I have used all versions of Vue by e-on software for many years now, and I consider myself quite proficient in it. When I said I would review this book by Richard Schrand, I did not know what to expect because it was written for beginners. After looking over the beginning of the book, I was struck by the fact of how much I do automatically without being aware of "how" I do it. While this book is geared toward beginners of all Vue programs, from Easel to Infinite, it is really useful to all levels of users. The book emphasizes Vue Infinite 5 and especially Vue 6 Infinite. It deals with simple areas such as "creating a basic scene"' and then deals with more complicated issues such as ecosystems and metaclouds. Richard Schrand even describes new areas to Vue 6, that might be overlooked, such as the " smart drop" vs the "drop"command.
The book is heavily illustrated with black and white images.
There are 15 chapters in the book and lessons under each chapter. Within each lesson are discussions of the topic, how to's to reinforce the discussion, and quick tips. Each lesson builds upon the last; however, for more experienced users, one can just go to areas that are of particular interest.
Schrand has added additional files on Thomson Course Technology's web site which he suggests users download to fulfill some of the lessons in the book. So while the book is divided into information, tutorials, quick tips, it also has examples that can be downloaded to increase the value of the tutorials.
Once the user types in the author's name or the name of the book, on the Thomson web site, one can find, not only the graphic files for exercises in the book, but also the pdf of an additional chapter on "The Function Editor" ( chapter 16) and more information about the book including a biography of the author. Looking at the sample chapter will give the reader a good idea about how the chapters are organized.
The book is divided into 15 chapters with a number of lessons in each chapter and the download chapter (16) as mentioned earlier. The chapters are:
There is both a glossary and an index in the back of the book. The chapter names are listed from the table of content in the book.
I recommend this book for beginners as well as more advanced Vue users. For the more advanced, go to http://www.courseptr.com/downloads and look at the "Function" chapter as an example. I can state that I picked up information from the book. For it's price, especially, it is definitely worth adding it to your library. Nicolas Phelps, the founder of Vue, has written a very nice introduction to the book.
The list price of the book is $29.99 although it can be purchased now on line from Thomson for $26.99. It can be accessed from this link. It can also be purchased from Amazon.com for $18.29.
The Paula Sanders Report is a regular Renderosity Front Page featured column, where Paula investigates and comments on graphic software, techniques, and other relevant material through her reviews, tutorials, and general articles.
January 22, 2007