3D Animation Using Maya

3D animation in Maya is created by bringing together many parts to form a greater whole. Understanding how these parts relate to each other is one of the keys to learning Maya. Instead of completely focusing on one part at a time, we’ll always keep the bigger picture in mind. So what are these different […]

Workspace — Getting Around Maya (Essential Skills) (3D Animation Using Maya) Part 1

The Maya workspace presents the tools and user interface ( UT ) elements necessary to create all aspects of your animation (see Figure 1.16). In order to avoid being overwhelmed, some task-specific elements are only there when you need them, and others are ever-present. Let’s look at some of the most commonly used elements. Figure […]

Workspace — Getting Around Maya (Essential Skills) (3D Animation Using Maya) Part 2

Rotate Tool Another common manipulation is rotation, which is accomplished with the Rotate Tool (see Figures 1.27 and 1.28). To use the rotate tool, select and LMB-drag to increase or decrease the rotational angle. The manipulator handles allow you to rotate on any of the individual axes by using the inner circles, or around the […]

Modeling — Primitives, Wireframes, Surfaces, and Normals (Essential Skills) (3D Animation Using Maya) Part 1

A geometric primitive is a basic building block of 3D CO geometry, such as a sphere, cube, cylinder, cone, or torus. In the following examples we’ll look at a primitive sphere. In Figure 1.38 you see the wireframe representation of a sphere. The same sphere can be represented in a faceted shaded mode, as in […]

Modeling — Primitives, Wireframes, Surfaces, and Normals (Essential Skills) (3D Animation Using Maya) Part 2

Modeling Exercise — Barn In this modeling exercise we’ll use the polygon and NURBS primitives as building blocks for a barn and silo. Numeric precision is a bit more important here than in the last exercise, because of the symmetrical construction of the building. We’ll use the Channel Box to enter in exact values, and […]

Animation — Keyframe Basics (Essential Skills) (3D Animation Using Maya)

This can be as simple as the sky’s color turning from day to night, or as complex as a three-headed dog chasing a busload of screaming babies. The common thread is that over a period of time, things change. In Maya, animation is generally created by specifying the key moments (or most important poses) when […]

Shading — Color, Specular, and Ambient (Essential Skills) (3D Animation Using Maya)

Shading defines the look of your model when it is rendered. We’ll begin with a com-1 ~V1 mon shading style, called Phong shading, and look at three of its attributes (see Fig ure 1.82): color, specular color, and ambient color. Later we will add textures, texture maps, transparency, glows, and other effects. Figure 1.82: Basic […]

Lighting — Point Lights: Intensity, Color, and Shadows (Essential Skills) (3D Animation Using Maya)

Lighting in Maya is much like lighting for theater or live action film. To illuminate a VV scene, you must place lights in space, brighten or dim them, color them, and set ^ countless other of their attributes. You can think of lighting in realistic terms: How high should this light be to cast a […]

Rendering — Outputting a Scene to Frames (Essential Skills) (3D Animation Using Maya)

Your final step in creating a 3D animation will be to produce a sequence of production-quality frames that can be output to video, film, or a compressed video format such as an MPEG-2 QuickTime movie. When you instruct Maya to render your animation, it takes all of the data in the camera’s view and calculates […]

Project 1 — Ball Rolling Down an Inclined Plane (Essential Skills) (3D Animation Using Maya)

For your first project, create and render a three-second animation of a ball rolling down a tilted board. Be sure to use all the skills you’ve learned so far in the areas of modeling, animation, shading, lighting, and rendering. Include: •    Geometric primitives, •    Keyframed animation, •    Colored Phong shaders, and •    Point lights with […]