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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The best way to learn Maya 7 is hands-on, through projects. But this isn’t just “any” project-based tutorial. These aren’t toy projects: they’re based on an animated short, Blue, which has earned top prizes at five film festivals.
You’ll learn core Maya 7 skills by following Blue through its production process, crafting its robot “star,” and constructing his entire outer-space environment. You’ll start with modeling simple shapes -- rooms, solar systems, and so forth; then master the fundamentals of working with shaders, textures, lights, effects, and particles. Next, you’ll learn how to use dependency graphs to understand the connections between Maya entities and the shading group elements that determine how objects look.
The authors then walk you through building your first creature from primitives, starting with a polygonal cylinder for its body. You’ll master the basics of NURBS modeling and texturing; use skeletons, skins, and inverse kinematics; move on to organic modeling; even do some simple programming with Maya’s MEL language. Rigging, deformers, Maya’s non-linear TRAX editor, paint effects, subdivision surfaces, rendering: they’re all covered.
In addition to sample files, this book comes with Maya 7 Personal Learning Edition. Maybe you expected that: After all, you can download PLE from Alias’s site. But you didn’t expect this: a free, permanent (yes, non-trial) copy of SketchBook Pro 1.1.1, Alias’s impressive paint and drawing application for use with digitized pen tablets. (Which, by the way, retails for a lot more than this book.)
But, then, this full-color book does come from Alias Press, Maya’s creators -- so it includes Alias’s expertise along with its software. Bill Camarda, from the October 2005 Read Only