We all know that it’s not easy to be a good teacher, and that’s the reason why useful training materials are hard to find. There are more instructional materials published for Discreet’s 3ds max than any other 3D package. To my knowledge, there are tens of books, videos and dedicated websites and several DVDs available for this software. But I have had a hard time discovering a good 3ds max training tool for beginners. Most of the books are targeted towards the intermediate or advanced users and even in their tutorials for beginners, they skip several steps or don’t explain why they should follow the steps suggested by the writer. That’s why, when I screened Technical Animation & Video’s 3ds max 5 Training DVD Set for the first time, I wanted to run around the house, screaming ‘Eureka, eureka!’
The instructions featured in this DVD set were easy to understand and follow. No steps were missing, and all the important details of every tool were explained. Even if you use 3ds max 5 Training DVD Set without any prior knowledge of the tool, you can learn the basics of modeling, texturing, lighting and 3D animation. The set includes 6 DVDs and a CD of project files used for instructions and can be bought online for the reasonable price of $395.
Good News: Considering the close integration of Discreet’s 3ds max 5.1 and Combustion 2.1, I also checked both Technical Animation & Video’s Combustion 2 and Combustion 3ds max Integration DVD sets, and they proved to be just as good as the first set.
Wish List: Technical Animation & Video needs to find a way to create a better-quality picture and also add more chapters to each section of instruction. I know it’s a money-saving tactic, but using double-sided DVD disks also makes it hard to add labels.
The Bottom Line: Regardless of the shortcomings I mentioned, the excellent instructional quality of Technical Animation & Video’s training DVD sets certainly warrants a well-deserved Seal of Excellence.
Final Score: *****
Quality of Instruction *****
Ease of Use *****
Picture Quality ***
DVD Authoring ***
Animation Magazine Seal of Excellence