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Maya Techniques: Hyper-real Creature Creation - The Industry Expert's Guide to Modeling, Texturing, and Rigging in Maya Paperback – 14 Mar 2006

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Pap/DVD edition (14 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897177046
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897177044
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.4 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

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

Bonus Features

  • 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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
if you're getting into character annimation- a brillient book. very technical- but if u use the Maya software it will show u how to do it. comes with a CD too. so it's a bonus. takes time an effort. so i would say I recommend this to someone who is really keen on getting into chracter modelling. Really good book
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this a while back and recently picked it up again to peruse. It's a little dated now and I don't think anyone follows the same pipeline anymore, certainly not in production, and with the advent of 3D scultpting packages...

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great guide for the competent user 19 Nov. 2006
By S. Nystrom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is among my favorites of Maya reference books. Admittedly, I was not at an appropriate level of knowledge when I first bought it; however, once my understanding was sufficient, I was incredibly pleased with it. I this book is NOT for absolute beginners. It does not hold your hand and tell you how to do every little thing; if this is what your looking for, I would recommend a more basic intro level book. In terms of techniques, it fills in many of the gaps left by other Alias publications, and is certainly a far cry above Autodesk's lackluster publications.

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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift idea for students 9 Jan. 2015
By M&M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this as a gift for a college student, and she loved it. This book was used in schools all over Europe. I think it's worth the money and something Maya software users should have on their bookshelf; especially if they are students.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book for ADVANCED users! 13 Nov. 2006
By E. C. Arrington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This an amazing reference for advanced digital sculptors, but it just covers far too much inside information and techniques from the edge to really go into step by step detail. The sticky lips techniques are priceless and came at the right time for me. Again, if you don't have atleast 2 years experience using Maya hold on to this book until you do OR get one of the fundamentals books or delve into the numerous instructional DVDs that are available. Once you are very familiar with the Maya interface conventions and have atleast intermediate knowledge Poly modeling characters and character rigging this book will pay major dividends.
5.0 out of 5 stars Always benificial to have this series 6 Mar. 2014
By Dougals Siclari - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the maya series. As a computer animator and a multimedia artist, I am constantly ensuring that I have material at hand to help enhance my skills. This is an asset that I will use for years to come.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Resource 3 July 2006
By Michael J. Russell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a terrific resource for those who want to refine their skill set. It provides information on the structure of proper topology for your characters right up to rigging and animation. For those who want a detailed book on modelling a character. . .this is not it. This book assumes that you have advanced modelling skills and does not provide step by step instructions. It would be an extremely awesome book if it did.

Thoroughly Enjoyed it!
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