most of the Paint Effects attributes mentioned so far; however, some, such as color, will
not affect the poly tubes. Instead, the color information is converted into a shader that is
assigned to the polygons. It’s best to finalize your Paint Effects strokes before converting
to polygons to avoid any confusion.
Paint Effects is a strong Maya tool, and you can use it to create complex effects such as
a field of blowing flowers. A large number of controls to create a variety of effects come
with that complexity. Fortunately, Maya comes with a generous sampling of preset
brushes. Experiment with a few brushes and their attributes to see what kinds of effects
and strange plants you can create.
Summary
In this chapter, you learned how to create dynamic objects and create simulations. Begin-
ning with rigid body dynamics, you created a set of pool balls that you animated in the
simulation to knock into each other. Then, you learned how to bake that simulation into
animation curves for fine-tuning. Next, you learned about particle effects by creating a
steam effect for the locomotive animation. Finally, you learned a little bit about Maya’s
Paint Effects tool and how it can easily be used to create various effects such as grass and
flowers.
To further your learning, try creating a scene on a grassy hillside with train tracks
running through. Animate the locomotive, steam and all, driving through the scene and
blowing the grass as it passes. You can also create a train whistle and a steam effect when
the whistle blows, and you can create various other trails of smoke and steam as the loco-
motive drives through.
With power comes complexity of use. Maya dynamics has a rich feature set and com-
pound controls. The best way to be exposed to Maya dynamics is to simply experiment
once you’re familiar with the general work flow in Maya. You will find that the workflow
in dynamics is more iterative than other Maya workflows, as you are required to experi-
ment frequently with different values to see how they affect the final simulation. With
time, you will develop a strong intuition, and you will accomplish more complex simula-
tions faster and with greater effect.
Where Do You Go from Here?
It’s so hard to say goodbye! But this is really a bit of a hello—a hello to learning more
about animation and 3D.
Please explore other resources and tutorials to expand your working knowledge of
Maya. Several websites contain numerous tips, tricks, and tutorials for all aspects of Maya,
including the author’s columns in HDRI3d magazine (www.hdri3d.com) and his occasional
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tutorials and ramblings online at www.koosh3d.com. Of course, www.autodesk.com/maya has a
wide range of learning tools. Check the bibliography in Chapter 1, “Introduction to Com-
puter Graphics and 3D,” for some suggested reading materials. You will surely find a
wealth of information out there, and now that you have gained the all-important first
exposure, you will be better equipped to forge ahead confidently.
The most important thing you should have learned from this book is that proficiency
and competence with Maya come with practice, but even more so from your own artistic
exploration. Treat this text and your experience with its information as a formal introduc-
tion to a new language and way of working for yourself; doing so is imperative. The rest of
it, the gorgeous still frames and eloquent animations, come with furthering your study of
your own art, working diligently to achieve your vision, and truly having fun on the way.
Enjoy and good luck.
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