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Mastering Materials for Softimage XSI by Ed Harriss

Mastering Materials by Ed Harriss

Softimage expert Ed Harriss presents us on two video tapes and a CD ROM, published by Grubsrof imagination studios, how to handle materials in Softimage XSI. The tapes are divided into 3 sections. On the first cassette Harriss shows us the fundamental interface functions of Softimage and helps us with the migration from Softimage 3x to the new version XSI. On the second cassette we see some of Ed Harriss' projects. The project files are on the CD ROM.

After a short introduction, in which Ed Harriss introduces himself briefly and tells us, what expects us on the black, first cassette, it already starts. First the spectator is told some facts about the adjustments of the Viewports and sees the most used functions for material adjustments of the 3D package. Further introductions to the timeline, material administration and rendering modes follow. Harriss proceeds thereby in a pleasant rate, so that you can follow him well and operate simultaneously in the program, in order to get a direct overview. This is advisable anyway, because often you can only suspect the points of the menus because of the small television dissolution. Harriss refers occasionally to the following projects, because he describes many functions only briefly, which are treated more in detail in the projects shown on the second cassette. After the very detailed introduction to the possible material modes, further assertions of the Rendertree and the object hierarchies follow. In addition you may load the first prepared object of the CD. Finally different mapping methods are shown.

The following section serves for better orientation in XSI. Ed Harriss shows parallel, where one finds the well-known functions from older Softimage versions in the new XSI and how to use them there. Unfortunately new software releases bring up modifications in their way of operating, which isn't necessarily negative, since many things are simpler and solved more clearly. However old habits in handling Softimage might be disturbing, which Ed Harriss would like to facilitate with this section.

After scarcely one hour and 8 minutes you are requested to change the tapes. The second, blue cassette concentrates now on different projects for texturing. In one hour and 20 minutes Ed Harriss leads us through 19 projects. They treat all necessary texturing possibilities and mapping methods. The pertinent files can be found on the CD ROM and should be loaded to give you a better understanding of the cassette. Also in these very varied projects Harriss works very detailed, so that one can follow well.

In scarcely two and a half hours one actually experiences all important for the use of materials and textures. Ed Harriss teaches, as previously mentioned, in a pleasant and well actionable rate, so that the individual steps can be followed well in each case. While the first section gives a good idea of Softimage XSI to beginners, and Users of the previous versions are helped in the time of migration. The second section helps beginners at most, but also advanced ones can still take up one or another trick. In Ed Harriss we find a very competent teacher, who explains the learning material well.

However the somewhat high price (US$ 149.95 NTSC/US$ 169.95 PAL) may deter first, but at last it is a good investment, since much knowledge is mediated.

After all we consider "Mastering Materials" very recommendable.

Find more information at Ed Harriss Homepage: EdHarriss.com
For ordering the tapes, please follow this link.

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