The Maya Essentials with George Maestri is a staggered introduction to Maya, designed in installments that can be completed within two hours. This first course in the series introduces designers to the Maya environment and shows them how to move objects and keep scenes organized. Discover how to navigate within your projects; configure viewports; select, move, rotate, and scale objects; and create layers and groups.
This installment of Maya Essentials covers the basics of the polygonal modeling toolkit. Author George Maestri delves into the theory behind popular polygonal modeling techniques, then walks through the basic process of creating objects, modifying them with Soft Select, and working with subdivision surfaces. The course also includes more advanced techniques such as cutting faces and splitting polygons with the Edge and Bevel tools, creating holes and protrusions with Booleans, and deforming an entire object with lattices. An additional chapter is dedicated to edge loops, which can be used to create and organize detail in models.
NURBS, or non-uniform rational basis splines, are part of a 3D graphics modeling strategy used to generate curves and surfaces that are smoother than is possible with polygons. NURBS Modeling Techniques provides a thorough introduction to this modeling toolkit. The course explains the basic theory behind NURBS, starting with NURBS primitives and sculpting surfaces, and then through the modeling tools (Trim, Stitch, Project, and more) used to refine NURBS models in Maya. Author George Maestri also cover techniques from using insert isoparms to add detail, to creating arcs and text, to converting NURBS to polygons.
Materials define how the surface of 3D objects appear and lend them color, transparency, and texture that allow you to view the characteristics of a surface. This course introduces the basics of creating materials in Maya. Author George Maestri presents the basic material types as well as how to apply and align bitmap textures. He also discusses the concepts behind transparency, specularity, and reflectivity, which impact the appearance and light receptiveness of materials.
Animation Tools is a focused course that covers the basics of animating in Autodesk Maya, including setting keyframes, working with animation editors, and automating animation with constraints and simple rigs. Author George Maestri also shows how to create motion trails and ghost objects and construct animation cycles, an alternative way to loop your animation with the Graph Editor and Curves.
This installment of Maya Essentials covers the basics of rendering and lighting tools in Autodesk Maya. Author George Maestri goes over the standard renderers and lighting types, and then goes into features such as render layers and advanced lighting. In particular, the course shows how to manipulate lights, add depth of field, and create bokeh effects and reflections—giving your scene just the atmosphere and drama you want.
In this course, professional animator and director Lee Lanier shows how to create render passes in Autodesk Maya, recombine the passes in Adobe After Effects, and motion track the passes to live-action video footage that contains a moving camera or a moving character. The course covers both the Render Layer Editor and mental ray contribution pass systems. Additionally, 1- and 2-point motion tracking and match moving, stabilization, and 4-point corner pin tracking are discussed.
This course focuses on the fundamental implementation and functionality of Mental Ray from within Maya. The chapters cover many areas, beginning with an in-depth exploration of the interface of Mental Ray, including the use of MEL scripts to access custom features. Next, you'll explore an initial scene setup using a custom naming script to label files automatically and correctly as they are output. Many other topics are covered in depth, including setting up basic frame buffers, using diagnostics to debug your scenes, various implementations of motion blur including the rasterizer (rapid motion), lens shaders, a custom shader allowing you to blur in post, depth of field, displacement utilizing the latest techniques, including a thorough explanation of ccmeshes (Catmull-Clark meshes) and how to access them from within Mental Ray for Maya.
Modeling a Character in 3ds Max with Ryan Kittleson covers the process of designing and building a 3D human character that can be used for feature film, broadcast, and games. The course begins with an overview of the 3ds Max tools and techniques used in character modeling, and how human anatomy is represented using 3D geometry. Once this foundation is in place, the rest of the course goes step by step through the actual process used to model a simple human character from the ground up, including facial features, musculature, and details such as hair and clothing.