8. 3ds Max Modeling for Games: Insider's Guide to Game Character, Vehicle, and Environment Modeling

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I know, I know. Which one of these things doesn't belong? Yes, this is a technical book. It demands that you own a copy of 3ds Max, the most popular video game modeling software. It also expects you to have a moderate proficiency with the program.

But you don't need those things to learn something from this book.

All the other books on this list, save for the one immediately after this one (spoilers, sorry), are what I'd call “soft” books. They deal with concepts and ideas more than toolbars and quad menus. 3ds Max Modeling for Games is, then, a “hard” book. For example, the author builds a game-ready truck from nothing as you follow along step by step.

Do you know how an artist would do that? Would you start with the chassis? Would you trace a drawing or just start building without a guide? Do you know how to apply textures to a truck without stretching it? Did you know a lot of detail you see on in-game objects isn't modeled at all? It's done with texture work to save polygons.

You may only care about the end product, and that's understandable, but if you want to see how game objects and characters are built (hint: you usually just model half of the character and then mirror it across an axis), this book will satisfy your curiosity.