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Game Character Development with Maya (New Riders Games) Paperback – 22 Nov 2004

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; Pap/Cdr edition (22 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073571438X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735714380
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 4.3 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,930,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

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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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
Background:

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.

Overview:

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.

Review:

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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Format: Paperback
As a starting Indie developer, getting quality content is a bit of a hassle and getting good characters is even more of a hassle. I figured the best way to get characters, seeing how many freelance modelers do anything BUT, was to do it myself. For this, however, I needed some guidance and after looking at many difffernt books at amazon I finally decided on this one as it sounded to be all inclusive.

I never expected the author to point out tasks in a per-vertex manner and explain every single step with incredible patience until so deep into the book that I have done the tasks so many times... heck... by the time he stopped spoon feeding me I didn't even realize it!!!

He starts out slow and works towards making you confident. He begins with the very basics (starting from what needs to be done BEFORE you start working) and ends up with the very last things you need to do... then he even goes so far as to give you the tools (for free, no less) to make half of the book meaningless except for reference.

He takes a newby to a professional, covering all the steps you need and then goes and does half of the work for you. What more can I say? Buy this book. You will NOT be disappointed!!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although being several years old, this book is just so comprehensive and easy to follow. The author writes really clearly and simply and always gives just the right amount of details, or shows the right screenshots for you to follow along. Mind you, the author assumes you already know your way around Maya/3D modelling, but all steps area very well described. The book describes Ward's techniques on polygon modelling based on reference images, UV texturing (from Photoshop to Maya), skinning and rigging (with face controllers and blend shapes) and briefly on biped animation as well.

For Maya 2010+ users, he often refers to the "Edit Polygon" menu which is now the "Edit Mesh" menu; the split polygon tool he uses throughout the modelling is the old one ("SplitPolygonTool" command from the MEL command line) and not the very buggy new, interactive one; there very few other menus that may have different naming now but for the greatest part everything is still well up to date. Plus the book comes with a CD with two great rigs and a ton of useful scripts. A really great package all in all. I think it really deserves a re-edition, ideally with an extra chapter on animation techniques maybe. Totally recommended.
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