Learning Maya 6: Foundation
Learning Maya 6: Foundation
|Creativecow.net Book Review
|John David Hutton
Kansas City, Kansas, USA
©2004 John David Hutton and Creativecow.net. All rights are reserved.
CreativeCOW leader John David Hutton looks at Learning Maya 6 | Foundation published by Sybex and is pleased to find ... ''a tutorial book ..[which presents]... the instruction to you in a way that makes you understand why youre doing those things. You get a very well-rounded instruction on the principles of this 3D software package."
Learning Maya 6 Foundation: The first book in a series of Learning Maya books.
Click on the graphic to purchase this book from Amazon.com
When I first started the business of 3D and motion graphics I remember being so taken aback by how shoddy the included manuals were. Not only were they boring and lifeless, they seemed more like a dictionary or reference manual (they werent supposed to be) than an actual piece of valuable instruction.
Since then Ive been arrogantly turning my nose up at any sort of tutorial book or video published or endorsed by the same company who made the software. I discounted them before they even have a chance to show how great they were and I almost made the same mistake with this one. A co-worker purchased this book because of a class he started at a local junior college. The timing was great because my company gave me a week of Maya self-training, and while I had some books and videos from which to learn I opened this one curiously. I got almost completely through it by the time he started his class.
This book consists of 5 projects, spanning 27 lessons, each chapter within the project being directly related to its former:
- In Project 1 (lessons 1-6) you create a bouncing ball and its environment, give character to the ball by animating CVs, along with some cool special effects such as a ring of fire the ball bounces through.
- In Project 2 (lessons 7-12) we model a jack in the box from scratch (introducing organic modeling) and build a complete scene, including animation (skeletons, skinning, constraints, etc.), secondary animation (graph editor, lattice work, deformers), rendering (lights, texture maps, rendering).
- In Project 3 (lessons 13-17), we build a space scene by modeling two ships (one using nurbs and the other polygons), we explore subdivision surfacing (by building an alien), we animate the ships to duke it out (appropriate since a lot of modelers prefer polygons over nurbs or vice-versa), and lastly we add some special effects such as some lasers and a simple explosion and smoke using particles.
- In Project 4 (lessons 18-21) we explore the vast and complicated world of character animation, from modeling (simple shapes) to rigging to animation (exploring walk cycles and the trax editor).
- Project 5 (lessons 22-27) We build Salty, a more sophisticated character than the previous project, complete with facial expressions, interaction between a ball and itself, more practice with lights while building a fancier set, and capping off the project with an introduction into the world of MEL.
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