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Mastering Autodesk Maya 2015: Autodesk Official Press

Book Description

Expand your skills with complete Maya mastery

Mastering Autodesk Maya is the ultimate guide to the popular 3D animation software. Author Todd Palamar draws on his extensive professional animation experience to help readers take their Maya skills to the next level. Written for those who already know the basics of this enormous program, the book covers advanced topics and professional techniques for modeling, animation, texturing, and visual effects.

Fully updated to reflect Maya's latest features, the book takes a hands-on approach to instruction, providing readers with a diverse set of tutorials designed by real-world professionals to showcase 3D animation and visual techniques used in industry settings. Complete and comprehensive, the book makes an excellent desk reference for the working animator, and is an ideal resource for those seeking Maya certification. The unique combination of challenging material and practical instruction make this one-of-a-kind guide the ultimate Maya handbook. Topics include:

  • Animation using inverse kinematics, keyframes, and deformers

  • Hard surface and organic modeling

  • Proper rigging techniques, and working with Maya Muscle

  • Xgen, Paint Effects, and rendering with mental ray

  • Texture mapping, compositing, nParticles, and more

  • Virtual filmmaking and scene management

  • The most complex skills are useless if they can't be applied, so the book emphasizes the practical, day-to-day uses of each skill, and discusses which solutions best fit which scenario. For the computer animation professional seeking a more in-depth mastery of this popular animation program, Mastering Autodesk Maya is an excellent investment in the future of your career.

    Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright
    3. Publisher's Note
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. About the Author
    6. Introduction
      1. Who Should Buy This Book
      2. What's Inside
      3. Conventions
      4. How to Contact the Author
    7. Chapter 1: Working in Autodesk Maya
      1. Creating and Editing Nodes
      2. Creating Maya Projects
      3. The Bottom Line
    8. Chapter 2: Introduction to Animation
      1. Using Joints and Constraints
      2. Inverse Kinematics
      3. Keyframe Animation
      4. The Graph Editor
      5. Playblast and FCheck
      6. Driven Keys
      7. Motion-Path Animation
      8. Motion Trails
      9. Animating Constraints
      10. Animation Layers
      11. Grease Pencil
      12. The Bottom Line
    9. Chapter 3: Hard-Surface Modeling
      1. Understanding Polygon Geometry
      2. Understanding NURBS
      3. Using Subdivision Surfaces
      4. Employing Image Planes
      5. Modeling NURBS Surfaces
      6. Converting NURBS Surfaces to Polygons
      7. Modeling with Polygons
      8. The Bottom Line
    10. Chapter 4: Organic Modeling
      1. Implement Box Modeling
      2. Employ Build-out Modeling
      3. Sculpting Polygons
      4. Use Retopology Tools
      5. The Bottom Line
    11. Chapter 5: Rigging and Muscle Systems
      1. Understanding Rigging
      2. Creating and Organizing Joint Hierarchies
      3. Rigging the Giraffe
      4. Human Inverse Kinematics
      5. Skinning Geometry
      6. The Maya Muscle System
      7. The Bottom Line
    12. Chapter 6: Animation Techniques
      1. Working with Deformers
      2. Animating Facial Expressions Using Blend Shapes
      3. Animating a Scene Using Nonlinear Deformers
      4. Creating a Jiggle Effect
      5. Optimizing Animations with the Geometry Cache
      6. Applying Motion Capture
      7. The Bottom Line
    13. Chapter 7: Lighting with mental ray
      1. Shadow-Casting Lights
      2. Indirect Lighting: Global Illumination
      3. Indirect Illumination: Final Gathering
      4. Image-Based Lighting
      5. Physical Sun and Sky
      6. mental ray Area Lights
      7. Light Shaders
      8. The Bottom Line
    14. Chapter 8: mental ray Shading Techniques
      1. Shading Concepts
      2. Creating Blurred Reflections and Refractions Using Standard Maya Shaders
      3. mental ray Shaders
      4. Layering Shaders
      5. Rendering Contours
      6. The Bottom Line
    15. Chapter 9: Texture Mapping
      1. UV Texture Layout
      2. Bump and Normal Mapping
      3. Displacement Mapping
      4. Subsurface Scattering
      5. Viewport 2.0
      6. The Bottom Line
    16. Chapter 10: Paint Effects
      1. Using the Paint Effects Canvas
      2. Painting on 3D Objects
      3. Understanding Strokes
      4. Designing Brushes
      5. Create Complexity by Adding Strokes to a Curve
      6. Shaping Strokes with Behavior Controls
      7. Animating Strokes
      8. Rendering Paint Effects
      9. The Bottom Line
    17. Chapter 11: Rendering for Compositing
      1. Render Layers
      2. Render Passes
      3. Setting Up a Render with mental ray
      4. mental ray Quality Settings
      5. The Bottom Line
    18. Chapter 12: Introducing nParticles
      1. Creating nParticlesm
      2. Making nParticles Collide with nRigids
      3. Using nParticles to Simulate Liquids
      4. Emit nParticles Using a Texture
      5. Using Wind
      6. Shading nParticles and Using Hardware Rendering to Create Flame Effects
      7. nParticles and Fields
      8. Rendering Particles with mental ray
      9. The Bottom Line
    19. Chapter 13: Dynamic Effects
      1. Creating nCloth Objects
      2. Creating nCloth and nParticle Interactions
      3. Rigid Body Dynamics
      4. Soft Body Dynamics
      5. Creating Flying Debris Using nParticle Instancing
      6. Animating Instances Using nParticle Expressions
      7. Bullet Physics
      8. The Bottom Line
    20. Chapter 14: Hair and Clothing
      1. Understanding XGen
      2. Animating Using Dynamic Curves
      3. Adding Hair to a Character
      4. Styling Hair
      5. Rendering Hair
      6. Creating Clothing for Characters
      7. Painting nCloth Properties
      8. The Bottom Line
    21. Chapter 15: Maya Fluids
      1. Using Fluid Containers
      2. Fluid Interactions
      3. Rendering Fluid Containers
      4. Create Fluids and nParticle Interactions
      5. Creating Water Effects
      6. The Bottom Line
    22. Chapter 16: Scene Management and Virtual Filmmaking
      1. Organizing Complex Node Structures with Assets
      2. File References
      3. Determining the Image Size and Film Speed of the Camera
      4. Creating and Animating Cameras
      5. Creating Custom Camera Rigs
      6. Applying Depth of Field and Motion Blur
      7. Using Orthographic and Stereo Cameras
      8. Using the Camera Sequencer
      9. The Bottom Line
    23. Appendix A: The Bottom Line
      1. Chapter 1: Working in Autodesk Maya
      2. Chapter 2: Introduction to Animation
      3. Chapter 3: Hard-Surface Modeling
      4. Chapter 4: Organic Modeling
      5. Chapter 5: Rigging and Muscle Systems
      6. Chapter 6: Animation Techniques
      7. Chapter 7: Lighting with mental ray
      8. Chapter 8: mental ray Shading Techniques
      9. Chapter 9: Texture Mapping
      10. Chapter 10: Paint Effects
      11. Chapter 11: Rendering for Compositing
      12. Chapter 12: Introducing nParticles
      13. Chapter 13: Dynamic Effects
      14. Chapter 14: Hair and Clothing
      15. Chapter 15: Maya Fluids
      16. Chapter 16: Scene Management and Virtual Filmmaking
    24. Appendix B: Autodesk Maya 2015 Certification
    25. End User License Agreement