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Photographic Rendering with V-Ray for SketchUp
At first I was rather skeptical about this book, I was always interested CG rendering and 3D design and this book seemed like a good direction to take. I really enjoyed the hands on approach, make sure you download the code documents in order to follow along. While SketchUp is free for educational uses as mentioned on their website it is worthy to note it didn't feel limited in any way compared to the paid version. Setup was pretty easy under Windows 8 and everything went without a hiccup.
Chapter 1 set the pace and I was already sold on this book, then I was wondering why are there so many chapters on lighting! Well from my experience with 3D game techniques it's really hard to mimic light! So for me the three chapters were needed but also very well written, from the daytime scene to night and final touch ups, what an awesome transformation. If you are not into math you should really get into it for this, light is very tricky and in order to understand it you will need some working level of math on a higher level. If you're anything like me that is very limited but your willing to keep pushing forward until you understand it, don't feel bad I had to go over this a few times. I did get my ah-ha moment though.
I think it is extremely important to mention the quality control chapter, it has got to be one of the best things I've seen since toasted sliced bread! DO NOT SKIP IT, if you really want your work to shine take the extra steps to perfect it. No shock that you will be adjusting the lighting quality here again! I would give this book a 10/10 or 100/100 if I could, I know it isn't going to take my hand and walk me down the path of using SketchUp overnight, and that isn't why I purchased this book. I wanted to see what goes into the "behind the scenes" with CG level animations and rendering, this book didn't disappoint me. The material was covered well and I felt like I was making progress, don't feel bad if you tinker around with the settings and divert from the book. I find it sticks in my mind better if I go a bit off course!