There is no question, Digital Modeling by William Vaughan is a book every 3D modeler (or aspiring modeler) should read. It really captures the essence of what makes a good model, and doesn’t get bogged down with technical details of specific modeling packages. In this review, I will briefly go over why I think everyone with any interest in 3D art should pick up this book.
At 432 pages, it’s a pretty light read. The author, William Vaughan, presents the material almost as you’d expect a teacher or a mentor to pass knowledge onto his students. He’s clearly an accomplished artist, and provides some anecdotes on projects he has worked on. I really like the style, and it made for a very comfortable reading.
There are a variety of topics covered including: what 3D modeling is, what roles are required in a 3D production, how to prepare before you model, fundamentals of 3D, modeling techniques, tutorials for creating 3D text, a realistic head, and a full stylized character, digital sculpting, game modeling, and 3D printing. Most of the chapters are not very long, and are very approachable for any skill level. I especially enjoyed the realistic head tutorial, as this is one of the hardest things to get right. His technique in this chapter almost made the task seem easy, and I am excited to try this out on a real project. I also very much liked the last chapter, which discussed how to get a job in the industry. This will be a lot of help for college students or other people trying to break into the industry, and he gives some good tips you may or may not learn in school.
Overall I was impressed with Digital Modeling by William Vaughan, and cannot give it anything other than a glowing review. What’s great is that he makes no assumptions about what tools you are using. The techniques in this book can be applied to almost any 3D package out there. In this way, I feel the information is more fundamental than other books, which concentrate too much of the specifics of one particular application. In addition, the photos on the Kindle e-book were top notch, large, and high resolution color images (unlike some other books, which skimp out on the quality).
If you have even a passing interest in becoming a 3D modeler, you owe it to yourself to pick up this book. Highly recommended.