Book Review: Vue 7 Beyond the Basics

A Great Way to Learn Vue

Though published in May of 2009, let me introduce a book here that caught my attention while learning Vue. Titled "Vue 7 Beyond The Basics" by Richard Schrand, this book is clearly written with the target for intermediate to advanced users of Vue. However, I must add that even those very new to Vue can gain quite a bit from it and jumpstart their understanding of the program.

And while e-on software recently released the Vue 8 product line, it certainly does not render this book obsolete. The book is written for users of Vue 7 and 7.5, but there is so much contained within its pages that can be applied to those who are just starting with Vue 8.

So, let's first take a look at how this book is layed out. There are 4 main sections under the following headings:

  • Part I: This land is Your Land
  • Part II: Architecture and City Planning
  • Part III: Illustration and Design
  • Part IV: Advanced Resources

The first part, as the title suggests, deals with terrain development. Creation, texturing, and even a look at underwater scene development is included here. It is also in this section that Richard talks about scene composition and even brings in the rule of thirds.

The next section is all about using Vue for architecture. This includes buildings and their placement, as well as landscaping and excellent info on trees and plant growth. Even interior spaces are talked about here, including lighting.

Part III delves into design aspects, such as logo creation, and includes a look at using toon materials.

The last part starts with an xStream project using CINEMA 4D (there is a C4D demo available on the DVD included with the book). Then you delve into detailed work with the Function Editor.

There is also an Appendix with some very useful links to check out, but what I really enjoyed was the well-written introduction to the book which explains the many versions of Vue, as well as Richard's background.

Though written in project fashion, don't expect to be able to exactly duplicate the images in the book. Richard shows you the techniques to get there, but he does it in a way that you must actually learn as you go yourself. You could say that this book is focused more on technique.

At 342 pages, the book is well illustrated and printed in full color, which is a definite plus. The book also contains a DVD with all the completed project files, models from DAZ, a demo version of CINEMA 4D, and plenty more.

Richard Schrand does such a wonderful job of presenting the topics in this book and writes in an easy and often humorous style. He has a wealth of knowledge of the program and fills this book with not only the straightforward project info, but also plenty of side notes and tips you'll be sure to keep with you. Though you could skip around to topics of particular interest, it really is an easy read from start to finish, and recommended as the information builds on previous topics.

All in all, a wonderful book to have on hand to get the most out of Vue, and highly recommended.

Price: $59.99 (USD)

For more info and to check out more books from Cengage Learning, visit their website.


Nick C. Sorbin is a digital artist, sculptor, writer, and Managing Editor for Renderosity's Front Page News.
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January 18, 2010

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Member Opinions:
By: Hawkins-GraFX on 1/18/10
Thanks for the review Nick.
I have to agree that Rick writes some fantastic 3D books!

Clint


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