Introducing Autodesk Maya 2015: Autodesk OfficialPress
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Learn Autodesk Maya from an award-winning insider  

Best-selling author, visual effects supervisor, and technical educator Dariush Derakhshani brings you a newly-updated, step-by-step guide to the most popular and complex 3D application on the market, Autodesk Maya. Introducing Autodesk Maya 2015 includes straightforward lessons, real-world examples, detailed tutorials, and downloadable project files that get you modeling and animating your own digital models and scenes right away.

The book starts you with the latest CG concepts and production workflows, and then shows you how to create a solar system to help get you acquainted with the basic tool set in Maya. From there, the books helps you:   

Learn the Maya user interface, including menus and plug-ins Build simple animations and 3D images right away Explore polygons, modeling, and NEX tools Get started with HDRI lighting, rendering, dynamics, simulations, and effects    Whether you're new to 3D or migrating from another 3D application, Introducing Autodesk Maya2015 will kick-start your creativity and get you up and running with Maya.  Author Derakhshani has worked on movies such as The Fantastic Four and Pan's Labyrinth, the South Park TV series, and numerous commercials and music videos. 


Dariush Derakhshani is an award-winning visual effects and CG supervisor, author, and educator. He has worked on movies such as RED and Pan’s Labyrinth, TV shows such as Game of Thrones, Falling Skies, and South Park, as well as countless commercials and music videos. He teaches story and 3D animation, and is the author all the Introducing Maya books, as well as coauthor of the Autodesk 3ds Max Essentials series of books.


Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Introduction to Computer Graphics and 3D 1

A Preview of the CG Process 2

The CG Production Workflow 2

Digital Images 4

Summary 8

Chapter 2 Jumping into Basic Animation Headfirst 9

You Put the U in User Interface 10

Project: The Solar System 14

Creating a Project 15

The Production Process: Creating and Animating the Objects 17

Hierarchy and Maya Object Structure 28

The Solar System, Resumed 30

Outputting Your Work: Playblasting 37

Summary 38

Chapter 3 The Autodesk® Maya® 2015 Interface 39

Navigating in Maya 40

Exploring the Maya Layout 40

Building a Decorative Box 50

Mapping the Box’s Reference Planes with Hypershade 53

Organizing Workflow with the Layer Editor 57

Modeling the Decorative Box 58

Editing the Decorative Box Model Using the Shelf 63

Continuing the Decorative Box Model 67

Finishing the Decorative Box Model 71

Summary 78

Chapter 4 Beginning Polygonal Modeling 79

Planning Your Model 80

Polygon Basics 82

Poly Editing Tools 84

Putting the Tools to Use: Making a Cartoon Hand 93

Creating Areas of Detail on a Poly Mesh 101

Modeling a Catapult 115

Summary 142

Chapter 5 Modeling with NURBS Surfaces and Deformers 143

NURBS for Organic Curves 144

Using NURBS Surfacing to Create Polygons 151

Converting a NURBS Model to Polygons 153

Using Artisan to Sculpt NURBS 154

Creating a Pair of Glass Candle Holders 154

Modeling with Simple Deformers 161

The Lattice Deformer 166

Animating Through a Lattice 170

Summary 174

Chapter 6 Practical Experience! 175

Evaluating the Toy Plane 176

Building the Landing Pontoons 178

Oh, What a Body! Modeling the Body of the Plane 194

The Rear Stabilizers 198

You Spin Me Right Round—The Engine and Propeller 201

The Plane’s Wings 206

Assembling the Plane 215

Summary 217

Chapter 7 Autodesk® Maya® Shading and Texturing 219

Maya Shading 220

Shader Types 220

Shader Attributes 223

Shading and Texturing the Toy Plane 227

Textures and Surfaces 232

Textures and UVs for the Red Wagon 240

Photo-Real Mapping: The Decorative Box 274

Toon Shading 291

For Further Study 294

Summary 294

Chapter 8 Introduction to Animation 295

Keyframe Animation: Bouncing a Ball 296

Throwing an Axe 307

Replacing an Object 318

Animating Flying Text 320

Animating the Catapult 324

Summary 329

Chapter 9 More Animation! 331

Skeletons and Kinematics 332

Skeletons: The Hand 348

Inverse Kinematics 362

Basic Relationships: Constraints 366

Basic Relationships: Set-Driven Keys 371

Rigging the Locomotive 375

Creating a Simple Character Rig 382

For Further Study 391

Summary 391

Chapter 10  Autodesk® Maya® Lighting 393

Basic Lighting Concepts 394

Maya Lights 398

Light Linking 405

Adding Shadows 407

Raytracing Soft Shadows 411

mental ray Lighting 412

mental ray Physical Sun and Sky 414

Lighting Effects 418

Assembling and Lighting a Scene 422

Further Lighting Practice 430

Tips for Using and Animating Lights 430

Summary 432

Chapter 11 Autodesk® Maya® Rendering 433

Rendering Setup 434

Previewing Your Render: The Render View Window 443

Setting the Default Renderer 445

Reflections and Refractions 446

Using Cameras 448

Motion Blur 456

Batch Rendering 456

Rendering the Wine Bottle 458

mental ray for Maya 461

Render Layers 467

Final Gather 478

Ambient Occlusion 482

HDRI 490

Displacement Mapping the Decorative Box 493

Rendering the Scene with mental ray 504

Summary 516

Chapter 12 Autodesk® Maya® Dynamics and Effects 517

An Overview of Dynamics and Maya Nucleus 518

Rigid Bodies 518

Rigid Body Dynamics: Shoot the Catapult! 522

nParticle Dynamics 530

Emitting nParticles 530

Animating a Particle Effect: Locomotive Steam 538

Introduction to Paint Effects 547

Getting Started with nCloth 551

Customizing Maya 557

Summary 561

Where Do You Go from Here? 562

Index 563