iClone 4.31 3D Animation Beginner's Guide (Anglais) Broché – 24 octobre 2011
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In my opinion, McCallum's achievement is further undermined by the book's rough paper stock--yet another mystery, given the book's premium price. Not only does this cheapen the feel of the book, it degrades the fidelity of the book's many black and white pictures--even beyond the fuzziness caused by the poor attention given to their brightness and contrast. (We won't even mention the additional dreariness added by a nondescript sans-serif body font.) I bring these issues up specifically to prevent them from giving you the wrong impression: there is nothing second-class about the instruction presented here. If you are getting started with iClone, this is the book you have been dreaming of: your hot-wire for an incredibly powerful animation hot-rod.
Now, one thing you can judge accurately from the cover: this book is eminently suited to the newcomer. It really assumes you know nothing about the program and enables you to master the basics. In general, the longer you have been using iClone, the less value you'll find in this book. On the other hand, even an intermediate user can still learn from McAllum's insights as a longtime industry professional in computer graphics and an iClone developer, especially since the technical editor was heavy-hitter Guy Langlois. This is all the more true because Packt and McCallum made the difficult, courageous, but ultimately inevitable, decision to expand the book to cover the new features of iClone 5.
One of the things I like about this book is that McCallum tries to dispel some of the most self-defeating habits of newcomers, such as their fatal attraction to the idea that they can produce an entire animated short inside a single iClone project, without even breaking up their work across many projects, not to mention without using a video editor to cut and assemble their scenes. This inexplicable mindset is so common and so hopeless that I just wish Mike had addressed it even more thoroughly.
All things considered, Packt was very smart to be the first publisher to address so many years of a crying need for a beginner's guide to iClone, and, leaving aside the sad packaging mistakes, has essentially given us instruction worthy of iClone's brilliance. Based upon my perception of the size and growth rate of the iClone community, the book ought to sell like hotcakes. And then I'd like to get an offer to trade in this unattractive edition for a new edition printed with dignified type on quality paper, and illustrated with legible screenshots.
Another question is that, with all the free videos and wiki articles out there, is it worth it to buy a guide. Can't you just find out everything to know about iClone on your own? The answer is that you probably can; however, it will take you several extra hours of hunting down your specific questions and when things don't come out quite like you expected, more hours of trying to figure out why. This book cuts through all of that, laying everything out in an orderly system that takes you through all you need to know to get you started with texturing, set building, lighting, using canned animations, key framing, getting great effects with low polygon count, and so on. Once you have completed the projects from this guide, you will be comfortable with every tab and button on the iClone menu bar.
So why didn't I give it 5 stars? Well, while most of the basic tools are practically identical to iClone 4.x, a few things have moved. Usually I had no trouble figuring out where I needed to go, but adding some parenthetical statements to the update in their relevant sections about what these things looked like in iClone 5 would have saved me some time. I also had trouble with references to a file that had been included in the previous version of iClone but didn't show up in the fifth version. Fortunately, as a member of the iClone forums and the TMOA community, I had no trouble reaching Mr. McCallum for assistance. He was very helpful.
A word to the wise: those of you who are already somewhat familiar with iClone might be tempted to skip steps. I recommend reading ahead some before deciding to skip sections - you may need the work you've done in this section for something you are less familiar with later.
To sum up - this guide made me aware of shortcuts and features that I did not know existed. It made clear to me certain animation techniques that had before been a bit fuzzy, and gave me ideas for how to achieve the effects I will be looking for in future films, that I might not have thought of myself. Mostly it will save me time, since I now know exactly where to find the tools I need, and won't have to go searching for them.