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Mastering Autodesk Maya 2015: Autodesk Official Press


Expand your skills with complete Maya mastery

Mastering Autodesk Maya is the ultimate guide to the popular 3D animation software. Author Todd Palamar draws on his extensive professional animation experience to help readers take their Maya skills to the next level. Written for those who already know the basics of this enormous program, the book covers advanced topics and professional techniques for modeling, animation, texturing, and visual ...

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Expand your skills with complete Maya mastery

Mastering Autodesk Maya is the ultimate guide to the popular 3D animation software. Author Todd Palamar draws on his extensive professional animation experience to help readers take their Maya skills to the next level. Written for those who already know the basics of this enormous program, the book covers advanced topics and professional techniques for modeling, animation, texturing, and visual effects.

Fully updated to reflect Maya's latest features, the book takes a hands-on approach to instruction, providing readers with a diverse set of tutorials designed by real-world professionals to showcase 3D animation and visual techniques used in industry settings. Complete and comprehensive, the book makes an excellent desk reference for the working animator, and is an ideal resource for those seeking Maya certification. The unique combination of challenging material and practical instruction make this one-of-a-kind guide the ultimate Maya handbook. Topics include:

  • Animation using inverse kinematics, keyframes, and deformers
  • Hard surface and organic modeling
  • Proper rigging techniques, and working with Maya Muscle
  • Xgen, Paint Effects, and rendering with mental ray
  • Texture mapping, compositing, nParticles, and more
  • Virtual filmmaking and scene management

The most complex skills are useless if they can't be applied, so the book emphasizes the practical, day-to-day uses of each skill, and discusses which solutions best fit which scenario. For the computer animation professional seeking a more in-depth mastery of this popular animation program, Mastering Autodesk Maya is an excellent investment in the future of your career.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118862513
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/4/2014
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 912
  • Sales rank: 182,284
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Todd Palamar began his career creating traditional special effects for low-budget horror movies and quickly gravitated to computer animation. After working on numerous straight-to-video movies, he entered the video game industry. Todd has extensive freelance experience, including dozens of military and game-style simulations, corporate commercials, and theme park rides. In addition, he has written several Maya books, including Maya Studio Projects: Photorealistic Characters and several editions of Mastering Autodesk Maya.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xxiii

Chapter 1 • Working in Autodesk Maya 1

Creating and Editing Nodes 1

Using the Hypergraph 3

Connecting Nodes with the Node Editor 7

Creating Node Hierarchies in the Outliner 11

Displaying Options in the Outliner 15

The Channel Box 18

The Attribute Editor 22

Working with Shader Nodes in the Hypershade 25

Creating Maya Projects 34

Creating a New Project 34

Editing and Changing Projects 36

The Bottom Line 37

Chapter 2 • Introduction to Animation 39

Using Joints and Constraints 39

Joint Basics 39

Point Constraints 41

Aim Constraints 41

Inverse Kinematics 44

IK Handle Tool 45

Creating a Master Control 48

Keyframe Animation 51

Creating Keyframes 51

Auto Keyframe 53

Moving and Scaling Keyframes on the Timeline 54

Copy, Paste, and Cut Keyframes 56

The Graph Editor 58

Animation Curves 59

Editing Animation Curves 64

Weighted Tangents 68

Additional Editing Tools 69

Breakdowns and In-Betweens 72

Pre- and Post-Infinity 75

Playblast and FCheck 78

Driven Keys 80

Creating a Driven Key 80

Looping Driven Keys 82

Copying and Pasting Driven Keys 83

Motion-Path Animation 86

Motion Trails 88

Animating Constraints 90

Animation Layers 94

Creating an Animation Layer 94

Layer Mode 96

Other Options in the Layer Editor 98

Layer Hierarchy 99

Merging Layers 102

Grease Pencil 103

The Bottom Line 105

Chapter 3 • Hard-Surface Modeling 107

Understanding Polygon Geometry 107

Polygon Vertices 108

Polygon Edges 108

Polygon Faces 109

Working with Smooth Polygons 111

Understanding NURBS 112

Understanding Curves 113

Understanding NURBS Surfaces 115

Surface Seams 118

NURBS Display Controls 118

Using Subdivision Surfaces 119

Employing Image Planes 119

Modeling NURBS Surfaces 123

Lofting Surfaces 131

Attaching Surfaces 134

Converting NURBS Surfaces to Polygons 137

Modeling with Polygons 139

Using Booleans 139

Cleaning Topology 144

Creating Your Own Polygons 147

Multi-Cut Tool 151

Combining and Merging Geometry 153

Bridge Polygon 155

Mirror Cut 159

The Bottom Line 161

Chapter 4 • Organic Modeling 163

Implement Box Modeling 163

Shaping Using Smooth Mesh Polygon Geometry 164

Connect Components 177

Slide Edge Tool 179

Offset Edge Loops 181

Employ Build-out Modeling 182

Extrude Along a Curve 184

Sculpting Polygons 188

Soft Select Tool 188

Sculpting Polygons Using Artisan 190

Use Retopology Tools 194

Importing and Exporting 194

Alembic Cache Files 195

Slide on Surface 195

Quad Draw 198

Reduce 205

The Bottom Line 206

Chapter 5 • Rigging and Muscle Systems 207

Understanding Rigging 207

Creating and Organizing Joint Hierarchies 209

Orienting Joints 217

Naming Joints 220

Mirroring Joints 222

Rigging the Giraffe 223

IK Legs 224

FK Blending 226

Rotate Plane Solver 229

Creating Custom Attributes 232

Spline IK 236

Human Inverse Kinematics 242

Skeleton Generator 243

Character Controls 244

Interoperability 247

Skinning Geometry 247

Interactive/Smooth Binding 248

Weighting the Giraffe 248

Geodesic Voxel Binding 256

Painting Skin Weights 257

Editing Skin Weights in the Component Editor 262

Copying Skin Weights 262

Mirroring Skin Weights 263

The Maya Muscle System 263

Understanding the Maya Muscle System 264

Using Capsules 264

Creating a Muscle Using the Muscle Builder 266

Editing Muscle Parameters 270

Converting the Smooth Skin to a Muscle System 274

Sliding Weights 275

The Bottom Line 277

Chapter 6 • Animation Techniques 279

Working with Deformers 279

ShrinkWrapping Geometry 279

Using Textures to Deform Objects 282

Animating Facial Expressions Using Blend Shapes 286

Creating Blend Shape Targets 290

Creating Blend Shapes 296

Painting Blend Shape Weights 296

Adding Targets 300

Animating a Scene Using Nonlinear Deformers 302

Creating a Wave Deformer 302

Squashing and Stretching Objects 304

Twisting Objects 305

Creating a Jiggle Effect 307

Applying Jiggle Deformers 307

Painting Jiggle Weights 308

Optimizing Animations with the Geometry Cache 310

Creating a Geometry Cache 310

Editing the Cache Playback 311

Applying Motion Capture 312

The Bottom Line 315

Chapter 7 • Lighting with mental ray 317

Shadow-Casting Lights 317

Shadow Preview 318

Depth Map Shadows 320

mental ray Shadow Map Overrides 324

Raytrace Shadows 326

Indirect Lighting: Global Illumination 327

Tuning Global Illumination 332

Working with Photon Maps 334

Color Bleeding 336

Importons 336

Caustics 337

Caustic Light Setup 340

Indirect Illumination: Final Gathering 342

Light-Emitting Objects 342

Final Gathering Maps 347

Using Lights with Final Gathering 352

Image-Based Lighting 353

Enabling IBL 353

IBL and Final Gathering 354

Physical Sun and Sky 356

Enabling Physical Sun and Sky 356

Editing the Sky Settings 358

mental ray Area Lights 360

Light Shaders 363

Physical Light Shader 363

Tone Mapping 366

Photometric Lights and Profiles 367

The Bottom Line 367

Chapter 8 • mental ray Shading Techniques 369

Shading Concepts 369

Diffusion 372

Reflection 372

Refraction 373

The Fresnel Effect 374

Anisotropy 375

Creating Blurred Reflections and Refractions Using Standard Maya Shaders 375

Reflection Blur 375

Refraction Blur 376

mental ray Shaders 380

Using the mia Material Presets 380

Adding Shaders to Individual Polygons 383

Creating Thick and Thin Glass 384

Other mia Material Attributes 386

Layering Shaders 389

Building a Layered Car Paint Shader 390

Diffuse Parameters 392

Flake Parameters 393

Specular Reflection Layer 394

Glossy Reflection Parameters 395

Rendering Contours 396

The Bottom Line 398

Chapter 9 • Texture Mapping 399

UV Texture Layout 399

What Are UV Texture Coordinates? 400

Mapping the Giraffe Leg 404

Unfolding UVs 406

Mapping the Giraffe Head 408

Mirroring UVs 411

More UV Tools 414

Arranging UV Shells 416

Additional UV Mapping Considerations 418

Transferring UVs 419

Multiple UV Sets 419

Optimizing Textures 420

Bump and Normal Mapping 421

Bump Maps 421

Normal Maps 422

Creating Normal Maps 423

Applying Normal Maps 428

Displacement Mapping 430

Subsurface Scattering 435

Fast, Simple Skin-Shader Setup 435

Subsurface Specularity 439

Viewport 20 443

The Bottom Line 445

Chapter 10 • Paint Effects 447

Using the Paint Effects Canvas 447

The Paint Effects Window 448

Painting in Scene Mode 451

Painting on 3D Objects 453

Understanding Strokes 454

The Anatomy of a Paint Effects Stroke 455

Brush Sharing 458

Understanding Brush Curve Nodes 459

Designing Brushes 460

Starting from Scratch 461

Tubes 464

Growing Flowers 466

Adding Leaves 471

Create Complexity by Adding Strokes to a Curve 475

Shaping Strokes with Behavior Controls 478

Applying Forces 478

Displacement, Spiral, and Bend 479

Animating Strokes 481

Animating Attribute Values 483

Adding Turbulence 483

Animating Growth 485

Modifiers 486

Surface Collisions 486

Rendering Paint Effects 488

Illumination 488

Shadow Effects 489

Shading Strokes and Tubes 491

Texturing Strokes 493

Converting Strokes to Geometry 497

The Bottom Line 499

Chapter 11 • Rendering for Compositing 501

Render Layers 501

Creating Render Layers 502

Render Layer Overrides 505

Creating Overrides for Rendering Cameras 509

Material Overrides 510

Render Layer Blend Modes 510

Render Passes 516

Upgrading Materials for Rendering Passes 518

Rendering Multiple Passes from a Single Render Layer 519

Creating an Ambient Occlusion Render Pass 523

Setting Up a Render with mental ray 530

File Tokens 532

Specifying Frame Range 535

Renderable Cameras 536

File Formats and the Frame Buffer 536

Starting a Batch Render 537

Command-Line Rendering 538

mental ray Quality Settings 541

Tessellation and Approximation Nodes 541

Unified Sampling 543

Filtering 543

The Bottom Line 544

Chapter 12 • Introducing nParticles 545

Creating nParticles 545

Drawing nParticles Using the nParticle Tool 546

Spawning nParticles from an Emitter 549

Emitting nParticles from a Surface 552

Filling an Object with nParticles 554

Making nParticles Collide with nRigids 559

Passive Collision Objects 559

Collide Strength and Collision Ramps 563

Using nParticles to Simulate Liquids 566

Creating Liquid Behavior 567

Converting nParticles to Polygons 571

Shading the nParticle Mesh 573

Emit nParticles Using a Texture 575

Surface Emission 575

Using Wind 580

Shading nParticles and Using Hardware Rendering to Create Flame Effects 583

Shading nParticles to Simulate Flames 583

Creating an nCache 586

Using the Hardware Render Buffer 587

nParticles and Fields 589

Using Multiple Emitters 590

Volume Axis Curve 593

Working with Force Fields 600

Painting Field Maps 602

Using Dynamic Fields 605

Rendering Particles with mental ray 609

The Bottom Line 612

Chapter 13 • Dynamic Effects 615

Creating nCloth Objects 615

Making a Polygon Mesh Dynamic 616

Applying nCloth Presets 619

Making Surfaces Sticky 621

Creating nConstraints 623

Making nCloth Objects Expand Using Pressure 627

Additional Techniques 629

Creating an nCache 629

Creating nCloth and nParticle Interactions 631

Creating an nParticle Goal 632

Controlling Collision Events 635

Bursting an Object Open Using Tearable nConstraints 637

Rigid Body Dynamics 639

Creating an Exploding Tower 639

Tuning the Rigid Body Simulation 641

Baking the Simulation 642

Crumbling Tower 644

Soft Body Dynamics 646

Creating Flying Debris Using nParticle Instancing 647

Adding nParticles to the Scene 647

Sending the Debris Flying Using a Field 650

Creating a More Convincing Explosion by Adjusting nParticle Mass 652

Instancing Geometry 653

Animating Instances Using nParticle Expressions 656

Randomizing Instance Index 656

Connecting Instance Size to nParticle Mass 660

Controlling the Rotation of nParticles 664

Bullet Physics 665

The Bottom Line 670

Chapter 14 • Hair and Clothing 671

Understanding XGen 671

Creating an XGen Description 672

Rendering an XGen Description 678

Animating Using Dynamic Curves 681

Using Dynamic Curves with IK Splines 682

Creating an IK Spline Handle from the Dynamic Curve 686

Using Forces 687

Adding Hair to a Character 688

Applying Hair to a Surface 689

Determining Hair Shape 692

Styling Hair 695

Start and Rest Positions 696

Painting Follicle Attributes 698

Modifying Curves 700

Curling, Noise, Sub Clumping, and Braids 701

Rendering Hair 701

Creating Clothing for Characters 702

Modeling Clothes for nCloth 703

Using Constraints 705

Connecting Buttons to the Shirt 710

Applying Forces 713

Painting nCloth Properties 713

The Bottom Line 717

Chapter 15 • Maya Fluids 719

Using Fluid Containers 719

Using 2D Containers 720

Adding an Emitter 721

Using Fields with Fluids 725

Using 3D Containers 728

Fluid Interactions 729

Emitting Fluids from a Surface 729

Making Flames 732

Igniting the Fuel 734

Filling Objects 736

Rendering Fluid Containers 742

Create Fluids and nParticle Interactions 744

Emitting Fluids from nParticles 744

Creating Flaming Trails 748

Creating Water Effects 750

Bifrost Liquid Simulation 750

Shading Bifrost Liquids 757

Creating an Ocean 761

The Bottom Line 764

Chapter 16 • Scene Management and Virtual Filmmaking 767

Organizing Complex Node Structures with Assets 767

Creating an Asset 768

Publishing Asset Attributes 772

Using the Asset Editor 773

Viewing Assets in the Node Editor 775

File References 775

Referencing a File 776

Bounding-Box Representations 778

Determining the Image Size and Film Speed of the Camera 780

Setting the Size and Resolution of the Image 780

Setting the Film Speed 782

Creating and Animating Cameras 782

Creating a Camera 783

Setting Camera Attributes 786

Limiting the Range of Renderable Objects with Clipping Planes 791

Composing the Shot Using the Film-Back Settings 793

Creating a Camera-Shake Effect 795

Using an Expression to Control Alpha Offset 798

Creating Custom Camera Rigs 801

Swivel Camera Rig 801

Swivel Camera Rig Asset 803

Applying Depth of Field and Motion Blur 806

Rendering Using Depth of Field 807

Creating a Rack Focus Rig 810

Adding Motion Blur to an Animation 814

Using Orthographic and Stereo Cameras 818

Orthographic Cameras 818

Stereo Cameras 819

Using the Camera Sequencer 821

The Bottom Line 825

Appendix A • The Bottom Line 827

Chapter 1: Working in Autodesk Maya 827

Chapter 2: Introduction to Animation 827

Chapter 3: Hard-Surface Modeling 829

Chapter 4: Organic Modeling 830

Chapter 5: Rigging and Muscle Systems 831

Chapter 6: Animation Techniques 832

Chapter 7: Lighting with mental ray 833

Chapter 8: mental ray Shading Techniques 834

Chapter 9: Texture Mapping 835

Chapter 10: Paint Effects 836

Chapter 11: Rendering for Compositing 838

Chapter 12: Introducing nParticles 839

Chapter 13: Dynamic Effects 840

Chapter 14: Hair and Clothing 841

Chapter 15: Maya Fluids 842

Chapter 16: Scene Management and Virtual Filmmaking 844

Appendix B • Autodesk Maya 2015 Certification 847

Index 851

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