Maya Techniques: Hyper-real Creature Creation - The Industry Expert's Guide to Modeling, Texturing, and Rigging in Maya Paperback – 14 Mar 2006
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From the Back Cover
Hyper–Realistic Creature Creation
Step–by–step instructions combined with in–depth discussions of topics ranging from the importance of good topology to the subtlety of facial expressions, make Hyper–Realistic Creature Creation an excellent all–around resource for the modeling, texturing and rigging of characters.
—William Dwelly, Senior Software TD
Maya Techniques / Hyper–Realistic Creature Creation is you solution for creating convincing characters in Maya. Get hands–on experience with innovative tools and powerful industry–recognized techniques as you learn to model like a pro, set–up your skeleton in a fast and easy way and create realistic facial controls. This book will help you achieve hyper–real characters quickly and effectively.
Get the inside scoop on high–end production techniques from industry pros Erick Miller, Paul Thuriot, and Jeff Unay! Through Project–based lessons, follow Jeff Unay′s process for modeling the beast, Paul Thuriot′s workflow for rigging the beast′s body and Erick Miller′s tips and techniques on complex facial rigging for maximum flexibility. The book car5efully delineates the entire production process for the beast′s creation, so that you can both understand the individual techniques and how they relate to each other in a pipeline. You′ll also take advantage of helpful video demonstrations so you can watch the experts at work.
By examining the entire process, you will learn strategies for creating characters with an emphasis on anatomy and realism. Lessons are designed to cover effective workflows for devising models that can be easily manipulated and animated. The methods discussed in this book can be applied to any setup needs that you may have because you′ll learn the rigging process from the concept stage through to pipeline integration.
With this book you will:
- Be introduced to modeling theories
- Learn how to use powerful tools like the Soft Modification Tool and the Split Edge Ring Tool.
- Learn how to create custom hotkeys and marking menus
- Import image planes and block out a character
- Create an Adobe Photoshop network
- Use automation scripts
- Understand how to use a multiple rig workflow
- Lock, paint, mirror skin weights, and connect a bound rig to a control rig
- Create corrective blend shapes, and set–up cluster controls
- Learn how to create jaw, eye, and lip setups
- Discover concepts of a realistic skin shader
What you need to use this book
- Maya Complete 7 or Maya Personal Learning Edition
- DVD–ROM drive
- Video demonstrations of workflows & animation skills
- Artist Interviews
- MELTM Scripts
- Scene Files
- Support Files
About the Author
Erick Miller, Character Setup Supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks, has been a Maya user since its inception at version 1.0 Currently, Erick is finishing the all–CG Sony Pictures Animation feature, Surf′s Up. Prior to Surf′s Up, while at Imageworks, Erick did facial rigging for the all–CG Feature, Monster House, and also built a muscle and skin system for the visual effects feature Ghost Rider. The muscle and skin system ins currently being used in other upcoming feature films, including the all–CG medieval fantasy/adventure epic, Beowulf, directed by the acclaimed Academy Award–winning director, Robert Zemeckis. Before Sony Pictures Imageworks, Miller worked at Digital Domain where he contributed to several groundbreaking effects projects including a crowd animation and rendering system, and a plug–in pose space deformation system. he created the Maya crowd pipeline for The Day After Tomorrow and muscle based facial rigging for a photo–realistic Michael Jordan Superbowl commercial. He was also the Lead Character TD for a series of Disney 50th anniversary commercials, and with his team, created a full squash and stretch 3D cartoon character rigging pipeline. As a Lead Character TD for the feature film, I, Robot, Erick was responsible for the hero facial rigging of the fully CG, photo–realistic main character, "Sonny", in addition to much of the character based Maya pipeline, including the crowd system, and many scripts, plug–ins, and character based tools.
Jeff Unay is a passionate artist and Maya enthusiast. He most recent accepted a position as Character Modeling Supervisor with Electronic Arts, Vancouver. Most recently, Jeff completed work as a Senior Modeler with Weta Digital working on Peter Jackson′s remake of King Kong. Specializing in character./creature creation, his work can be found on film, television, and in video games. For his work in this book, the creation of the beast, he looked to his favorite artists and sculptors as well as nature for his inspiration. "We studied many different animals during the conceptualization stage of the new beast and really wanted to focus on capturing some of the intricate facial motion of the animals, mainly in the areas of the face where the skin reacts to the contracting, stretching and relaxing of the muscles. Those details in mind influenced the new look of the beast," he says. For example, the beast now has specific wrinkles on its muzzle, and we wanted those wrinkles to move in a way that would give the illusion of an underlying muscle, fat and skull structure existing for the wrinkles to travel over. It was a lot of fun playing around with that."
"When I say creating the illusion of realism, what I mean is, when you′re doing this stuff don′t go for truly real. If you try and hit realism you′ll never get it, it just won′t happen. Take a couple of steps back, look at what you′re doing. It′s just like a painting – when you try and paint naturally, it′s better to just express yourself in it as well," says Paul Thuriot, Associate CG Supervisor at Electronic Arts (EA). Thuriot should know—he holds a B.A. in drawing and painting and a Master degree in computer animation. His artistic and technical expertise has been brought to bear on several complex projects. Before joining EA, he was the Puppet/Creature Supervisor at Tippett Studio where he contributed to the award–winning blockbuster "Carl & Ray" commercials, Blade 2, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Hellboy.
Top Customer Reviews
However this is oldschool modeling and you don't always get to model some generic male superhero looking character. Advanced poly modeling will always require your knowledge of how to create good structured polys, where to place loops, flow etc. This book has the basics that will hold you in good stead.
So this is a good suppliment to your library of books, but as a standalone learning resource I would suggest not, use this in conjunction with DVDs and other books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book is written presupposing some knowledge of the program and surrounding concepts. When I first began teaching myself Maya, a friend had shown me this book-at the time, I was utterly lost trying to follow it. However, within a month or two my knowledge was sufficient for this book to begin making sense to me.
If you have never used maya and are trying to learn, hold off for a while before buying this. If you are an intermediate level user (confident + comfortable with basic concepts, and a general understanding of most major areas) interested in learning more about professional modeling and rigging techniques, this is for you. A great aspect of this book is the fact that the DVD provides scene files in different stages of tutorial completion, which allows the user to check their work against a "solution," or examine concepts and workflow in greater detail.
This book is extremely helpful for anyone seeking insight into the professional CG world and the workflows and processes thereof.
Thoroughly Enjoyed it!
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