Chapter Nine, "Character Poly Modeling: Part III," finishes off with creating the head and merging in and attaching the head's accessories such as goggles a face mask. Chapter 10, "Introduction to Materials: Red Rocket," switches back to the red rocket and examines how to set up and use the Compact Material Editor in 3ds Max to give your object its look through the use of materials.
Chapter 11, "Textures and UV Workflow: The Soldier," takes the concepts of material mapping and applies it to the soldier that was created earlier. Here you learn about UV unwrapping, seaming the rest of the body, as well as other topics. Chapter 12, "Character Studio: Rigging," now looks at Character Studio for the animation of a biped.
Chapter 13, "Character Studio: Animating," is a large topic, but this chapter introduces the basics of using Character Studio and bones for animation. These tools are a must to know if you want your animation to be full of life. Chapter 14, "Introduction to Lighting: Red Rocket," looks at the fact that light is what reveals the world to us and gives things shape, color, and texture. This chapter looks at all of the tools that are used to light your world in 3ds Max.
Chapter 15, "3ds Max Rendering," describes the last step in creating your computer graphics work. This chapter will show you how to render you scene using 3ds Max's scanline renderer. Chapter 16, "mental ray and HDRI," continues on with scanline renderer and also introduces you to the mental ray renderer as well as a HDRI lighting workflow.
3ds Max 2012 Essentials takes you step-by-step through the creation of several projects and effectively paces you through as you get to know and become familiar with the various concepts of working with 3ds Max. It is very well written and presents a lot of diagrams to help with your understanding of how this program works.
There are numerous sidebars that present additional information and exercises that you can use once you are comfortable with the basics. The photos are full color and very clearly illustrate what you are trying to accomplish. If you are looking for a high quality basic book of the essentials of working with 3ds Max 2012, then I can highly recommend 3ds Max 2012 Essentials.