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Digital Character Animation 2, Volume II: Advanced Techniques (Digital Character Animation)

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At last, George Maestri’s advanced-techniques volume of his groundbreaking [digital] Character Animation book. Completely new: No updated material from the first volume (covering Essential Techniques) or from the first edition (published in 1996 and now out of print). If you are into 3D animation at all—learning, practicing (or managing those who do), teaching—you owe it to yourself buy this book. If you’re into other 3D disciplines—modeling, compositing, lighting, etc.—it’s highly recommended that you at least take a look at this volume; it provides a ton of insight into what the folks over in modeling do 16 hours a day and as a result, might make you more valuable as a member of the project team. See why Maestri’s books have been adopted as teaching texts around the world and are on the bookshelves of so many working pros in CG: it’s all about the foundational techniques and the secrets involved that bring life and verve to the characters you’re working on. Nobody teaches this stuff better than Maestri these days. And the books are just fun to look at and use: full-color, lots of visuals, to-the-point writing style, all backed up by George’s years of industry experience. Wrapped up nicely with the contributing help of Angie Jones (game-design hero and now becoming an MVP in Hollywood’s CG effects community).

As soon as George Maestri's classic (digital) Character Animation was released, people began asking when he was going to do on edition for trully high-end users with the most advanced skill sets. Here it is; George writes directly to CG professionals, with more non-software-specific approaches to character animation.

About the Author

Growing up in Arizona, George Maestri was well renowned as the kid who could always draw a really cool Camaro. He got his first taste of computers before high school when he taught himself to program computer games on his Dad's mainframe. He landed his first programming job at age 16, writing code for the Altair 8800. He earned a degree in computer science and Silicon Valley quickly seduced him, where he worked as an engineer on early Unix-based graphics systems in the '80s. After a few years, he noticed that the people who created art on computers had a lot more fun than the engineers who made the machines. This sparked an early midlife crisis and George embarked on a career change.

George enrolled in the animation program at DeAnza College in Cupertino, California, and was soon making his own student films. There he met Joe Murray, who had just pitched an animated series idea to Nickelodeon. Joe hired George to help with development of Rocko's Modern Life. Soon after that, George found himself working day and night on the pilot as an animator and assistant producer. Miraculously, the show was picked up, and George moved to Los Angeles in 1993, where he worked on Rocko's Modern Life as a writer for the entire run of the show, earning a Cable Ace nomination in the process.

During his time at Nickelodeon, George taught himself 3D animation. His interest in this subject soon landed him a monthly column covering 3D animation for DV magazine. George has continued working as a freelance journalist, writing articles on animation production for magazines such as Computer Graphics World, Animation Magazine, Film & Video, and Digital Magic.

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