3ds Max 2011 One Project from Start to Finish

3ds Max is a uniquely powerful modelling program, yet one that can catch out both new comers and even advanced users out with its intricacies and workflows. Many tutorial style books are fundamentally flawed by assuming the reader is already familiar with various aspects of the software. Indeed, we remember well a book that stated ‘now complete this easy step’ only to leave us both frustrated and annoyed as we failed to grasp the instructions.

What therefore is needed is a book that illustrates the process of creating a 3D visualization project step by step – and we are pleased to say there finally is a book worthy of its title ‘3ds Max 2011, One Project from Start to Finish’.

The movie below details the model produced over 9 chapters and the good news is we have three copies to give away, full details at the end of the post:

The book has been designed to be useful for readers at all skill levels. The material is presented in a way that will engage advanced users while still being explicatory enough for beginners – which is great to see.

Covering 2D-3D Modelling, Terrain Creation, Tree Creation, Water Elements, Animation, Lighting, Rending, Particles Systems and more the book provides a fully structured guide.

If your only going to buy one 3D modelling book this year then 3ds Max 2011 – One Project from Start to Finish is simply the best option.

The publishers 3DATS have kindly provided us with 3 copies to give away to readers – simply retweet this post and we will pick 3 winners at random from the Twitter feed. Competition ends 28th February, so you have a week to enter.

The retweet button is at the top of the post, good luck, books will be shipped Tuesday 29th, each valued at $99.95.

Updates to the Google Reader app for Android

Today we’re excited to announce some updates to the official Google Reader app for Android. Over the last couple of months, we’ve added some of your most-requested features:

Unread count widget – choose any feed, label, person, or “all items” and get the unread count on your home screen. Clicking on the widget takes you to straight to that stream.

  • News ticker widget – if you prefer a bit more information, you can add a larger size widget that cycles through items on any stream you want in Reader. Clicking any headline will take you to the article, while clicking the folder will take you to that stream.
  • That is a lot of widgets

  • Mark previous as read – if you’ve used the mobile version of Reader before and missed this feature, it’s now back! As you scroll down your reading list, hit “Mark previous as read” at any time to only mark things above the screen as read.
  • In addition to these new features, we now have an official Russian translation as well.

    We hope you enjoy the update – give it a try! You can download the app in all countries from Android Market. The Google Reader app is available for devices running Android 1.6 or higher, with widget functionality available for devices on Android 2.2+.

    Google Places Dashboard: How to Make % Complete = 100%

    Let me answer the second question first: It has no impact on rank. The benefit of a complete listing is that you provide more information that Google thinks the reader is looking for. It may, in marginal cases, add to the relevancy of your record on certain searches. That being said, it is not much harder to make a listing 100% complete than 80 or 90% complete and there is no harm in it.

    At the Webmaster-Zentrale blog in Germany, they have recently tabulated a guide to one possible way to achieve a grade of 100%. There are several as I have achieved 100% with only 2 videos. I have translated and plotted their results here.

    If you compare this chart to a similar % complete chart that was done last year, you will see that the value of basic information has increased somewhat. There are minor adjustments, both up and down, elsewhere. An interesting aberration that showed up was that by adding the first video, the % complete actually dropped by 4%. This effect has been confirmed by EHG, one of the Top Contributors in the Places Help Forums.

    Field % Contribution
    Required Fields, Company/Organization, Street Address, City/Town, State, ZIP, Main phone 53%
    E-Mail 5%
    Website 10%
    Description 5%
    2. Category 2%
    3. Category 1%
    5. Category 2%
    Hours 5%
    Payment Methods 5%
    1.Photo 5%
    2.Photo 2%
    3.Photo 1%
    5.Photo 2%
    1. Video -4%
    2. Video 2%
    3. Video 2%
    5. Video 2%
    1. Additional Detail 1%
    2. Additional Detail 1%
    3. Additional Detail 1%
    4. Additional Detail 1%
    5. Additional Detail 1%