- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Sybex; 2nd Edition edition (17 May 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1118441605
- ISBN-13: 978-1118441602
- Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 2.2 x 25.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Maya Visual Effects the Innovator's Guide: Autodesk Pfficial Press Paperback – 17 May 2013
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From the Back Cover
Learn smart ways to make inspiration happen
When a director tells you to produce that next great visual effect, your job may depend on knowing fast, creative ways to get things done in Autodesk Maya. The new edition of this full–color guide is what you need to get more out of Maya and boost your professional creativity at the same time. As you work through a series of challenging projects, you′ll not only discover inspired solutions and helpful shortcuts, you′ll also gain valuable studio smarts from professional CG artist and author Eric Keller. The book also features mini lessons in MEL scripting from veteran Maya wizard Max Dayan to help you automate the setup of complex effects rigs. Written for Maya versions 2012, 2013, and 2014, this guide provides expertise to all Maya users wishing to up their game.
- Propel a rocket through the air using Maya Fluids
- Orchestrate a beautiful flowering cherry tree with nParticle collisions
- Choreograph a dynamic school of fish with a custom–built flocking simulator
- Use Paint Effects to create bursts of electric energy shooting sci–fi style through a cave
- Grow a beard of bees on a character′s face using nCloth and nParticles
- Use Maya′s nHair to create a swimming jellyfish with stinging tentacles
Rig Medusa′s snakey hair to react dynamically to flying bats
Use MEL scripting to create an animation rig for a magic stone path
Melt a highly detailed gun model using nCloth
About the Author
Eric Keller has been a professional visual effects artist since 1998, creating animations for feature films, commercials, motion graphics, and scientific visualizations. He also teaches at the world–renowned Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood. Eric has created animations and effects for Disney, Warner Brothers, ESPN, Harvard Medical School, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and CBS. He is the author of Mastering Autodesk Maya 2009 and 2011, the first edition of Maya Visual Effects, and three editions of Introducing ZBrush, all from Sybex.
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Top Customer Reviews
From my other 3D knowledge and from following a fair few tutorials over the years the wording and layout of this book is friendly and informative. If you have very limited experience with 3D (and indeed Maya) then this is not the book for you however and I'd put it aside until you've a more solid foundation as the book does assume quite a lot. For experienced Maya users though this is going to be perfect in you picking up new skills without being patronised.
The majority of the images in this book are clear, although it does fall into the trap of many books of it's type in asking you to refer to figures that are on the next page.
Whilst I can appreciate that this is not meant to be a beginners book, nor need it be, the issue remains that often the tutorials contained are exceptionally linear in their nature. Rather than working towards a single cohesive topic it instead spends 10-20 pages on each minor topic within a 60 page major topic. Therefore you find that this is more of an introductory approach to advanced methods, this is because whilst you may know how to do something from this book, you shall not truly understand the methodology behind it unless you delve much deeper. So this book really isn't instructional in that respect. Leave it on the desk for when you need that certain Texture/Particle/etc effect.
Let us for example take painting a picture of a house, you can learn how to paint a window, a brick, a rooftile, a door etc, then combine them into a house. The feeling that I got from completing a few of the chapters (I won't pretend to have completed every exercise) was that even the subchapters werent cumulative.
On the other hand, this approach has advantages, you can dip in and out where you want without a chapter having prerequisites (except for a basic understanding of creating a mesh, surface etc (it should be pointed out that this book isn't practically that complex - it just assumes familiarity with the program, particularly the scripting used is approachable for non-scripting people), perhaps another book shall follow which builds upon this, that would be cool :) .
Anyway, this book is friendly and informative, but certainly not for beginners. It dips into some of the real power of Maya, in a series of tutorials, backed up by additional downloadable content. It's a colourful book, and a real boon to your Maya armoury, even delving into such things as scripting. It's a good-looking book, let down here and there by poor page design. The page layouts are sometimes annoying, with text and pictures sometimes back-to-back on pages, but other than that, I have no complaints about its design or content.
Maya offers almost infinite creative possibilities, but that comes with a steep learning curve. You'll certainly need to have a firm understanding of Maya before taking on what's in this book. I say that because it assumes a lot of prior knowledge. Don't expect any beginners' handholding here; you'll get none of that, but then beginning is not what this book is about. As such, it stays close to its brief, and does exactly what it says on the cover.
As an only occasional Maya user, I found it tough going, but I expected that. To a professional user, or someone studying animation with Maya at degree level, I'd say this is a must-have book.
It's laid out in 8 chapters with 3 sections to each they cover texture, particle and joint rigging (for animation) for effects, also covered are creative blend shape techniques, paint effects, nCloth techniques (usually used for simulating the movement of clothing), fluid effects and nHair and fur effects (obviously for creating realistic hair/fur). The nCloth chapter alone shows you how to melt a complex gun model, trap 3D text in a spider web and animate a drop of water.
I knew I was probably... (make that definitely) 'punching over my weight' when I read the introduction: 'Who should buy this book'....'this is not a beginner Maya book'
I have made some attempt to get to grips with Maya and watched a lot of tutorials on-line over the years but this software is fiendishly clever and always has another trick (make that Menu, drop-down or Option) up it's complicated sleeve(s)! That said this book gives you step by step guidance to achieving these innovative effects and with perseverance, you will be able to get some astounding results. This is a friendly, well written guide and, for those with a decent understanding of Maya, a very helpful book that encourages the sort of 'thinking outside the box' innovation that makes for memorable 3D graphics and animation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This title requires you to have a good intermediate-level knowledge of Maya. It assumes you know how to use all the tools and functions and is unforgiving in that respect. Read morePublished on 21 Nov. 2013 by M. Smith
Warning: not for the layman.
I'm not an IT dullard; I work in the industry for a living and therefore feel I have a certain amount of aptitude. I was wrong. Read more
of your software, if you have used this software before this guide will help you get more from it . its full of ideas and downloadable options(links to the Sybex website for... Read morePublished on 20 Nov. 2013 by margesimpson
This book is aimed at Maya users who have a good basic knowledge of the software and are looking to expand their horizons. Read morePublished on 3 Nov. 2013 by Happyfamily