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Introducing Autodesk® Maya® 2012

Book Description

A practical, step-by-step guide to Maya 2012

This book is the ideal primer to getting started with Maya, the premier 3D animation and effects software used in movies, visual effects, games, cartoons, short films, and commercials. You'll learn the Maya interface and the basics of modeling, texturing, animating, and visual effects. Professional visual effects artist and instructor Dariush Derakhshani explains the nuances of the complex software, while creative tutorials offer realistic, professional challenges for those new to 3D. You'll be up and running in no time with the world's most popular professional 3D software application.

  • Provides a thorough, step-by-step introduction to Maya 2012

  • Explains the core concepts of CG and working in 3D

  • Covers modeling, rigging, HDRI lighting, mental ray rendering, and more

  • Concepts are reinforced with tutorials that offer realistic challenges and clear explanations

  • Color insert provides real-world examples from talented beginning Maya users

Build your Maya and animation skills from the ground up with this practical, thorough guide.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dear Reader,
  5. Dedication
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. About the Author
  9. Contents
  10. Introduction
    1. What You'll Learn from This Book
  11. CHAPTER 1: Introduction to Computer Graphics and 3D
    1. Art?
    2. Computer Graphics
    3. The Stages of Production
    4. The CG Production Workflow
    5. Core Concepts
    6. Basic Film Concepts
    7. Summary
  12. CHAPTER 2: Jumping in Headfirst, with Both Feet
    1. You Put the U in UI
    2. Project Overview: The Solar System
    3. The Preproduction Process: Planning
    4. Creating a Project
    5. The Production Process: Creating and Animating the Objects
    6. Hierarchy and Maya Object Structure
    7. The Solar System Resumed
    8. Outputting Your Work: Playblasting
    9. Summary
  13. CHAPTER 3: The Maya 2012 Interface
    1. Navigating in Maya
    2. Maya's Layout
    3. Building a Decorative Box
    4. Mapping the Box's Reference Planes with Hypershade
    5. Organizing Workflow with Layer Editor
    6. Modeling the Decorative Box
    7. Editing the Decorative Box Model Using the Shelf
    8. Continuing the Decorative Box Model
    9. Finishing the Decorative Box Model
    10. Summary
  14. CHAPTER 4: Beginning Polygonal Modeling
    1. Planning Your Model
    2. Polygon Basics
    3. Poly Editing Tools
    4. Putting the Tools to Use: Making a Simple Hand
    5. Creating Areas of Detail on a Poly Mesh
    6. Modeling a Classic Steam Locomotive
    7. Suggestions for Modeling Polygons
    8. Summary
  15. CHAPTER 5: Modeling with NURBS, Subdivisions, and Deformers
    1. NURBS! NURBS!
    2. Using NURBS Surfacing to Create Polygons
    3. Converting a NURBS Model to Polygons
    4. Editing NURBS Surfaces
    5. Patch Modeling: A Locomotive Detail
    6. Using Artisan to Sculpt NURBS
    7. Modeling with Simple Deformers
    8. The Lattice Deformer
    9. Animating through a Lattice
    10. Subdivision Surfaces
    11. Creating a Starfish
    12. Building a Teakettle
    13. Summary
  16. CHAPTER 6: Practical Experience
    1. Beginning the Wagon Project
    2. Modeling the Side Panels
    3. Creating the Wagon Body
    4. Modeling the Wheels
    5. Making the Wood Railings
    6. Adding Extra Details
    7. Summary
  17. CHAPTER 7: Maya Shading and Texturing
    1. Maya Shading
    2. Shader Types
    3. Shader Attributes
    4. Texturing the Axe
    5. Textures and Surfaces
    6. Textures and UVS for the Red Wagon
    7. Photoreal Mapping: The Decorative Box
    8. For Further Study
    9. Summary
  18. CHAPTER 8: Introduction to Animation
    1. Keyframe Animation—Bouncing a Ball
    2. Throwing an Axe
    3. Replacing an Object
    4. Animating Flying Text
    5. Rigging the Locomotive, Part 1
    6. Animating a Catapult
    7. Summary
  19. CHAPTER 9: More Animation!
    1. Skeletons and Kinematics
    2. Skeletons: The Hand
    3. Inverse Kinematics
    4. Basic Relationships: Constraints
    5. Basic Relationships: Set-Driven Keys
    6. Application: Rigging the Locomotive
    7. Summary
  20. CHAPTER 10: Maya Lighting
    1. Basic Lighting Concepts
    2. Maya Lights
    3. Light Linking
    4. Adding Shadows
    5. Raytracing Soft Shadows
    6. mental ray Lighting
    7. mental ray Physical Sun and Sky
    8. Lighting Effects
    9. Lighting the Decorative Box
    10. Further Lighting Practice
    11. Tips for Using and Animating Lights
    12. Summary
  21. CHAPTER 11: Maya Rendering
    1. Rendering Setup
    2. Previewing Your Render: The Render View Window
    3. Reflections and Refractions
    4. Using Cameras
    5. Motion Blur
    6. Batch Rendering
    7. Rendering the Wine Bottle
    8. mental ray for Maya
    9. Render Layers
    10. Final Gather
    11. Ambient Occlusion
    12. HDRI
    13. Rendering the Decorative Box
    14. Summary
  22. CHAPTER 12: Maya Dynamics and Effects
    1. An Overview of Dynamics and Maya Nucleus
    2. Rigid and Soft Dynamic Bodies
    3. Animating with Dynamics: The Pool Table
    4. nParticle Dynamics
    5. Emitting nParticles
    6. Animating a Particle Effect: Locomotive Steam
    7. Introduction to Paint Effects
    8. Toon Shading
    9. Customizing Maya
    10. Summary
    11. Where Do You Go from Here?
  23. Index