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Maya in 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself

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Maya in 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself

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  • Copyright 2014
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-325632-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-325632-1

In just 24 sessions of one hour or less, Sams Teach Yourself Maya® in 24 Hours will help you master Autodesk Maya 2014 and use it to create outstanding 3D graphics and animations. Using this book’s straightforward, step-by-step approach, you’ll master powerful Maya 2014 tools for modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, lighting, rendering, and more. Every lesson builds on what you’ve already learned, giving you a rock-solid foundation for real-world success!

Step-by-step instructions carefully walk you through the most common Maya tasks.

Quizzes and exercises test your knowledge of key Maya 2014 tools at the end of each hour.

Notes present interesting information related to the discussion.

Tips offer advice or show you easier ways to perform tasks.

Learn how to…

  • Get comfortable with Autodesk Maya 2014's complex interface
  • Quickly access the Maya 2014 tools you need for any task
  • Efficiently manage your assets and files
  • Model with polygonal geometry and NURBS curves/surfaces
  • Unfold UVs and apply textures
  • Create node networks in the hypershade
  • Model highly realistic characters
  • Utilize relationships and make nodes work together
  • Rig your objects and characters for animation
  • Add animated movement to your scenes
  • Create and adjust cameras
  • Build diverse shapes with BlendShapes
  • Animate using dynamics and simulations
  • Script and automate common tasks
  • Improve realism with particles, hair/cloth effects, and more
  • Correctly light your scenes
  • Render your final imagery
  • Work effectively with film
  • Manage your projects and scene workflows more efficiently

On the DVD: The accompanying DVD contains how-to videos for dozens of key Maya 2014 tasks, extensive sample art and models, and additional bonus content.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

HOUR 1: Introduction to Autodesk Maya and This Book     1
Our Goal     1
What Is Autodesk Maya?     2
Our Approach     3
How We Use Screenshots     4
Supplementing Your 3D Training     6
Setting a Pace for Learning Maya     8
Summary     8
Q&A     9
Workshop     9

HOUR 2: Menus and Navigating the Maya UI     11
The Maya Interface     11
Starting from the Default Maya Interface     12
 The Top Area     13
 The Center Area     18
 The Left Area     19
 The Right Area     21
 The Bottom Area     23
Axes, Planes, Coordinates     24
The Outliner     24
Summary     26
Q&A     26
Workshop     27

HOUR 3: File Types and Managing Assets     29
3D File Types     30
 Maya Scene Files     30
 Maya Binary     30
 Maya ASCII     30
Other 3D File Types     31
 OBJ     32
 FBX     32
 ANIM     33
 ATOM     33
2D File Types     33
 Texture File Types     34
Miscellaneous Formats     37
Maya Projects     37
 Set Project     37
 Creating a Project     38
Summary     39
Q&A     39
Workshop     40

HOUR 4: Modeling with Polygonal Geometry     43
Objects in Maya     44
Creating Polygons     44
 Polygons     46
Summary     57
Q&A     58
Workshop     58

HOUR 5: Modeling NURBS Curves and Surfaces     61
What Are NURBS?     62
 Curve Components     62
 Surface Components     63
Modeling with NURBS     65
 Creating a Simple Surface     66
More Uses for Curves     74
 Animation Controllers     74
 Path Animation     74
Summary     77
Q&A     78
Workshop     78

HOUR 6: Unfolding UVs and Applying Textures     81
What Are UVs?     82
 More Complicated Models     83
Texturing in Maya     88
 Applying Our Texture     90
 Standard Material Options     91
 Standard Materials     93
Customizing Our Blinn     94
Summary     97
Q&A     97
Workshop     98

HOUR 7: Creating Node Networks in the Hypershade     101
Navigating the Hypershade     101
 The Panels     102
Creating a Simple Network     108
Summary     116
Q&A     116
Workshop     117

HOUR 8: Character Modeling     119
Character Model Basics     120
 Working From Designs     120
 Using Symmetry In Modeling     125
Starting a Model     128
 Edge Loops     129
Continue Refining Your Model     133
 Multi-Edged Intersections: Poles     134
 Adding the Arms     135
 Inside the Mouth     138
 Armpits and Shoulders     138
 Hands     139
 Eyelids     140
 Elbows and Knees     140
Smoothing     142
 Smoothing Reduces Detail     142
 Deciding on Smoothing     142
Crease Edges     143
Combining Geometry     143
 UVs Review     145
Summary     148
Q&A     148
Workshop     148

HOUR 9: Relationships and Making Nodes Work Together     151
Viewing Relationships     152
Creating Connections     154
 The Connection Editor     154
 Connecting New Attributes     159
Other Relationships     162
 Expressions     162
 Driven Keys     163
 The Relationship Editor     164
Choosing the Right Relationship     165
Summary     167
Q&A     167
Workshop     168

HOUR 10: Basic Rigging: Preparing Objects for Animation     171
What Is a Rig?     172
Why We Rig     172
Preparing Your Mesh     173
Simple Hierarchy     176
 The Geo Group     178
Adding Controls     178
Adding Functionality     180
 Creating the Bend     181
Summary     183
Q&A     183
Workshop     184

HOUR 11: Character Rigging: Articulating Characters     187
Joints     188
Forward Kinematics Versus Inverse Kinematics     189
Starting a Rig     190
 Placing Joints     191
 Mirroring Joints     194
 Finishing the Joint Chain     194
Jaw Joint     196
 Joint Orientation     196
Adding IK to the Arms     197
Adding Controls     199
Connecting Controls     203
 Connecting the IK Hand Controls     204
Other Controls     204
 BlendShape Control     205
 Eye Target     205
Final Cleanup     206
Summary     208
Q&A     208
Workshop     209

HOUR 12: Skinning: Attaching Geometry to a Rig     211

The Skin Nodes     211
Rigid Bind     212
 Flexors     214
 Deform vs. Transform     215
Smooth Bind     216
Skinning Sam     216
Painting Weights     217
 Painting     217
 Prune Small Weights     220
 Locking Weights     221
Adding More Deformation     222
Summary     225
Q&A     225
Workshop     226

HOUR 13: Animation: Adding Movement to Your Scene     227
The Principles of Animation     228
 Squash and Stretch     228
 Anticipation     228
 Staging     228
 Straight-Ahead Action and Pose to Pose     228
 Follow Through and Overlapping Action     229
 Slow In and Slow Out     229
 Arcs     229
 Secondary Action     229
 Timing     229
 Exaggeration     230
 Solid Drawing     230
 Appeal     230
Time in Maya     230
The Timeline     231
The Range Slider     232
What Is a Keyframe?     232
Creating Keyframes     233
Using AutoKey to Set Keys     235
Manipulating the Timeline     236
Copying and Pasting Keys     237
The Graph Editor and Editing Keys     239
 Working with the Graph Editor     240
 Interpolation and Tangents     241
 Buffer Curves     244
The Dope Sheet     246
Editing Motion with the Trax Editor     248
Constraints and Animating     250
 Constraint Versus Parent     250
Using Other Animation Tools     252
 Creating Dynamic Relationships with Expressions     253
 Creating Animation on a Path     254
 Driven Keys     256
An Animated Scene     257
Summary     258
Q&A     258
Workshop     259

HOUR 14: Creating and Adjusting Cameras     261
Creating Cameras     262
Common Camera Attributes     265
 Camera Attributes     265
 Depth of Field     268
 Output Settings     269
 Environment     269
 Special Effects     270
 Display Options     270
 2D Pan/Zoom     271
 Movement Options     271
 Orthographic Views     272
The Different Camera Types     272
 Camera     272
 Camera and Aim     272
 Camera, Aim, and Up     272
 Stereo Camera and Multi-Stereo Rig     272
Animating Cameras     272
 Keyframing     273
Summary     276
Q&A     276
Workshop     277

HOUR 15: Making Diverse Shapes with BlendShapes     279
BlendShape Node     280
Applying a BlendShape     281
Creating BlendShapes     284
 Sculpting Geometry     285
 Adding a BlendShape     289
 Making Controllers     290
Corrective BlendShapes     291
Other Uses for BlendShapes     293
Summary     294
Q&A     294
Workshop     295

HOUR 16: Animating Using Dynamics and Simulations     297
What Are Dynamics?     298
 What are nDynamics?     298
 Physics in Action     298
 What Does Simulating Mean?     299
Getting Started with Rigid Bodies     299
 Creating the Scene     300
Getting Dynamic     302
 Let the Apple Fall from the Tree     302
Simulating the Apple Falling     307
The Rigid Body Solver     310
 Creating a Cache     310
Summary     311
Q&A     311
Workshop     312

HOUR 17: Scripting and Automating Common Tasks     315
MEL Scripting Basics     316
Writing Scripts in the Script Editor     317
Learning MEL from Maya in Action     320
Getting Help on Commands     322
Creating a Universe with MEL     325
 Creating a Universe with MEL: Intermediate     329
Making Use of the Shelves     335
Summary     337
Q&A     337
Workshop     337

HOUR 18: Using Particles to Create Effects     339
What Are Particles?     340
 What Is an Emitter?     340
 Particles or nParticles?     340
Getting Started with nParticles     341
 Editing the Attributes of an Emitter     345
 Making More Adjustments     349
 Copying Attributes by Using Presets     352
Creating a Cache     354
Summary     355
Q&A     355
Workshop     356

HOUR 19: Lighting Your Scene Correctly     359
Lighting Basics     360
 Observing Light and Shadows     360
Creating Lights and Shadows     361
 Maya Light Types     362
 Casting Shadows     366
 Positioning Lights     367
Common Light Attributes     370
 Spot Light Attributes     372
Getting Started with Three-Point Lighting     374
 Creating the Key Light     374
 Creating the Fill Light     377
 Creating the Back Light     378
Summary     380
Q&A     381
Workshop     381

HOUR 20: Applying Hair and Cloth for Realism     383
Applying Fur and Hair     384
 Loading Fur     384
 Applying Fur     384
 Modifying Fur Attributes     385
 Applying Hair     386
Follicles and Curves     388
Creating Dynamic Hair and Fur     389
 nHair and Dynamics     390
 Fur and Dynamics     390
nCloth and nDynamics     391
Attaching nCloth to Other Objects     392
Characters and Clothes     393
Animating with Hair and nCloth     394
Summary     397
Q&A     397
Workshop     398

HOUR 21: Rendering Final Imagery     399
Render Basics     400
 Render Buttons     401
 Rendering Single Images     402
 Render View     402
 Rendering Regions     405
 Comparing Saved Images     406
 Fine-tuning with IPR     407
Render Settings     409
 Common Settings     410
 Quality Presets     413
Rendering Animations with Batch Render     415
 Check Render Settings for Batch Rendering     415
 To Batch Render     417
 Viewing in FCheck     418
Summary     419
Q&A     419
Workshop     419

HOUR 22: Working with Film     421
Importing a Film Plate     421
Using a 3D Tracked Camera     424
Setting Up the Scene     424
Scene Scale     426
Masks     429
More Camera Settings     430
 Clip Planes     430
 Film Back and Film Gate     431
Common Render Settings     431
Aspect Ratios and Resolution     431
Color     432
Summary     433
Q&A     433
Workshop     434

HOUR 23: Correct Project Management and Scene Workflow     435
The Maya Project Structure     436
Naming Conventions     437
Directory Structure Issues     438
Referencing Pipeline     439
Relative and Absolute Paths     441
Good Project Workflows     441
Pull or Push Workflows     442
Project X Workflow Case Study     443
Summary     445
Q&A     445
Workshop     446

HOUR 24: Ideal Settings, Preferences, and Hotkeys     447
Settings and Preferences Basics     448
 User Preferences     449
 Saving and Deleting Preferences     455
Hotkeys     456
 Hotbox and Marking Menus     456
 Common Hotkeys     458
Summary     467
Q&A     467
Workshop     467

Index     469


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