FOCUS AND APPROACH OF THIS BOOK
is is a hands-on book and the chapters have a very prescriptive avor. Section I uses an
incremental, example-driven approach that illustrates the core concepts of 3D modeling,
animation, and rendering. en in Section II we gather up the concepts we have learned
and put them together in a series of focused charts.
e book covers the principles of 3D animation. Our vehicle for doing this is Autodesk
Maya, arguably the most popular and powerful general-purpose 3D modeling, animation,
and rendering application that is available for purchase by the general public. As of the
time of this writing, students can download it for free at: http://students.autodesk.com.
(is is the full version of Maya, but it cannot be used commercially.) We take brief looks
at other modeling, animation, and rendering applications. is book does not cover the
myriad of technical and workow issues that arise with large-scale team projects; rather, it
is directed at people who are building small, animated projects on their own or in a small
team environment. Character modeling is given only very brief attention.
is book is intended as a one-semester text for beginners with no experience with
3D modeling or animation. It targets the many computer-centric professions that demand
solid “literacy” knowledge of 3D modeling and animation. ese include a broad spectrum
of disciplines, including engineering, advertising, desktop and Web application develop-
ment, lm, architecture, and product design. It is important to keep in mind, though, that
Maya is not an engineering tool, and so this book does not cover computer-aided design
(CAD); for that, a more appropriate tool to learn is Autodesk AutoCAD or SolidWorks.
Within the context of single person or small team projects, the focus of the book is on
workow within Maya and not on the workow of a complete animated video project,
which invariably demands several other applications besides Maya. Brief attention is given
to the other applications that are necessary to complete a project; in particular, we look
at the use of image editing applications and how they can be used to prepare textures
for animated models, as this is a crucial step that aects the animator’s workow within
Maya. We give less attention to audio editing and video editing, focusing mostly on how a