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Learning Maya 7: Foundation Paperback – 16 Sep 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 654 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; 2Rev Ed edition (16 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894893743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894893749
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 3.2 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,146,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

This exceptional, full–color Maya Press title   produced by Alias, the software′s creators   is a comprehensive mid–cycle revision that uses the award–winning short film Blue as the basis for the book′s all–new hands–on tutorials. Artists, students, educators, and hobbyists will appreciate this book′s comprehensible coverage of 3D and Maya basics. Project–focused lessons use actual production files from the film Blue to teach you most of the tools available in Maya Complete. The companion DVD includes instructor–led tutorials, scene files, artist interviews, and Maya PLE. Also includes Alias′s Sketchbook Pro Version 1.1.1, $129.99 value.

About the Author

This official book is written by Alias, the creators of Maya.

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best tutorial books that I have used with any product before. Not only does the author provide an award winning animated short film on the included DVD to inspire you, the book takes you through 5 interesting step by step projects to recreate the sets and characters from the film. The book covers all the basics and more and also includes introductionary movie clips for almost every chapter. The tutorials are interesting, getting progressively challenging as the more complex features are explored. You also get a copy of Sketchbook Pro 1.1 included, although not the latest version, functional all the same and the final chapter goes into transfering your storyboard sketches from Sketchbook Pro to Maya to use as a modelling guide.
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By carter83 on 15 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was for a student learning maya at uni
The student has used the step by step instructions
They ha e surpassed what the uni was teaching them
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 36 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The Learning Maya Overhaul is Complete . . . . 8 Nov. 2005
By N. Tisa-Leonard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
From the days of Maya 1 all the way to 6.5, Alias has used basically the same tutorials every single time: Bouncing Ball, Jack-in-the-Box, Space Battle, Primitive Man, and Salty the Seal have been included in every foundation book, and while there will always be a special place for ol' Salty, a change was much needed. In this series, we finally get everything we wanted.

The entire Foundation book is based on the short film Blue, which means that you learn step by step how to create a very basic and simplified scene from the movie (including Blue himself, which I thought was pretty cool to say the least). All the basics are covered just as well as in the previous Foundation books, from Polygons to NURBS to dynamics and animation to MEL, all important topics are covered in detail. What makes this book stand out is how it will tell you step by step how to do something once, then cut you loose and let you experience it all by yourself, which is an excellent way to understand the material.

Finally, the icing on the cake, the extras. Not only does the CD contain videos of the more important lessons demonstrated plus all the saved completed projects and images, it comes with:

*Alias Sketchbook Pro (yes you have it forever, not a trial)

*The Short Film Blue and interview with the creator

*Extra lessons in both Sketchbook and basic texturing in Adobe Photoshop (or whatever paint program you have).

If you have get this book, then there is nothing to do but to go out and buy a tablet and stylus also. The basics of Sketchbook are taught in the very last chaper, something that is a must for storyboarding and sketching ideas, plus how to make your own textures and incorporate them back into Maya (something that was sorely lacking in previous books). If you are serious about taking on the beast that is Maya, then this book is a huge step in the right direction, you will come out with a thorough understanding of the basics of Maya, plus other tools to get you started making your own projects. This is a must have.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Alias has stepped up to bat with this one! 12 Nov. 2005
By S. S. Fleet - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Finally, a good way to learn Maya at home. I think this is a great book for many reasons. Though not for everyone, I will try and elaborate on my experiences with the book, and my perspective on how to best use it.

First off, a bit about where I come from, so you can gauge how useful this review will be: I am a former graphic designer turned filmmaker (and film graduate student) whose main strengths lie in programs like photoshop, flash, illustrator, etc. I do some VFX work in After Effects and Shake as well. I am fairly knowledgeable, good with computers, and a pretty quick learner. I am, by no means, however, a math wiz or 3d guru.

I've finished the first Unit of the book, and skimmed the rest of the book. I'd say I have a fairly strong understanding of most of the topics covered by this book.

So about a year ago I decided I wanted to learn Maya. First I got the Peachpit Press Visual Quick Start guide for Maya. This was a cute little intro to about 1% of the vastness of the Maya universe. Wanting to step it up, I got "Maya 6: The complete reference." Wow, what a painful experience that was. Unfortunately, while it's quite detailed, it's also quite un-proofread. Many of the examples are convoluted and flat our wrong... so now I am on to Learning Maya 7: Foundation.

First good point: Through line. As mentioned in other reviews, for most of the chapters, this book works you through creating a scene from an animated movie (which is also included on the disk). This allows you to explore basics, modeling, texturing, animation, and Rigging (quite some detail on rigging). These are the main focuses of this book. There are some other chapters on the Trax Editor, using sketchbook, etc. But the gist is, go through this book and you will be able to model, texture, and animate. The best thing is, working through one scene, you really feel a sense of accomplishment, like you are using all of the different elements of Maya together in harmony. It's so easy to get discouraged and just quit, but this through line approach really gives you more self-confidence.

Second good point: Clarity. This may be debatable. Some people want a vivid personality, some comedian to write funny lines and keep them awake with humor. I personally, like technical books to get to the point. And that's what this book does. The writing is clear, concise, not unfriendly or overwritten. You get stuff done! If you feel like you're doing too much too fast, you can always do it again. But very seldom do you stop and scratch your head going, "huh?" The book has a very clear way of explaining what's important and not important. It also focuses on training you to use hotkeys and hot boxes as much as possible.

In saying that, I did note a few typos in the book. For example, they refer to the Macintosh location of the Maya Documents folder incorrectly. Also, sometimes they tell you to go to a menu and you have to look around for which specific menu that is. Nevertheless, these errors are few and far between.

My last point relates to you, the user. If you are new to the world of computer design and animation altogether, then I think this book may not be for you. In fact, learning Maya may not be the best approach. I used to teach a graphic design class and I always started with Photoshop. I think that's the quintessential design core. There are a lot of concepts, both technical and artistic, that should be covered before even getting into Maya if you really want to use it for all it is worth. For example, a knowledge of film lighting will greatly GREATLY help you light your scenes dramatically. A knowledge of vector vs raster imagery will help you understand the differences between hardware and software rendering. And so on. So please, don't get ahead of yourself. This book is the foundation of Maya, not the foundation of computers.

Ok, that being said, this book is fantastic. I just wish I had more time right now so I could dive into it for a week.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Best Maya Book Ever made for beginners/ 2 Thumbs UP 25 Jan. 2006
By MBK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Truly a great beginner book!

Marc (Primary Author) Has really stepped out into the minds of beginner Maya learners.I have purchased many Maya books with hopes of at least picking up the concept of learning Maya. However all these books expect you to already know and have an understanding of Maya.

The downside of many other books is they give you the intrustions how to make your art in maya but they don't explain the complex functions,defintions,terminology and all the shortcuts to the functions in Maya.

If most teachers and book editors of Maya would understand that beginners do not know the short cuts. So when they instruct you to do a function and if you don't know how to get to that function, learning Maya become a very fustrating and makes you want to quit.I think this is the number one factor for people who fail to learn Maya and many other complex software applications.

Alot of teachers don't teach you to use the visual functions rather they use short cut terminology. So for a beginner your lost. Maya is filled with complex menus and if you can't figure how to get to them, a Maya project can never be made.So if your learning Maya for the first time and your reading a book that doesn't show you how to get to certain menu function, then your chances of learning Maya becomes pointless and waste of time. Even if you have a detailed book full of the short cuts and terminology, deciding how to use them and where to use them becomes a big scrammbles nightmere.

I felt like my brain had a computer virus in it.

The formula of working on a project step by step while instructing you in detail how to find all the keyboard functions and terminology is a winning combination.

Learning Maya 7 takes you through hands on learning. Its almost like being in a class room. You work your way through each project which is designed to help you learn each function of Maya. By the time you finish the book and its projects not only will you have a detailed project but you will also have a detailed understanding of Maya.When done with Learning Maya 7, you will be ready and equipped to go on to many other Advanced Alias and third party learnng Books with ease.

I am a visual learner so by reading instructional books , things go in ear and out the other. However with this book it explaines Maya by making you work through each lesson.

This book has allowed me to get a grip on Maya and learn what was impossible for me.

My eyes launcehd wide open when 3D sprang into film and my desire to learn became a passion. I tried Gnomon videos and many other Maya books but it wasn't until Learning Maya 7 helped me go where I could learn before.

Thanks a Bunch for a great Book Alias. If I can do it anyone can do it. Don't give up trying because usually it's the teaching method that makes the difference.If you have the passion then thats 99% of what you need the other 1% is the right teaching material that suits your learning style. Not everone learns the same way. Learning Maya 7 is designed for all those visual and hands on learners! So finally with this easy to use book has turned Maya 7 from Rocket Science to 8th grade learning material. If you can pass the 8th grade, you can learn Maya.

I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to learn Maya and has has difficulty with other training materials. This book will not disappoint you and will only excel.

This is also a great book to go over before entering any college or technical school for learning 3D. This book will launch you and give you ahead start on your studies. However in my opionion and many other artist I have talked to, if you don't need the degree (which in CGI a protfolio is more important than a degree) save the $80,000 and learn it on your own. This book has opened the door for me to get into deeper Alias books for deeper learning and advancement. Without it I was a lost soul, no joking!!!

It also comes with a DVD with Alias Sketchbook valued at $200.00 which has been a real time saver in my art work.So how can you go wrong. Plus the DVD is loaded with all the project files and a finished mini movie of the project Blue which is taught through each lesson in the book.

2 THUMBS UP ALIAS---> Thanks for your best learning book ever
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
WONDERFUL INTRODUCTION TO MAYA!! 4 April 2006
By GQ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's pretty great for beginners, but if you have NEVER used a 3-D package before, I suggest doing the INTRODUCING MAYA 7: FOR BEGINNERS first. I also suggest using the previous FOUNDATION BOOKS which include Salty the Seal and the spaceship battle since they teach things that aren't in this book. (As you can see, I'm a firm believer in grasping this program.)

As for ALIAS SKETCHBOOK PRO, yes it's free. Granted, I figured it out after two months, but I got it!

1.Just open the "START HERE" link in the LEARNING MAYA FOLDER.
2.Click on the "ALIAS SKECTHBOOK PRO" link and copy and paste the serial number that they provide.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The only real how-to manual you'll need to learn Maya effectively 6 Dec. 2005
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Learning Maya 7/Foundation is the only real how-to manual you'll need to learn Maya effectively: it covers all the key techniques Maya holds and uses real-life project-based lessons as the teaching model, making it easy to take on step-by-step projects which can easily apply to one's own. Chapters move quickly into advanced functions, and Maya owners will be pleased at the progress and the sense of production gained from working on the sample project robot Blue.
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