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Inside Maya 5

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Inside Maya 5

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  • NEW - Completely updated to reflect Alias|Wavefront Maya 5.0s latest tools and enhancements.
    • Teaches students techniques they will be able to utilize for many years to come.

  • Start-to-finish animation project—Walks students through a complete book-length case study that covers every facet of the production process, from concept through delivery.
    • Enables students to understand the real-world challenges they will face regardless of the projects they are involved with or the roles they are expected to play.

  • Broad coverage of both technical and aesthetic issues—Shows how to use Maya 5.0 well, while also showing how to create visually compelling work with it.
    • Gives students deep insight into both the technical and creative issues associated with Maya animation.

  • Expert coverage of workflow and the Maya pipeline—Shows how Maya is integrated into the real-world animation organization.
    • Helps students understand Maya workflow so they can work more efficiently and participate more effectively in team development projects. .

  • Hundreds of tips and ideas for using Maya 5.0 more efficiently—Gives students practical, hard-won insights they would otherwise have to learn from real-world experience.
    • Shows students how to become effective with Maya far more quickly.

  • World class authors and contributors—Authors and contributors have extensive experience at the worlds leading animation and design organizations, including Pixar, ILM, frogdesign, and Apple Industrial Design Group.
    • Gives students state-of-the-art information that fully reflects the realities they will face in real animation projects, and helps them to do great—not merely adequatework.

  • Comprehensive coverage—Covers modeling, technical direction, particles, dynamics, character setup and rigging, shading, lighting, rendering, and more.
    • Helps students master all the Maya techniques they are likely to need.

  • Extensive coverage of MEL scripting by a leading expert—Offers expert guidance for customizing and automating Maya workflow and processes, from one of the worlds leading MEL script developers.
    • Empowers students to customize and automate Maya production in ways that many experienced Maya artists havent yet mastered.

  • CD-ROM contains all project files—Includes all content and source files used in the book-length sample project.
    • Gives students all the professional-quality files they need to build a complete animation project, from start to finish.


  • Copyright 2004
  • Edition: 1st
  • Premium Website
  • ISBN-10: 0-7357-1253-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7357-1253-9

Real-world solutions for real-world production environments!

Luis Cataldi, BlueSky Studios

Maya is a very powerful application. Before artists can create and share their ideas and visions, they must understand its complicated tools and learn to harness its power. Inside Maya 5 can help develop a functional understanding of Maya's many tools through solid examples and production-proven methods.

From the back cover

Are you familiar with the basic Maya tools? Can you complete most tasks with little or no reliance on the help files? Do your questions about Maya center on how to put all the pieces together and use the software in a production setting? If so, Inside Maya 5 is just what you want and need. Industry professionals who have worked for such houses as Digital Domain, ILM, PDI/DreamWorks, and Pixar provide insights into making great production decisions that take advantage of the power of Maya without compromising production quality - real-world solutions to real-world challenges!

You'll get coverage of:

  • Using Maya in the digital studio pipeline
  • MEL and the Maya API
  • Modeling techniques for NURBS, polygonal modeling, and subdivision surfaces
  • Modeling characters, sets, and props
  • Maya's node-based architecture
  • Particles and dynamics
  • Character animation and rigging
  • Lighting, shading and rendering
  • Bonus interviews with Scott Clark (Pixar) and Paul Thuriot (Tippett Studios)

The companion CD includes the source files you need to complete the exercises in each chapter.



Author Bio - 1.43 mb - 0735712530a.pdf


Related Article

Creating Props in Maya 4.5

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Rigging Characters for Animation in Maya

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter - 2.64 mb - Chapter 17 - Rigging Characters for Animation

Table of Contents


1. Using Maya Well.

What Maya Can Do. Maya's Development. Your Development. Summary.

2. Project Overview.

Beginnings. Plan B. The Killer B Plan. Summary.

3. Digital Studio Pipeline.

Preproduction. Production Setup. Production Flow. Summary.

4. Technical Considerations.

Getting Cozy. Commands. The User Interface. Viewing. Managing Files. Summary.

5. MEL.

What Is MEL? What Can MEL Do and How Is It Used? Maya's Embedded Language: Some Specific Essentials. The MEL Command Line and Script Editor. Summary.


6. Formats.

What's Not Available. Format: The Big Choices. Polygons. NURBS. Subdivision Surfaces. Surfacing Decisions. Other Modeling Possibilities. Summary.

7. Methods.

Set Your Sights. Plan Your Journey. Handle the Details. Handle the Ups and Downs. Summary.

8. Sets.

Roughing It In. Building Blocks. Building Buildings. Pass It On. Summary.

9. Props.

Basic Prop Guidelines. Simple Prop Models. The Car: A Complex Prop Model. Summary.

10. Characters.

Functional and Aesthetic Criteria. Additional Criteria. Creating Spot and The Jerk. Summary.


11. Layout.

What Is Layout? Visual Clarity. Summary.

12. Node-Based Architecture.

Transformations: Parent/Child Relationships. Objects, Shapes, and Components. Maya Node-Based Basics. Node Types. Non-DAG Nodes. Viewing the Maya Scene Graph and Node History. Connecting Attributes Between Nodes. Summary.

13. Making Advanced Connections.

Understanding Node Connections. Some Practical Uses for Constraints. Quick Review: Overlapping Action. Using History to Your Advantage: Modifying Geometry After It Is. Smooth-Skinned. Summary.

14. Particles and Dynamics.

Emission. Rendering. Summary.


15. Character Animation in Maya.

Maya Animation. First Steps: Planning Your Animation. The Principles of Animation. The Pose. Final Plan. Setting the Poses. Last Tips for Motion. Summary.

16. Character Setup Pipeline for Animation.

Five Golden Rules of Character Setup. The Character Setup Pipeline. Summary.

17. Rigging Characters for Animation.

Setting Up a Character for Animation. Creating Clean Joint Hierarchies for Animation. Rigging a Simple Quadruped Character: The Dog. Creating Advanced Bipedal Character Controls. Advanced Stretchy IK Legs and Classic Reverse Foot. Advanced IK Arms and Clavicular Triangle. Hooking Up the Head Skeletal Hierarchy. The Hair of the Jerk. Summary.

18. Shading.

Seeing the World in Shaders. Achieving a Look. Considerations before Shading. Shading Process and Tools. Creating Texture Maps. Projection Mapping. Summary.

19. Lighting.

The World in Lights. Defining GI, Radiosity, FG, IBL, and HDRI. Color Scripts. Summary.

20. Rendering.

Rendering Efficiently with Maya's Standard Renderer. Command-Line Rendering. Rendering with Mental Ray. Multipass Rendering. Render Farms. Preparing for Final Output. Summary.


Appendix A: Intermediate and Advanced MEL.

What Is a Script Node? Advanced MEL. Intro to the API: Writing a Deformer. Summary.




Errata for the book - Updated 01/08/04 - 25 kb - Errata2530.pdf

CD-ROM fixes

Missing Image Planes of the Jerk's car and of the Fire Hydrant - 515 kb - Posted 10/31/03 -

Submit Errata

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