Design Visualization

Book Review: Mastering Piranesi

9 Jul, 2006 By: Ron LaFon

Excellent how-to manual will assist new and veteran users of this popular rendering and visualization software.

Author: Bonnie Roskes
Publisher: Bonnie Roskes (2006)
Pages: 368
Cost: $89.95 print edition, $59.95 PDF format
Phone: 202.243.1046

Highly Recommended Piranesi, from Informatix Software, is a deservedly popular and very capable 3D rendering and visualization tool that offers a wealth of features. Behind its relatively simple and easy-to-use interface, Piranesi has tremendous depth of features and can produce a remarkable range of effects. Mastering Piranesi, authored by Bonnie Roskes and authorized by Informatix, is an extensive new guide written for novice and experienced users of Piranesi 4.

Mastering Piranesi
Mastering Piranesi by Bonnie Roskes is an extensive and very useful guide to getting the most from Informatix Software's popular rendering and visualization application, Piranesi 4.
The author has chosen an excellent approach for Mastering Piranesi, beginning with a solid and substantial grounding in Piranesi 4, including chapters on Applying and Blending Paint and Render Actions, moving through Using Fades, Textures and Grains, the Style Brower, Cutouts and Lighting.

Artist Susan Sorger ( offers an excellent chapter on Principles of Composition in Piranesi. The last chapter includes contributions from expert Piranesi artists Wang Wang and Marco Crawford, providing real-world examples of projects and professional techniques.

The detailed and extensively illustrated exercises walk you through each chapter, visually showing the menus and each step of the process, so you not only have an example of what the menu looks like, but also what the action accomplishes. A tremendous amount of work obviously went into Mastering Piranesi, making the book both useful and visually interesting.

Two versions of Mastering Piranesi are available from the author's Web site: a 368-page printed edition, spiral-bound for easy use next to your keyboard ($89.95); and an electronic PDF version ($59.95). Mastering Piranesi is lavishly illustrated in color -- you can download a sample PDF from the Web site. Other books by Bonnie Roskes, such as those on SketchUp and OneCNC, are also available on her Web site.

Well-written and well-organized, Mastering Piranesi goes far beyond the basic nuts and bolts of Piranesi and includes good solid advice and technique. If you use or plan to use Piranesi, you'll definitely want a copy of this book to guide you through its intricacies. Highly Recommended.

Highly Recommended

About the Author: Ron LaFon

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