MAYA 5 KILLER TIPS by Eric Hanson
MAYA 5 KILLER TIPS by Eric Hanson
A Book Review

Joaquin Gil reviews Maya 5 Killer Tips

Joaquín (Kino) Gil
Joaquín (Kino) Gil
kino, Los Angeles, California USA

©2002 by Joaquin Gil. All rights are reserved.

Article Focus:
Joaquin 'Kino' Gil -- noted major film effects artist, independent filmmaker and Creative Cow's Maya forum host, reviews "Maya 5 Killer Tips," written by Eric Hanson and published by New Riders. Kino concludes his review with "...This is a "must-have" book in every Maya shop and class.'' Find out why.

Books as Tools

One of the high points of having Maya be such a widespread application is the appearance of many, many books that attempt to teach one the intricacies of the package. Among those we have reviewed for the grazing throngs we have seen our share of duds and misfires, as well as our share of excellent books, some written by friends of us, some by people who in their writing gain our admiration and professional respect even if we never meet them.

This small book that occupies us today is one of those rare gems that join a very perceptive theme with a very good execution. Read on.

The Book

New Riders has done it again, and unlike a formerly popular "pop-tart", there is no "oops" to these gents. The book is well conceived and better executed. Since it consists of short-short tips, most of which barely fill a page, each has been give a clear, even motivational illustration.

Great artists, the writers have contributed their screen captures and renders as said illustrations and the effect could not be better, as we receive the added bonus of their imagery along with their examples. There is a dearth of art collections of the 3D generations, and this beautifully printed book could claim such honor along with its didactic merits.

As it stands, it is a good looking book with great ease of use and awesome readability.

And great bang for your buck: the price is more than right, it's a steal. At Forty US bucks that is where "it" stops, to pun away this paragraph. That's the price of a dinner for two at a great Thai restaurant I know. I'll go once less to the Thai and get this book. I'll end out winning in the exchange, even 'tho the cooking there is sumptuous.

The Contents

Last time I was enthusiastic about a book I wanted to just yell "Wow". This time, the expletive will not be used, because it would have to practically be used at least once per page.

This book is both fun and priceless. Each little article is more than a "tip" in the dry sense of a "manual". This is a living book, threaded of life experiences and observations by a trio of dedicated artists. It is in many senses a painstaking job, were it obviously so fun for the authors to share their road notes with us. As a fellow artist I am impressed, and as a fellow animator I am delighted.

And so will you be, whether you are a novice, advanced user or rank beginner.


There is no point in going on. This is a "must-have" book in every Maya shop and class. I would even recommend it to people who do not use Maya, but another, sister application, just because of the insights the authors share in almost every paragraph about 3D, production and work approaches.

This book is the best proof that artists thrive in communities, when they are able to cross-pollinate ideas and techniques unhampered by distance or time.

This book is also the best I've seen so far at joining Maya users in that kind of informal "knowledge ring" that only great programs create around them, true communities of users that begin to be interconnected, a sign of our times.

Besides, you'll want to have this book by your desk. You'll find something useful every day for every job.

What more can anyone ask of a book?

Five cows, no ifs, no buts. The best-deserved five-cows in a long time, and a tie with another recently reviewed marvel.

Finally, there are good, nay, GREAT Maya books out there!


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