Ami Chopine has created a timeless book with 3D Art Essentials. While most other texts tie themselves to a particular software or version, here we see the essential building blocks of creating 3D art in any application. This is foundational knowledge, and the book is not dated at all, even though it was published almost 10 years ago. If you are an aspiring 3D artist, or even a 3D programmer that wants to understand the art aspect better, there are not many books like this, and this is the best.
Inside we find 20 chapters on different aspects of modeling, texturing, and animation. These are not step by step tutorials, mostly the book explains general terminology and methods, which are great for a beginner. While there are some exercise at the end of the chapters, these are brief and not the focus of the book. The topics covered include polygons and NURBS, subdivision surfaces, deformers, rigging, animation, physics, texture mapping, light, cameras, rendering, and more. Finally at the end there is a chapter on tools and apps, but this is just a quick overview.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book. While I have been studying 3D art for quite a while, and the majority of the book was a refresher, I think this would be perfect for someone just getting started with 3D art so they can learn the fundamentals without being confused by any one particular application. I also loved the history section at the beginning and the overall advice sprinkled through the text. I’d recommend it.