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Game Character Development with Maya (New Riders Games) [Paperback]

Antony Ward
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 Nov 2004 073571438X 978-0735714380 1

If you thought Angelina Jolie was responsible for Lara Croft's curves, think again! Long before the Hollywood actress brought the Tomb Raider heroine to life, Alias' 3D modeling software Maya was used to create the lovely Lara; Ms. Jolie simply filled in her curves! When you're ready to start creating equally compelling characters of your own, you need this comprehensive volume! In these pages, gaming-industry veteran Antony Ward uses a combination of informative narrative, hands-on tutorials, and a slew of illustrations and screen shots to show you how to use Maya to address the most complex element of game creation-developing great characters! As you follow along, Antony uses the development of two diverse characters-a female figure and a fantastical character with outrageous proportions, wings, and a demon-like face-to demonstrate the techniques involved in modeling detailing, optimizing, texturing, rigging, binding, and animating characters with Maya. The companion CD includes lesson files, scripts, an automatic rigging tool, demo software, and more!

Product details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (22 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073571438X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735714380
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 18.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 821,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Since the days when stipple was king, Antony Ward has grown with the game development and computer graphics industries, adapting his skills to match its increasing thirst for polygons. During the past 17 years, Antony has led teams, developed workflows, and trained staff in some of today's leading game development studios, all while sharing new techniques as he did with his first book, Game Character Development with Maya and the eagerly anticipated sequel Game Character Development.

Product Description

About the Author

Antony Ward has worked in the games industry for almost 12 years, for Infogrames/Atari and Electronic Arts as well as some smaller, more independent companies. Antony began his career as an artist working on 2D titles, but has grown over the years to become a lead artist, lead animator, and lead technical artist.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read for Intermediate Maya Users 4 April 2005
Antony Ward's Game Character Development with Maya may prove to be a bit daunting for newbies but Intermediate Maya Users [or those who are familiar with the Maya interface] will enjoy going through the book that runs to nearly 800 pages and is crammed with details about modelling two characters, rigging and animating them for games while keeping an eye on the level of details. The text is clear and makes an easy read. It comes with a CD-ROM that contains the essential files plus Creature Tools for generating the skeleton and rigging effortlessly. The first character you have to model is the sexy Kila while the second one is Grae - a monster of sorts. Antony has included lots of images to accompany the text. Unfortunately there is a small glitch - some of the images are rather small in size and ... there are not many in colour. This is a bit of a let-down but I bet you won't find more than what is already there in a single volume. Hats off, Mr. Ward.
In all, Antony Ward's book is ideal if you are starting to model human beings among others and should find its place on the shelf of the Intermediate Maya User. The Author's website is worth visiting as it will give you a taste of what is there in the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the right balance 16 Mar 2007

I am a semi-professional programmer not an artist, and have read about 75% of Learning Maya 6 Foundation prior to reading this book.

Why I bought this book:

I felt if I was important to write code to make use of models that I understood the modelling process itself, I also though it would make a nice addition to my skill set to become a intermediate level modeller for both my career and my personal enjoyment.


This book assumes a knowledge of 3D principles, although not at the mathematical level, anyone wanting to work with 3D would be expected to understand the 3D space, it also expects some familiarity with Maya, although it does have an introductory section which is very brief, other than this, the book guides you through the entire character creation process.


For me the balance was just right, it didn't spend more than a few pages on details you would expect a reader to know, which is a problem with so many books, even those aimed at advanced users.

It began the first two chapters gently showing you the tools, but the thing I liked about this book was that once it showed you a tool, a task, and and example it gave you other tasks without showing you the tool again, for me this is great, its 700 pages are what the Learning Maya books would cover in about 3000+, for those that don't need their hand holding through a task and expect a chapter to cover more than 45 minutes of work this book is great.

It includes some aspects of storyboarding and character profiling at the beginning, some introductory aspects on muscle mapping, and it covers a very wide range of modelling tools and features for Maya 6.0 it really gets key information across and why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good in depth guide for Maya 1 Feb 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good in depth work with lots of detail for creating game content with Maya, however this is not a beginner's book.

The level of complexity ramps up quite quickly.

I would recommend this for Intermediate to Advanced Maya Users.
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