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Game Character Development with Maya

Book Description

If you thought Angelina Jolie was responsible for Lara Croft's curves, think again! Long before the Hollywood actress brought the Tomb Raider heroine to life, Alias' 3D modeling software Maya was used to create the lovely Lara; Ms. Jolie simply filled in her curves! When you're ready to start creating equally compelling characters of your own, you need this comprehensive volume! In these pages, gaming-industry veteran Antony Ward uses a combination of informative narrative, hands-on tutorials, and a slew of illustrations and screen shots to show you how to use Maya to address the most complex element of game creation-developing great characters! As you follow along, Antony uses the development of two diverse characters-a female figure and a fantastical character with outrageous proportions, wings, and a demon-like face-to demonstrate the techniques involved in modeling detailing, optimizing, texturing, rigging, binding, and animating characters with Maya. The companion CD includes lesson files, scripts, an automatic rigging tool, demo software, and more!

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Where are the Lesson Files?
  4. Dedication Page
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Contents At a Glance
  7. Table of Contents
  8. Introduction
    1. Why Maya?
    2. Why I Wrote This Book
    3. About This Book
    4. On the Included in the Lesson Files
      1. Maya/Scripts/CreatureTools_v5
      2. Maya/Scripts/Misc
      3. Maya/Shelves
      4. Morgue
      5. Project Files
      6. Software
  9. Chapter 1. Designing Your Character
    1. What Makes a Successful Character?
    2. The Three Stages of Concepting
    3. Research
      1. A Sample Character History
      2. Technical Limitations
    4. Preparation
    5. Design
      1. Your Early Sketches
      2. Creating the Model Sheets
    6. Summary
  10. Chapter 2. Modeling Kila
    1. Preparation
      1. Artwork Storage
      2. Preparing the Work Environment
    2. Getting Started in Maya
      1. Maya’s Learning Movies and Tutorials
      2. Navigating with Menu Sets, Marking Menus, and The Hotbox
      3. Setting up Maya Preferences
      4. Importing to Maya
      5. Working with the Layer Editor
    3. Building a Placeholder Character
      1. Basic Limb Creation
      2. Create the Right Side
      3. Finishing the Head, Neck, and Torso
      4. Cleaning Up
    4. The Basic Shape for Kila
      1. Limbs and Torso
      2. Stitching Together
      3. Head and Neck
      4. Feet and Hands
      5. Other Body Parts
    5. The Morgue
    6. Summary
  11. Chapter 3. Finishing and Refining
    1. Muscle Line Mapping
      1. The Neck
      2. Collarbones
      3. The Chest and Shoulders
      4. The Back
      5. The Stomach
      6. The Pelvis
      7. The Buttocks
      8. The Arms
    2. Legs
    3. Face and Upper Body Detail
      1. The Face
      2. The Neck
      3. The Armpit
      4. The Navel
    4. Hands
      1. Building a Finger
      2. Creating All the Fingers
      3. The Hand
      4. Hand Resolutions
      5. Attaching the Hand to the Model
    5. Feet
      1. Attaching the Foot to the Model
    6. Summary
  12. Chapter 4. Modeling Details
    1. Creating Hair
      1. Inner Layer
      2. Outer Layer
      3. The Front Hairline
      4. Adding Volume to the Hair
      5. Developing the Left Side
      6. Organizing the Strips
      7. Refining the Hair
      8. Quick Cleanup with the Outliner
    2. Modeling the Ear
      1. Attaching the Ear
    3. Modeling the Eyes
    4. Developing the Inner Mouth
      1. The Teeth
      2. The Tongue
      3. Adding the Inner Mouth Elements
      4. The Inner Cheeks
    5. Dressing Kila
      1. Crop Top Details
      2. Separating the Jeans from the Body
      3. Creating the Sash
      4. Creating the Jeans
      5. The Belt
    6. Summary
  13. Chapter 5. Model Optimization
    1. Deciding What to Remove
    2. Finding the Polygon Count
    3. Arm Optimization
    4. Torso Optimization
    5. Waist and Leg Optimization
    6. Foot Optimization
    7. Hair, Face, and Neck Optimization
      1. The Hair
      2. The Face and Neck
    8. Current Count
    9. Hand Optimization
    10. Final Check
    11. Summary
  14. Chapter 6. Deformation Testing
    1. The Arms and Legs
      1. Setting Up the Arm Skeleton
      2. Skeleton Binding
      3. Painting Weights
      4. Adding Polygons to the Elbow
      5. Shoulder Weight Painting and Testing
    2. The Lower Body
      1. Setting Up the Lower Body Skeleton
      2. Lower Torso Weight Painting and Testing
      3. Knee Weight Painting and Testing
      4. Foot Weight Painting and Testing
    3. Face Deformation
    4. Summary
  15. Chapter 7. Modeling Grae
    1. The Torso and Limbs
      1. Stitching Together
      2. Arm Position Adjustment
    2. Creating Grae’s Head
      1. Attaching the Head
    3. Muscle Line Mapping
      1. The Chest, Shoulder, and Arm
      2. The Torso
      3. The Legs
    4. Adding Details
      1. Body Detail
      2. Leg Detail
      3. The Foot, with Three Toes and Claws
      4. Creating Grae’s Hands
      5. Arm Detail
      6. Giving Grae a Face
    5. Modeling the Wings
    6. Optimization
      1. Head and Inner Mouth
      2. Main Body and Legs
    7. Deformation Testing
      1. Joint Creation
      2. Joint Renaming
      3. Binding and Testing
    8. Summary
  16. Chapter 8. Texture Preparation
    1. Mapping Methods
    2. Dividing a Character
      1. Kila
      2. Grae
    3. Mapping UVs: The Checker Map Technique
      1. Create the Checkered Texture
      2. Arm UVs
      3. Torso UVs
      4. Lower Body UVs
      5. Head UVs
      6. Hair UVs
      7. Hand UVs
      8. Belt UVs
      9. Extra Mapping Adjustments
    4. Exporting the UV Positions
      1. Recombine the Character
    5. Mapping Grae
    6. Summary
  17. Chapter 9. Texture Painting
    1. Image Preparation
    2. The Base Colors
    3. Viewing the Texture in Maya
      1. Texture Alignment
    4. Lighter Shades and Highlights
    5. Darker Shades and Shadows
    6. Final Texture Details
      1. Face
      2. Waist Area
      3. Jeans Detail
      4. Tattoo
      5. Inner Mouth
      6. Hair
    7. Working with an Alpha Map
      1. Creating the Hair Alpha Map
      2. Viewing the Alpha Map in Maya
      3. Preparing the Eyes’ Alpha Map
      4. Creating the Eyes’ Alpha Map
      5. Creating the Eyelash Alpha Map
      6. Creating the Alpha Map for the Wings
    8. Bump and Specularity Maps
      1. Grae’s Texture Effects
      2. Kila’s Texture Effects
    9. Topology Check
      1. Polygon Reduction
      2. Triangulation
    10. Texture Bit Depth and Page Size
      1. Page Size Reduction
      2. Bit Depth
    11. Summary
  18. Chapter 10. Levels of Detail (LODs)
    1. Why Do We Need LODs?
    2. Setting the Binding Pose
      1. Arm Adjustment
      2. Finger Adjustment
    3. Generating LODs
      1. LOD 2: 3000 Polygons
      2. LOD 3: 1000 Polygons
      3. LOD 4: 500 Polygons
      4. LOD 5: 150 Polygons
    4. Grae’s LODs
    5. Testing LODs: The Level of Detail Group
    6. Summary
  19. Chapter 11. Skeleton Setup
    1. The Base Skeletons
      1. Options for Joint Creation
      2. Kila’s Skeletal Structure
      3. Grae’s Skeletal Structure
    2. Additional Joints
      1. Eyes
      2. Kila’s Chest
      3. Kila’s Hair
      4. Grae’s Wings
    3. Joint Cleanup
    4. Checking the Rotational Axis
    5. Repositioning the Characters
    6. Summary
  20. Chapter 12. Character Rigging
    1. Why Use Controls?
      1. Icon Creation
    2. Forward Kinematics and Inverse Kinematics
      1. IK Solvers
    3. Arm and Hand Controls
      1. Arm Controls
      2. Arm IK
      3. Wrist Controls
      4. Finger Controls
    4. Leg and Feet Controls
      1. Basic Control Feet for Kila
      2. Additional Foot Controls for Kila
      3. Basic Control Feet for Grae
      4. Additional Foot Controls for Grae
    5. Main Body Controls
      1. Hips and Spine
      2. Waist Control
    6. Upper Body Controls
      1. Clavicle
      2. Neck
      3. Head
    7. More Controls
      1. Eyes
      2. Kila’s Chest
      3. Hair and Wings
    8. Visibility Controllers
    9. Color Coding for Icons
    10. Summary
  21. Chapter 13. Facial Animation Setup
    1. Joint-Based Facial Animation Setup (Kila)
      1. Joint Placement
      2. Preparation and Binding
      3. Joint Weights
    2. Facial Rig (Kila)
      1. Rig Preparation
      2. Rig Creation, Main Poses
      3. Rig Creation, Mouth Shapes
      4. Rig Creation, Eyebrows and Eyelids
    3. Blend Shapes Facial Animation Setup (Kila)
      1. Preparation for Blend Shapes
      2. Generating Face Shapes
      3. Blend Shape Application
      4. Facial Animation and LODs
    4. Grae’s Facial Animation
    5. Which Is Best?
    6. Summary
  22. Chapter 14. Final Character Deformation
    1. Preparation and Binding
    2. Painting Kila’s Weights
      1. Arm Weights
      2. Hand Weights
      3. Leg and Waist Weights
      4. Head and Neck Weights
      5. Main Body Weights
      6. Mirroring Weights
    3. Hair Weights
    4. Final Rig Adjustments
    5. Level of Detail Weights
    6. Painting Grae’s Weights
    7. Summary
  23. Chapter 15. Finalize and Clean Up
    1. Scene Optimization
    2. Make Your Rig Idiot-Proof
    3. Character Sets
    4. Summary
  24. Chapter 16. Animating for Games
    1. Animation Optimization
      1. Mirroring Animations
      2. Dividing Animations
      3. Skeleton and Animation Sharing
    2. Animation Categories
      1. Idle and Fidget Animations
      2. Cycle Animations
      3. Four-Stage Animations
      4. Blending Animations
      5. Custom Animations
      6. Cinematic Animations
    3. The Animation List
      1. Defining the Rest Pose
    4. Animation Tools
      1. Animation Controls
      2. Setting Keyframes
      3. The Graph Editor
      4. Dope Sheet
      5. Playblast
    5. Creating a Walk Cycle
      1. Scene Preparation
      2. Legs and Waist: Blocking Out Poses
      3. Legs and Waist: Refinement
      4. Torso Animation
      5. Arm and Clavicle Animation
    6. Running in Place
    7. Animation Archive
    8. Summary
  25. Appendix A. Normal Mapping in Maya
    1. System Requirements
    2. Generating a Normal Map
    3. Viewing Normal Maps
  26. Appendix B. Reference and Further Reading
    1. Anatomy Books
    2. Animation Books
    3. Web Sites
      1. Anatomy Reference
      2. Miscellaneous References
      3. Computer Graphics
      4. Maya Sites
    4. Graphics Tablets
  27. Index