The book is a bit on the old side (written for version 3 of Maya).
As a reference to Maya user interface and commands it is a pretty good book. I find that the tutorials are not really that good. They cover a lot of basic stuff but skip over a lot a details.
For instance the modeling of the boys head and body are covered in advanced sections at the end of several chapters and they really condense it down to giving you a very rough outline of the process and then it is up to you to figure the rest out. (In fact I generated the radial head using a completely different method then the one used in the book)
The hair is a good example of how weak the tutorial sections are; the entire section on how to model the boys hair consists of telling you to make simple nurbs strips and arrange them in a way that looks right. If I did not have the model of the hair they gave on the CD as a guide I would have never been able to complete my version of it.
As for a recommendation I have not found a book that I really consider worth recommending. I own - Mastering Maya 3, Maya Fundamentals 4, and Maya Character Animation and I use them all as a kind a reference to the Maya interface but find them all weak in the tutorial areas.
What I am still looking for is a book that goes from start to finish of a complete maya character project including - modeling, uv mapping, texturing, rigging and animation.
But I would settle for a book 100% deadicated to modeling.
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Sir Isaac Newton, 1675
Last edited by ctbram; 30-03-2004 at 11:42 PM.