Inside Rhinoceros 4
This well-designed introduction to using the latest version of Rhino bridges the gap between theoretical and software-oriented approaches to computer modeling by providing a balanced presentation of theory, concepts, and hands-on tutorials.
by Ron K. C. Cheng
Average rating based on 2 reviews
388 of 590 people found the following review helpful
Buy it used! Better yet, buy Van der Kley's
by 'Terry Wellman' from Terry Wellman
I purchased this book on sale for $31.95 as opposed to the $61.95 suggested retail. It is definitely not worth the full retail. I'm not certain it was worth the $32 at half off either.
First of all, I've been working with Rhino for little over a year. While I'm still learning the program, I am making great strides with it.
I purchased this book with the belief that it would cover everything that I needed for a comprehensive course on Rhino. It is comprehensive but in a cumbersome way. The Rhino training manuals are more intuitive than this book.
I found Cheng to be difficult to work with due to the clumsy translation. Because so much is presented in a broken manner, retention and comprehension is not reinforced. A majority of the exercises leave the reader wondering exactly what they are to do. This is due to steps being described halfway rather than a complete step by step instruction. The reader has to guess what the author is saying more than half of the time. It was frustrating to say the least.
The book seems to be a copy and paste rehash of Cheng's first book 'Inside Rhinoceros 3'. The editors did not do a very thorough job of checking grammar, syntax, and staying on track with the concept at hand for each command.
Cheng's book does contain a tutorial on building the Isola car which does show one what can be done with Rhino but even that is awkward. The CD that accompanies the book is managed in the same klutzy manner as the book.
I would only recommend this book as a reference for individual commands but even then I would first go to the Rhino Help files, the Rhino support group, or John Brock and his support team at McNeel.
I also picked up Michiel Van der Kley's 'Working with Rhinoceros 4.0'. While it is another English as a second language written book, I have found the translation to English to be much better than what Cheng's publisher presented.
Van der Kley presents the concepts of Rhino in a much more straight forward and easy to learn format than what is contained in Cheng's book. I find myself working faster and with more confidence since having read Van der Kley's book. Cheng left me confused and wondering whether Rhino was the right tool to use. Fortunately Van der Kley corrected that problem.
Van der Kley gives the student workable tutorials and exercises that reinforce Rhino skills. He also makes it fun to work with Rhino while learning many of the commands and concepts contained in the application. For this I am very satisfied with his book and would recommend it over any other Rhino book.
Save your money and buy Van Der Kley's book instead of Cheng's.
32 of 251 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive, but not hugely constructive
by 'Zak' from Zak
Can't help but agree with the previous reviewer. I have been using Rhino for just over year. After working my way through several books I decided to give Cheng's a go as reviews had suggested how in depth the tutorials were. The book does indeed go very in depth into the workings of Rhino but focuses predominantly on explaining individual commands. Although this can be incredibly useful, I have discovered previously unknown features of commands I use frequently, it is presented in a manner which can be very tedious and gives little opportunity for practical reinforcement.
There are numerous tutorials all packaged into separate files which become rather tedious to constantly open and close, and large amounts of the work is done for you. Although this does allow for greater concentration on the function of the command, the lack of involvement can make working through the exercises quite a shallow experience.
All in all I would still have to recommend the book as there is a great deal of very useful reference information I haven't come across in other books (van der klays is excellent but very short), it is just a shame there aren't more practical tutorials as the case studies are basically the same format as the exercises.