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Maya Visual Effects the Innovator's Guide: Autodesk Pfficial Press Paperback – 17 May 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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

Product Description

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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A. White VINE VOICE on 15 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I knew that when I got this book that, as not being a Maya user, it would be beyond me to understand a lot of the language. Why did I get this then did you ask? Well I am a 3DS Max user with a bit of Cinema 4D thrown in and am interested in how other programmes function.

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.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is good, advanced and contains lots of nifty little tricks. But. This is quite a big but; I was left wondering whether this would better be described as a cookbook for creating certain effects rather than understanding the reasons/how for their creation.

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 :) .
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Coming from a background in CAD, product illustration, figurative art, and so on, I've played around with a huge number of graphics packages over the years. Maya, of course, is at the most creative and dynamic end of the world. I've done very little animation in recent years, and most of that with, ahem, 3D Studio Max.

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.
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By lovemurakami TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a very nice book packed with practical step-by-step guides, helpful illustrations and links to downloadable exercise files.

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.
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