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Autodesk Maya 2013 Essentials

Book Description

Recommnded text for those preparing for the Maya Associate exam

Maya, the industry-leading 3D animation and effects software used in movies, games, cartoons, and commercials, is challenging to learn. This full-color guide features approachable, hands-on exercises and additional task-based tutorials that allow new users to quickly become productive with the program and familiar with its workflow in a professional environment. You'll learn the basics of modeling, texturing, animating, and lighting; explore different parts of the production pipeline; and practice on some real-world projects.

  • Maya is the 3D animation and effects software used in the film, game, and advertising industries; it's a complex program and this book gives beginners essential training in Maya basics

  • This book is an Autodesk Official Training Guide, recommended for students planning to take the Maya Associate exam

  • Provides task-based tutorials and hands-on exercises to get you up to speed and introduce you to production workflows

  • Teaches the basics of modeling, texturing, animating, and lighting

  • Helps you create simple animations, model with polygons, and add detail with blend shapes and surfaces

  • Starting and ending files for the exercises and additional learning tutorials are available online

Autodesk Maya Essentials provides beginners with a solid foundation in Maya 3D software.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Introduction
  4. Chapter 1: Understanding the Maya Interface
    1. Exploring Interface Elements
      1. Views
      2. Time Slider
      3. Range Slider
      4. Toolbox Window
      5. Shelves
    2. Moving Views and Manipulating Objects
    3. Using Maya Windows and Menus
    4. Setting Preferences
      1. Preferences Window
      2. Settings Used for the Tutorials
    5. Getting Help
  5. Chapter 2: Creating Your First Animation
    1. Using Good Scene-File Management
    2. Creating and Animating a Bouncing Ball
      1. Selecting a View and Turning On the Resolution Gate
      2. Creating a Ball
      3. Setting Movement Keyframes
    3. Refining Movement in the Graph Editor
      1. What’s Wrong with the Way My Ball Is Bouncing?
      2. Adjusting Spline Tangents
      3. Breaking Tangents for Fast Direction Changes
    4. Using Animation Principles to Improve Your Work
      1. Squash
      2. Stretch
    5. Creating a Playblast of Your Animation
  6. Chapter 3: Modeling with Polygons, Part 1
    1. Understanding Polygons
      1. Vertex
      2. Edges
    2. Constructing a Good Model
      1. The Importance of Quads
      2. The Problem With Ngons
    3. Getting Started and Using Main Modeling Tools
      1. Setting Up View Planes
      2. Starting with a Cube
      3. Extruding Faces
    4. Box Modeling and Building a Character
      1. Refining the Character’s Geometry
      2. Using the Insert Edge Loop Tool
      3. Using the Interactive Split Tool
      4. Shaping Your Character
  7. Chapter 4: Modeling with Polygons, Part 2
    1. Creating Edge Loops
      1. Getting Started: Deleting Edges and Setting Tool Options
      2. Building Your Edge Loops
    2. Adjusting Vertices, Polygons, and Edges
  8. Chapter 5: Modeling with Polygons, Part 3
    1. Refining and Cleaning Up
      1. Adding Geometry for Good Deformations
      2. Cleaning Up the Model
      3. Positioning Your Character for Rigging
    2. Mirroring Your Model
    3. Deleting History
  9. Chapter 6: Modeling with Subdivision Surfaces
    1. Understanding the Characteristics of Subdiv Models
    2. Creating Your Subdiv Model
      1. Converting Polygons to Subdivs
      2. Using the Extrude Tool to Build the Legs
      3. Building the Back
      4. Using the Insert Edge Loop Tool
    3. Refining Your Subdiv Model
      1. Working with Display Levels
      2. Creasing Your Surface
  10. Chapter 7: Surfacing Your Character
    1. Creating a Surface
      1. Using the Hypershade Window
      2. Using the Marking Menu
    2. Laying Out UVs
      1. Understanding the UV Space
      2. Performing the UV Layout
    3. Texture Mapping
      1. Creating a Color Map
      2. Applying Your Color Map
  11. Chapter 8: Getting Bent Out of Shape: Blend Shapes
    1. Understanding Blend Shapes and How They Work
      1. Deformer Order
      2. Blend Shapes
    2. Creating Deformers for Your Character
      1. Planning for Facial Deformers
      2. Creating Your Facial Blend Shapes
    3. Setting Up the Blend Shape Interface
  12. Chapter 9: Dem Bones: Setting Up Your Joint System
    1. Understanding How Joints Work
    2. Building Your Joint Chains
      1. Picking the Correct View for a Chain
      2. Starting in the Middle (of the Character)
      3. Naming Joints
      4. Creating the Leg Chain
      5. Creating the Arm Chain
    3. Putting It All Together
      1. Mirroring Joint Chains
      2. Using Variables for Naming
      3. Connecting All Your Chains
    4. Putting It to Use: Connecting Your Joints to Your Model
      1. Using Smooth Bind
      2. Skinning Joints to Your Model
  13. Chapter 10: Weighting Your Joints
    1. Understanding Joint Weighting and Why It’s Important
      1. Joint Influence on Deformation
      2. Why You Used the Options You Did at the End of the Last Chapter
    2. Adjusting Weights
      1. Strategies for Assigning Weights
      2. Paint Skin Weights Tool—Add
      3. Paint Skin Weights Tool—Replace
      4. Painting Your Weights
      5. Mirroring Weights
  14. Chapter 11: Rigging Your Character
    1. Understanding Basic Rigging Concepts
      1. Forward Kinematics
      2. Inverse Kinematics
    2. Setting Up the Leg Controls
      1. Creating Leg IK Chains
      2. Creating an External Control Handle
      3. Connecting the IK Chains to the Handle
      4. Using Pole Vector Constraints for Controlling the Knee
    3. Setting Up the Torso Control
      1. Creating the Torso Control Handle
      2. Connecting the Torso Control
    4. Setting Up the Character Control
      1. Creating the Character Control Handle
      2. Connecting the Character Control Handle
    5. Creating a Custom Shelf
  15. Chapter 12: Making It Move: Animating Your Character
    1. Setting Up Maya for Animation
      1. Setting Key Tangents
      2. Creating a Camera and Turning On the Resolution Gate
      3. Locking Down the Camera
    2. Animating Your Character
      1. Creating a Pop-Thru
      2. Timing the Pop-Thru
      3. Adding Breakdown Poses
      4. Polishing the Animation
  16. Chapter 13: Let There Be Light: Lighting Your Shot
    1. Understanding the Three-Point Lighting System
      1. Key Light
      2. Fill Light
      3. Rim Light
    2. Using the Maya Lights
      1. Directional Light
      2. Spot Light
      3. Point Light
    3. Lighting Your Scene
      1. Prepping the Scene
      2. Placing Your Lights
      3. Setting the Intensity of Your Lights
      4. Casting Shadows
    4. Performing Light Linking
  17. Chapter 14: Rendering and Compositing Your Scene
    1. Making 2D Images Out of 3D Scenes
      1. Smoothing Your Model
      2. Setting Your Render Preferences
      3. Running a Batch Render
      4. Finding Your Frames
    2. Performing Compositing
      1. Compositing Your Frames
      2. Using Other Compositing Options
  18. Index