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pvillotti
12-15-2004, 12:49 PM
Has anyone gotten Albee's new 'Lightware 3d 8 Character Animation' book that came out in Nov.?

If so is it good? bad? indifferent?

koots
12-15-2004, 04:39 PM
if you have any of his other books i would say it is not worth it. I personally like video tuts better, go to boarders and spend 15 min skimming over the book.

kurv
12-16-2004, 09:02 AM
koots, honestly not popping in here to argue the comments :)

What did you not like about the book? We are always looking to make things better...

BTW pvillotti, Wordware (publishers of Tim's books and many other LightWave titles) is offering a 50% discount on all of our books through Christmas. :)

Thanks guys!!

Neuroup
12-16-2004, 12:23 PM
I bought a Character Animation Lightwave 7 by Ablee and i'm very happy from tis book and i don't think so that author can write something new. After you read this book you can make full bones with weightmaps and ik. What else do you need more :)

inquisitive
12-16-2004, 01:07 PM
Hi Kurv,

I just went to your website and I was shown the full price, at what stage does it show the 50% discount?

Thanks



koots, honestly not popping in here to argue the comments :)

What did you not like about the book? We are always looking to make things better...

BTW pvillotti, Wordware (publishers of Tim's books and many other LightWave titles) is offering a 50% discount on all of our books through Christmas. :)

Thanks guys!!

kurv
12-16-2004, 01:11 PM
Hi Kurv,

I just went to your website and I was shown the full price, at what stage does it show the 50% discount?

Thanks

Check here - http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=30932&highlight=christmas+special

pvillotti
12-16-2004, 01:27 PM
KOOTS

Thats kind of what I was thinking. I did by the KAZE book and enjoyed it very much but I got the Lightwave 7 book he did and was not that impressed. Not sure why...I just think other books are better.

sbanga
12-17-2004, 08:12 AM
KOOTS,

Same here. I was very disappointed with my Albee-book (CGI Filmmaking - the creation of Ghost warrior.
Especially the writing-style annoyed me.

inquisitive
12-17-2004, 12:04 PM
well personally i liked CGI Filmmaking - the creation of Ghost warrior very much.
(I have not reached the end of the book, been rather busy lately)

I appreciated the format of the book and his style of writing. For me the book is presented from an artist point of view not from the typical technical perspective, sort of like a diary.

I think users need to acknowledge the fact that this book is just that a tale of the making of his short film per se, and appreciate it within that context.

I shared some info from the book with my wife and she appreciated it just as much even if she doesnt use LW or VT for that matter (she works with Painter and Photoshop).

I have been meaning to send Tim an email to let him know how much we personally appreciate the format of the book. In the mean time here are my thoughts.

:)

inquisitive
12-19-2004, 01:01 AM
I do have a question though.

I purchased lightwave 3d 7 character animation.. and have not had a chance to even open the book :eek: been busy.

How different is the LW 8 version of the book from the one I have?

I now have LW8 but I would rather not purchase the new book if the difference between books is minimal. I looked at Char anim LW8 and couldnt find a page that said what the diff was between 7 and 8, perhaps I missed it.

hazmat777
12-19-2004, 03:51 AM
I'm doing my best to take both CGI Filmmaking and 1001 Tips and Tricks to heart. There is so much to learn, I like to switch back and forth between the two 'cause the writing styles are complimentary, I think. One is an Encyclopedia and the other is a Calculated Approach, good combination! :)

-NG-
12-21-2004, 04:52 PM
I've got Character animation 8 ordered and can't wait for it to arrive :) i have almost all his books and there great IMO. :)

colkai
12-22-2004, 07:53 AM
Well,
I haven't looked at in depth yet, but at a glance, there doesn't seem to be too much difference between this and the CA LW7 version I already have.
Many of the examples etc.. appear identical and I need to check, but I'm almost sure the text is too.

Unless I find otherwise, I'd say if you have the previous incarnation, you may be better holding on to your cash. I'm going to do an in-depth comparision for my own purposes, but my initial feeling is I may have erred in buying this having already got the other version.

As for Koots comment - I strongly disagree, there is no way 15 minutes scanning the book could tell you anything, unless you are a master speed reader with a photographic memory. The 8/7.5 books may be the same-ish - but if you've not got either one, go for the version that suits your LW version, but get one of 'em. I'd just question if getting both was worth it at the moment.

I may, of course, be wrong, I'll find out soon enough.

EDIT:
There are new sections within the LW8 book, but there is also a great deal which is the same as the LW7 version, so it's going to be a personal thing as to whether the changes warrant buying the new version I think.

gatz
12-23-2004, 02:04 PM
AWN has a review of "Ghost Warrior" and the ancillary materials surrounding it in their "Fresh for the Festivals" for Dec.

http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=pageone&article_no=2333&page=2

Is that title summation a joke or these actually in the film? Seems... excessive.

theo
12-27-2004, 07:19 AM
I think the reviewer was very unprofessional and immature in his approach in that particular review.

The point of the credit list was to illustrate that it is now very possible for ONE determined individual to fulfill ALL or almost all of those very important functions in the process of movie-making. I found the approach to be very appropriate and useful as well as encouraging to those who are trying to find their way in this industry.

An honest appraisal of Tim's work is fine but it does appear to me that a lot of the critiquing is stepping into the territory of personal character evaluation which I feel has no place in a credible review of a man's work. The point of a review article is not to psycho-analyze the guy- just tell us what you thought of the work in an honest unbiased way. If you thought the work stunk, fine, but please save the personal character evaluations of the artist for the gossip column.

What amazes me is that the art world has some the most massive egos anywhere in it yet these same people berate others for that same particular character flaw as if they themselves are free from ego-centric tendencies.

mattclary
12-27-2004, 08:48 AM
What amazes me is that the art world has some the most massive egos anywhere in it yet these same people berate others for that same particular character flaw as if they themselves are free from ego-centric tendencies.

What better way to boost your own self esteem than to find fault with others? Those that can, do. Those that can't, teach. Those that can't teach, critique. ;)

theo
12-27-2004, 09:22 AM
What better way to boost your own self esteem than to find fault with others? Those that can, do. Those that can't, teach. Those that can't teach, critique. ;)

Appropriately stated- ;)

PerryDS
01-03-2005, 02:18 PM
I have the book on LW7 character animation and found it to be a good starting point. I did have issues with the rig set-up, and found better approaches that fit my particular needs. I would have preferred more indepth discussion on the varibles of setting up rigs, because I found the the basics doesn't provided a enough control (if you want to approach animation seriously).

Wonderpup
01-03-2005, 03:14 PM
I have Tim Albee's lightwave 7 book, and also both of Jonny Gordens character books.
All three seem to me to be excellent. However when rigging is described as an art rather than a science, I think this means that there is, as yet, no such thing as a rigging 'standard'. What we have is in effect the personal experiences of the authors and what solutions worked for them.

A good example of this if the issue of using Record Pivot Rotation on bones. Tim Albee recommends using this on every bone in the rig, while Jonny Gorden says you should never use it at all!

So what are we to make of this apparent contradiction? Is it possible to say one is right and the other wrong? I don't think it is, as both are clearly experts in their field.

As someone trying to learn rigging at present I am coming to the (reluctant) conclusion that there is no 'magic bullet' solution to the problem- the best one can do is gather as much advice as possible and then create a solution that works for the project in hand.

PerryDS
01-03-2005, 04:18 PM
I'm not familiar with jonny's book, but knowing from experience I have determined that recording the pivot does prevent other complications that arise during animating. It zero's out all your bone rotations so you can quickly re-adjust your character if you experience any fun but undesireable rig/mesh distortions. It appears to help with bone flipping with IK, whether this was particular to the character I built is unknown to me.

In one of these forums, there is a sample rig that has layered bones on the thigh and the forearm. It also uses IK follow modifier that allows for planer control at the hips and shoulders. I did an adaption of that rig and it so far has fuctioned well.

I think it works best to compile a variety of different approaches so that you can gather an understanding of how the rig, mesh and modifiers contribute to a well rounded solution. This further comes into play when you have to come up with custom rigs for those not so simple motions.

Zarathustra
01-05-2005, 12:10 PM
An honest appraisal of Tim's work is fine but it does appear to me that a lot of the critiquing is stepping into the territory of personal character evaluation which I feel has no place in a credible review of a man's work.

No kidding. You can't get into a review of Kaze as a critical work without a million idiots springing out of the woodwork talking about his ordeal in Alaska, limited budget, etc. It's simply impossible to have a discussion about JUST THE WORK without anyone discussing the artist. Oh well.

I haven't read his Character Animation book. A friend has it but seems rather lukewarm about it. Sorry, I don't know why. I like Albee's tuts on Worley, so if that's indicative of his teaching method then the book should be ok.

I'm waiting to hear about Gordon's books, too. That Spawn character of his on CGTalk last year or so still has me scratching my head trying to figure out the rig.

faulknermano
01-05-2005, 12:40 PM
haven't read his Character Animation book. A friend has it but seems rather lukewarm about it.

i had someone get lw8 character animation for me. it wasnt quite what i expected. "lukewarm" is a good description. i was hoping for something that was more revelatory, so to speak.

in fairness, i learned a few principles, like the halfway-bend of the arms and legs. but i use it only when the scene dictates it. tips on animating: well, they're not that freshly done; i've read animation books and they explain it too. it feels like a rehash, in other words.

to compare simply (without wishing anyone taking this as some kind of phyrretic), larry shultz's rigging course (which he gave as a gift to me) gave me alot more of that "revelatory" lessons, especially those simple notes on the "philosophy of rigging", which were good guidelines, just in case you forgot the specifics of techniques (and quite applicable to any software, like maya, which i use at work).

lw8 character anim had helpful tips about lw's faults, a few of them totally new to me.

but overall, given the skill sets i've gained til that time, i'm quite disappointed with lw8 char anim having hoped it would help me stretch a bit farther than it actually did.

PerryDS
01-05-2005, 03:19 PM
Must agree. Not much in revelations. Although, for newbies, is does provide enough support to get the basic idea of how to rig and applying it in lightwave.

Zarathustra
01-05-2005, 03:31 PM
That's a good point. I don't know what the intended skill level is for the book. That's important when reviewing it and if it doesn't say then posts like that help to determine around where it's aimed at.

faulknermano
01-06-2005, 01:49 AM
That's a good point. I don't know what the intended skill level is for the book.


i think it was `intermediate-advanced`. i'm not that advanced, really. intermediate would have been a more appropriate level, because albee did dish it out without explaining some aspects that you would expect a familiar user of LW should konw.

Zarathustra
01-06-2005, 08:09 AM
Well the excuse will no doubt be the gray area of what's "advanced". That's usually the angle used when anyone expresses dissatisfaction with a book that claims to reach a certain skill level.
They will no doubt say something to the effect of, "you may not think of yourself as advanced, but to many you are." It also has the double affect of complimenting your skill level, giving you that warm, fuzzy feeling and thus, hopefully, diffusing your expressions of dissatisfaction with the book.

faulknermano
01-06-2005, 08:47 AM
It also has the double affect of complimenting your skill level, giving you that warm, fuzzy feeling and thus, hopefully, diffusing your expressions of dissatisfaction with the book.

i get enough of that already. :D lol...

but of course, one looks at it from the standpoint of really hoping that something in book will help you further at work (not that it hasnt, but not to the degree i liked). besides, i spent for it. when it says it's for "advanced" users, you'd have to seriously consider that advanced users could be CG professionals (like me).

but not to put down albee's book ad infinitum here... there were recent `developments` on character stuff that were simple but revelatory. paul smith's (aka pooby) fk-ik blend - at least he's the first one i heard introducing it, and the compensating spine (which, however, proved too complex by itself for an already complex rig that i was doing).

there are others, non-CA related, like gerardo's venture to faking radiosity using gradients, ThriJ's impelmentaton of that to simulate SSS. those are the sort of thing that i expect from "advanced" books. though not all are overly fancy, they're definitely revelatory to me. :)

Zarathustra
01-06-2005, 08:56 AM
Yeah, I hear you. The other excuse usually given is that creating an advanced book at that level would have such a small, elite base to sell to that it wouldn't be cost effective.

I don't think any books should say "advanced" on them considering the above because they simply don't make advanced books, at least not for LW (I don't know about other apps) and the term is subjective so just don't put that on a book.

Mipmap
01-08-2005, 07:36 AM
I'm halfway through the ghost warrior book he did, I haven't got back to finish it yet.

So far hes talked various personal experiences, theres was a chunk of pages that was the script of the scenes he did, and a part on how to write a screenplay. Also he has stopped things a few times in the book just to recommend other books to me, I believe two of them being other books he has written. :confused:

I bought (but haven't touched) Johnnys cartoon character animation books. When I do get back to hitting the books, I'm considering just leaving the half-read albee book where it is and just starting with Johnnys books. That is unless someone who has read the whole thing can give me reason not to do that.

So far the ghost warrior book hasn't really offered me a whole lot just yet, trying to remember the things that have stuck in my head so far from it: he really likes the scenery in alaska, he loves his sled dogs, and one of them is named peter pan and has a character based on him in the story, and he seems to be one of those bestiality people that like those people\animal crosses. :confused:

Zarathustra
01-08-2005, 10:31 AM
um, "beastiality" generally means sexual relations between man and animal. I'm sure that's not what you meant to imply.

The early buzz is that Gordon's books are REALLY good, so if you have them then I think you should stop everything and jump into them.

The Ghost Warrior book wasn't intended to be an instructional book, was it? It's just a making of book. If you want instruction, put it down and pick up something like Gordon's books.

-NG-
01-08-2005, 11:51 AM
The early buzz is that Gordon's books are REALLY good, so if you have them then I think you should stop everything and jump into them.

[/QUOTE]

You make me wanna grab it off the shelf, but i'm first going through larry's course :)

Wonderpup
01-08-2005, 01:35 PM
I have both of Jonny Gordens books and they are a real treasure trove of information, especialy if you are inexperienced with character stuff ( like me)

One example- I hope Jonny won't mind- morph targets for facial animation. He says don't make a happy face, then a sad face ect- instead make a collection of different mouth expressions, then eye expressions ect, and build your facial expressions from these combinations- that way you have a lot more flexibility and a lot less morph targets to worry about.

Now this may be obvious stuff to an experienced character animator, but to me it was a revelation- I had never thought of doing it that way- the books are full of gems like this. As far as I am concerned, if you want to learn do character stuff with lightwave, these books are a must have.

I don't think it's fair to compare Albee's and Gorden's books directly as I think they are written from quite different points of view. While Albee does cover rigging in some detail, a lot of his book is devoted to the artistic side of animation and it does this very well. Gorden's books are much more about the nuts and bolts of creating and setting up charecters.

In one sense I would say that Tim Albee's book is more 'advanced' in that he shows you what to actualy do with the fantasticly well modeled and rigged character ( In my dreams!) that Jonny Gorden has helped you create. So the two sort of compliment each other in a way.

pixelinfected
01-08-2005, 03:15 PM
i see both, and i tell you
Albee and Kretin rocks, these books are a must for newbies and pros like me (i use lw from 10 years), i found a lot of useful suggestions in these books.

Mipmap
01-08-2005, 05:59 PM
The Ghost Warrior book wasn't intended to be an instructional book, was it? It's just a making of book. If you want instruction, put it down and pick up something like Gordon's books.

I know it wasn't meant as pure instructional, that wasn't why I bought it. The back of the book seems to imply something completely different than what I have gotten so far. But I'm not trying to review a book that I only read half of. I'm sure in the second half he changes gears.