeling, animation, rendering), and you've never had traditional training in drawing or photography, I highly recommend that you study this book. It covers many important topics that you may have missed out on. This book includes color theory, light (and shadow) behaviors, composition and many other topics that are vital to all forms of art, including 3D computer art.
The author compares computer-world aspects of lighting and rendering to their real-world equivalents and demonstrates that a photographer's tip can be a 3D artist's tip (and visa versa). This makes the book more than just an excellent computer 3D rendering book; this book is also a great addition to any photographer's bookshelf.
Each topic is wonderfully illustrated with color images that depict exactly what is being discussed; clearly and without distraction. For example, you can see for yourself what the different properties, capabilities and shadow types are among point lights, area lights, spotlights and so forth without having to wade through technical jargon or executing tests with your 3D software. These types of lights are demonstrated on simple spheres, on a flat surface, instead of full 3D scenes, allowing the reader to see the vital details quickly instead of being forced to study the image and draw conclusions.
The author guides you through selecting the most effective light type, the number of light sources to use and where the lights should be placed into your scene, depending on what your objectives are and how much time you have to render the final work. This makes the book a great guide to have on hand during the setup process of your 3D scenes. For example: if you like the appearance of global illumination or radiosity but do not have the time to render your work with those time-consuming advanced features, there are ways of simulating the results with the standard features.
Other topics such as post processing, compositing, reflection, caustics, global illumination, and exposure are also clearly explained and illustrated. The book is also software-agnostic. Meaning, topics and techniques in the book are applicable to practically all 3D software packages (Lightwave, Maya, 3D Studio Max, Carrara, etc). The author also explains some of the differences between the popular software packages to make applying the text to your software easier (for example, different software packages have different names for the same things).
Overall, I highly recommend this book for artists of 3D computer rendering and photography. I can think of no downsides to this book except maybe that I would not mind it being longer. However, "short" sometimes equals "sweet" and that may be the beauty of this book. It is not a five hundred page technical manual; it's a well paced, excellently illustrated, and easy to read handbook for two important topics that have many interesting facets. One note of caution: if you are expecting a "recipe book" or "perfect lighting in five simple steps" you may be disappointed (and I feel that such instant recipe books are not really as helpful to artists seeking to fulfill their own visions). This is an art book in the sense that it tries to teach you how to look at the world and to reproduce what you see with every detail. It's about learning how things look and why; not a set of steps to produce a limited set of results.
I'm off now to go get the companion book "Texturing and Painting."
21 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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Jeremy Birn puts everything together in one book that you need to produce professional quality photo-real renderings. Overall the skill-level is fairly advanced and non-condescending - although the beginning of each section seems to start with basic definitions that most readers probably already know, most sections pick up to a more professional level a few pages later and strike a good balance between being useful and being readable.
I'd say that about 10% of the contents of this book are unique "golden nuggets" - original tips and explanations that I hadn't seen anywhere else - stuff that doesn't appear in software manuals, is skipped in other books, and is worth the price of the book by itself (thanks to Mr. Birn for a new approach to making shadows-only lights, and a technique luminance-equalizing tiling maps I was just using today!).
30% of the info in this book is what you'd expect to find in any good cinematography text, only Birn explains it all along with useful translations into 3D- this is the main guts of the book, and it's beautifully executed.
Maybe another 30% is art theory, color theory, and other tips on what makes a better-looking final rendering - any good artist should know this stuff, and this is one of the best-written overviews of the material I've seen.
Another 30% is info from the computer science, image processing, compositing techniques and other technical info - here the book really shines for explaining & illustrating advanced algorithms in non-nerdy terms. Web sites that discuss some of the topics the book covers (such as Photon Mapping as an alternative to conventional Radiosity) require really hardcore math, whereas Birn explains it all clearly with production-oriented pros and cons of the techniques.
This book is a real find - one of the few books that has actually improved my 3D work in meaningful ways. I highly recommend it, and extend my thanks to Jeremy Birn for sharing his knowledge with other artists.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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Digital Lighting & Rendering is a terrific art book, the advice on designing lighting schemes and camera work are first rate - even to someone who has already read several of the texts on cinematography. But it is also one of the best-written books I've seen for explaining technical issues and rendering algorithms. Even the beginning chapters, on issues with which I was very familiar, had new things to say and were surprisingly informative (and non-condescending - there's less filler material here than in most of these books.) As an advanced user of Lightwave and (more recently) Maya with Renderman, I felt like I really hit pay-dirt in the last two chapters, with lots of useful advice on multi-pass compositing techniques, including some tricks I hadn't thought of. Shaders and global illumination techniques were defined and illustrated in a way that cleared-up a lot of the ambiguities of what I had seen in the software manuals and web postings on the approaches. All-around, this is the best book-buy I've made all year. I HIGHLY recommend Digital Lighting & Rendering to anyone (at almost any skill-level) who wants to make better renderings - It's helping me already, and I've only owned it for a week! Great Book, Mr.Birn!
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
BG from TN
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I'm about 2/3 of the way through it and this book has done more to clear up technical issues about light and color than anything else I've seen. The straight dope, no fluff and plain language, everything explained from the ground up, but it never reads like a beginner's book. Highly recommended.