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Introducing Maya 6: 3D for Beginners Paperback – 13 Jul 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; Pap/Chrt/C edition (13 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0782143539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0782143539
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,731,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

"If you′re just beginning to dive into the world of 3D, this is the book for you."
–– Animation Magazine

Alias′ Academy Award winning Maya 3D animation and effects software leads the industry in technological innovation. Film and video artists, computer game developers, and design professionals rely on Maya to create brilliant digital imagery, animation, and visual effects. Now you can enter this exciting, imaginative world and learn to build, render, and animate your own digital characters and scenes.

Brought to you by Maya Press, a publishing partnership between Sybex and Alias, Introducing Maya 6: 3D for Beginners is the ideal initiation to 3D and Maya. Written explicitly for the Maya novice, the easy–to–grasp text offers a practical and fun approach to learning Maya s core features. Clear–cut, engaging lessons let you try out these features using working files provided on the CD. You ll also find an abundance of instructional and inspirational art on the CD and full–color insert.

Enter a New Dimension

  • Get a solid grasp of the core Maya and 3D
  • Learn to navigate the new Maya 6 interface
  • Experiment with Maya modeling
  • Explore the basics of NURBS, polygons, and subdivision surfaces
  • Discover the nuances of shading and texturing
  • Try your hand at animation
  • Get a feel for Maya lighting, rendering, and dynamics
  • Find out how to use Maya and Photoshop in unison

About the Author

Dariush Derakhshani is a senior CGI effects animator with Sight Effects in Venice, CA, working on award–winning national TV commercials. He has won the Bronze Plaque from the Columbus Film Festival and has shared honors from the AICP and London International Advertising Awards. He was a Supervising Technical Director for the South Park TV series, and also teaches Maya and animation at a variety of schools. He is a contributing author to Maya 5 Savvy and Maya: Secrets of the Pros.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Throughout this book you'll learn how to work with the tools and techniques that Maya software offers. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S Foster on 10 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
but unfortunately I cannot.
It is supposedly for beginners but I feel that the book's learning curve is way too steep and in some places almost vertical.
I feel that the author has made assumptions that the reader will be able to find the right commands in the maze of options.
He has fallen into the all to common trap of saying what to do but not how to do it.
I am sure this book would be useful to those people who already have some skills in 3d applications but this is most definitely NOT a book for beginners.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David Fullstone on 16 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
The book is good and easy to read and helps build up the basis you need to move into the more complex areas. My one disappointment is that all references to the key board and short cuts were for Windoze not Macintosh. This sort of thing is ok when you are dealing with basic programs where the text says control you know to use command but when the differences are insert on Windoze and fn + home on the Mac for pivot point manipulation (a key area in Maya) then learning can be a bit of a pain. Anyway if you are from a graphics background and want a cheap foundation book to get to grips then I'd recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A Must Have 15 Sept. 2004
By David Conlon - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am a graduate student at USC in the Animation Division and am a teaching assistant for s visual FX, and intermediate Maya class. I just started this semester using this book as a teaching aid for my students, and it was been 100x more helpful than any intro book Alias has put out. This book starts from the ground up, and gives a very clear and readable foundation on not only the digital image, but 3d in general. If anyone is serious about really learning Maya and 3d graphics, not just knowing where the buttons are, you need this book. Practical, informative, easy to understand, and is laid out in a logical fashion.

David Conlon

USC Cinema Television

Division of Animation and Digital Arts
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A good starting point 22 Nov. 2004
By G. Bush - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book seems to me to be a great starting point for a new Maya user. I had previously tried to go through the Foundation book and got lost many times. After several months I tried this book and was pleased with the clarity of the information presented. I was able to work through all the lessons without much difficultly and feel as though I have a much better understanding of the program and how it works. I read every word of the book though. I you just do the lessons and skip the introductions it would be difficult to learn anything. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. I use a Mac and did not have any trouble follwoing along (the only trick was pressing the "home" key instead of the insert key to switch to pivot mode)
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Excellent introduction to Maya as well as 3D 4 May 2005
By J. Hiemstra - Published on
Format: Paperback
I started modeling and learning 3D products 8 years ago, with now old and relatively simple Truespace and 3D Studio Max versions, and wanted to get a taste of Maya. I found that different 3D products offer different capabilities and that combining them can result in something new and original, and that some tasks are done easier in some than others. To get a head start I figured I'd get me a book. I have a pretty good experience with Sybex books (for IT exams) and noticed they have an entire series for Maya so I figured I'd start with this one (Introducing Maya 6, 3D for beginners).

The book is a fast-read, and it's complete. It shows you the basic techniques and features in Maya, but also how to apply them. Additionally, you'll get a rather complete introduction to 3D in general, preventing you from wasting time on basic lighting setups for example. I really like how this book shows you the practical side of modeling, texturing, animating, lighting, and rendering, and at the same time gives you a good idea of the real-world production process.

One of the modeling examples, the catapult, seems like a lot of work, but when you get this book, make sure you go through the entire tutorial. It shows you the common (at least for me) modeling technique and after you finish it, you `will' be able to create your own models.

As the title says, it's an introduction, it is for beginners. You will need to learn a lot more to get the most out of Maya, but it will definitely get you started in an efficient manner and give you a taste of Maya, and an appetite for more.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A good primer 28 Jan. 2005
By Adobe User - Published on
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be a useful Maya primer, combining both practical lessons with a broad explanation of some of the theory behind using one tool or method over another.

Note that this book is a very general introduction and does not go into any one area in particular depth (I recommend the other dedicated Alias publications for that).

There are a few errors and places where the author seems to have skipped a step but nothing drastic. Perhaps the biggest issue I have with this book is that the illustrations are black and white (actually, more grey and white). Whilst I understand that this keeps the cost down, given that the default Maya interface is largely grey'ish in colour, it can make figuring out what has been "selected" on an object, particularly vertices or CVs, a little difficult. Perhaps in future Sybex could place color illustrations on the accompanying DVD.

Overall a good book and one that has certainly whetted my appetite for some of the more advanced features, such as dynamics and particles. I recommened reading this before moving on to the specialist books on modelling, rigging etc.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A decent but difficult book 7 Oct. 2005
By Akm - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is an introduction to the 3D software Maya. The format was split between general discussion and step-by-step exercises. There is also a CD that included the exercise files and a copy of Maya Personal Learning Edition (PLE).

First of all, I did find the step-by-step exercises to be quite frustrating. The steps could have benefited from more detail or even a few more images. I just found myself getting lost to easily. Sometimes experimentation or trial and error were the only ways to get through a particular step. I did spot a few errors - most related to entering values. Sometimes depending on the view (or perspective) the required values would be different. As a beginner, minor errors made things even more difficult then they already were. Surprisingly, the book's use of grayscale images didn't create any problems except on a few occasions. Ultimately, it took me a lot longer to finish the exercises and the book than I would have wanted.

One of the reasons I got this book is that it included a copy of Maya PLE. But, the included version is only 5.0. Which is strange since the book is supposed to be an introduction to Maya 6. I couldn't get it to install anyways so I ended up just buying Maya PLE 6.0 from Alias.

With the problems aside you will still learn plenty just by reading through the material. I found the general discussion to be excellent. There was plenty of good information about the animation production process and great insight about each topic. I was surprised to find out that one of my favorite animated comedies was created with Maya.

Maya is a large and complicated program. The frustrating exercises just complicated things further. Especially since this is supposed to be an introduction to the topic. The exercises just needed to be a little clearer or more specific at times. The book may have been intended to be used with a formal class. In the end, and not without some struggles, I was still fairly introduced to Maya and 3D.
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