Skip to main content

Introducing Autodesk Maya 2012

Introducing Autodesk Maya 2012

Dariush Derakhshani

ISBN: 978-0-470-90021-5

May 2011

648 pages

Select type: Paperback

Product not available for purchase


A practical, step-by-step guide to Maya 2012

This book is the ideal primer to getting started with Maya, the premier 3D animation and effects software used in movies, visual effects, games, cartoons, short films, and commercials. You'll learn the Maya interface and the basics of modeling, texturing, animating, and visual effects. Professional visual effects artist and instructor Dariush Derakhshani explains the nuances of the complex software, while creative tutorials offer realistic, professional challenges for those new to 3D. You'll be up and running in no time with the world's most popular professional 3D software application.

  • Provides a thorough, step-by-step introduction to Maya 2012
  • Explains the core concepts of CG and working in 3D
  • Covers modeling, rigging, HDRI lighting, mental ray rendering, and more
  • Concepts are reinforced with tutorials that offer realistic challenges and clear explanations
  • Color insert provides real-world examples from talented beginning Maya users

Build your Maya and animation skills from the ground up with this practical, thorough guide.

Related Resources

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Introduction to Computer Graphics and 3D 1

Art? 2

Computer Graphics 2

The Stages of Production 4

The CG Production Workflow 8

Core Concepts 11

Basic Film Concepts 23

Summary 28

Chapter 2 Jumping in Headfirst, with Both Feet 31

You Put the U in UI 32

Project Overview: The Solar System 37

The Preproduction Process: Planning 37

Creating a Project 38

The Production Process: Creating and Animating the Objects 40

Hierarchy and Maya Object Structure 53

The Solar System Resumed 56

Outputting Your Work: Playblasting 64

Summary 66

Chapter 3 The Maya 2012 Interface 67

Navigating in Maya 68

Maya's Layout 68

Building a Decorative Box 82

Mapping the Box's Reference Planes with Hypershade 86

Organizing Workflow with Layer Editor 90

Modeling the Decorative Box 92

Editing the Decorative Box Model Using the Shelf 98

Continuing the Decorative Box Model 103

Finishing the Decorative Box Model 106

Summary 113

Chapter 4 Beginning Polygonal Modeling 115

Planning Your Model 116

Polygon Basics 119

Poly Editing Tools 121

Putting the Tools to Use: Making a Simple Hand 125

Creating Areas of Detail on a Poly Mesh 131

Modeling a Classic Steam Locomotive 139

Suggestions for Modeling Polygons 163

Summary 163

Chapter 5 Modeling with NURBS, Subdivisions, and Deformers 165


Using NURBS Surfacing to Create Polygons 178

Converting a NURBS Model to Polygons 180

Editing NURBS Surfaces 181

Patch Modeling: A Locomotive Detail 183

Using Artisan to Sculpt NURBS 194

Modeling with Simple Deformers 196

The Lattice Deformer 200

Animating through a Lattice 205

Subdivision Surfaces 208

Creating a Starfish 208

Building a Teakettle 213

Summary 221

Chapter 6 Practical Experience 223

Beginning the Wagon Project 224

Modeling the Side Panels 232

Creating the Wagon Body 253

Modeling the Wheels 262

Making the Wood Railings 268

Adding Extra Details 277

Summary 284

Chapter 7 Maya Shading and Texturing 285

Maya Shading 286

Shader Types 286

Shader Attributes 290

Texturing the Axe 294

Textures and Surfaces 301

Textures and UVS for the Red Wagon 310

Photoreal Mapping: The Decorative Box 343

For Further Study 360

Summary 360

Chapter 8 Introduction to Animation 363

Keyframe Animation—Bouncing a Ball 364

Throwing an Axe 375

Replacing an Object 392

Animating Flying Text 393

Rigging the Locomotive, Part 1 398

Animating a Catapult 401

Summary 406

Chapter 9 More Animation! 409

Skeletons and Kinematics 410

Skeletons: The Hand 423

Inverse Kinematics 436

Basic Relationships: Constraints 441

Basic Relationships: Set-Driven Keys 445

Application: Rigging the Locomotive 448

Summary 455

Chapter 10 Maya Lighting 457

Basic Lighting Concepts 458

Maya Lights 462

Light Linking 468

Adding Shadows 469

Raytracing Soft Shadows 473

mental ray Lighting 474

mental ray Physical Sun and Sky 476

Lighting Effects 481

Lighting the Decorative Box 485

Further Lighting Practice 490

Tips for Using and Animating Lights 491

Summary 493

Chapter 11 Maya Rendering 495

Rendering Setup 496

Previewing Your Render: The Render View Window 505

Reflections and Refractions 507

Using Cameras 509

Motion Blur 515

Batch Rendering 515

Rendering the Wine Bottle 516

mental ray for Maya 520

Render Layers 525

Final Gather 534

Ambient Occlusion 537

HDRI 544

Rendering the Decorative Box 546

Summary 560

Chapter 12 Maya Dynamics and Effects 561

An Overview of Dynamics and Maya Nucleus 562

Rigid and Soft Dynamic Bodies 562

Animating with Dynamics: The Pool Table 566

nParticle Dynamics 575

Emitting nParticles 576

Animating a Particle Effect: Locomotive Steam 581

Introduction to Paint Effects 588

Toon Shading 592

Customizing Maya 595

Summary 599

Where Do You Go from Here? 599

Index 601

Global Illumination Online Exercise
ChapterPageDetailsDatePrint Run
var.var.Interactive Split Tool incorrectly identified as Split Polygon Tool
In a number of instances in Chapters 3 through 6, The Interactive Split tool is referred to by its name in prior versions of Maya, the Split Polygon tool.

For every instance of Split Polygon replace with Interactive Split .

The error occurs on the following pages:

Chapter 3:
  • page 99
  • page 100
  • page 103 (also see errata entry specifically for pages 103-104)
  • page 104, captions to Figure 3.65 and 3.66
  • page 105
  • page 108
Chapter 4:
  • page 128, step 14
  • page 129, step 15
  • page 132 (also see errata entry specifically for page 132)
  • page 133
  • page 138
Chapter 5:
  • page 208 (also see errata entry specifically for page 208)
  • page 209, step 4
Chapter 6:
  • page 236, steps 1, 2 and 3
  • page 248, step 6

3103-4Text correction: Instructions for Interactive Split Tool
Step 3. incorrectly identifies the Interactive Split Tool as the Split Polygon tool. In addition, the final three sentences of the instruction, beginning with Drag the mouse... should read as follows:

Drag the mouse back and forth and you can see when the Interactive Split tool snaps to the middle of the edge. Release the mouse at the snap point and that will place the point in the middle of that edge.

The first sentence of Step 4. on page 104 repeats the erroneous identification of the tool, and should also be changed to read as follows:

Use the snapping to place Interactive Split points in the middle of the remaining three edges of the box to create a horizontal split line in the middle of the box, as shown in Figure 3.67.

3104Text correction: Error in caption for Figure 3.65
The caption should read Click and drag the Interactive Split tool on this edge of the box, and place the point in the middle.

4132Text correction: Interactive Split tool incorrectly identified as Split Polygon tool
Replace all instances of Split Polygon with Interactive Split .

Additionally, in the first paragraph under the heading The Split Polygon Tool, delete the final two sentences, beginning Notice at lower left...

5208Text correction: Instructions for using the Split Polygon/Interactive Split tool
Replace all instances of Split Polygon with Interactive Split .

In addition, change the last sentence in step 2. to read as follows:
When you do this, center the new edge by using the snapping to place the split in the middle along each edge.