As an intermediate level surface modeller I found this book extremely helpful. Among its numerous plus points are that it is not application dependant, it explains theory in lucid plain English and it is one of the few instruction books which does not resort to the use of 'filler' information which is self evident, of marginal relevance, or easily available on the web.
There wasn't a chapter in which I did not learn something new. The stellar chapter for me was on architectural lighting - how to get a 3d scene (indoors or outdoors) looking 'real' rather than a lit model. For character modellers there's the basic information about 3 point lighting and theory beyond that.
The book is very well illustrated and the author and production team have been at pains to ensure that the quality of the illustrations is such that subtle colour changes in before and after shots are apparent.
I am not sure about 3d experts, but I would definitely recommend this book for beginner to intermediate level as the 'lighting bible'. Lighting makes or breaks a render and this is the best book I have found which explains the theory in an clear methodical way.
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