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Autodesk Maya 2015 Basics Guide

Published November 19, 2014
532 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-58503-917-3


Key Features

  • Designed for users completely new to 3D modeling and animation
  • Covers the fundamentals of Autodesk Maya using easy to follow steps
  • Includes video instruction with each book to make learning Maya clear and easy
  • Introduces you to the Maya interface, modeling, texturing, animating, visual effects and more
  • Advanced topics such as character rigging, skinning, animating with dynamics and MEL scripting are also introduced
  • Teaches you how to use Maya to create stunning 3D models, stills and animations like a pro

In Detail

Written by renowned author and 3D artist, Kelly L. Murdock, Autodesk Maya 2015 Basics Guide is designed to give new users a solid understanding of the fundamental skills needed to create beautiful 3D models and stunning animations with Autodesk Maya. Using clear and easy to follow instructions this book will guide you through learning all the major features of Maya. The text is complemented by accompanying video instruction that’s included with each book. Each chapter has a corresponding video tutorial that introduces you to the topics and allows you to watch and learn how functions are performed in a way that a text alone cannot do.

Autodesk Maya 2015 Basics Guide makes no assumptions about your previous experience with Autodesk Maya. It begins by helping you get comfortable with the user interface and navigating scenes before moving into modeling, texturing, lighting, animating, rendering and more. Additionally, more advanced features such as character rigging, skinning, animating with dynamics and MEL scripting are also introduced.

Each chapter begins by examining the concept behind each task, the goal and the necessary features that are involved. Then you go in-depth with the objective of your task as you study examples and learn the steps necessary to complete it. Working your way through the comprehensive, step-by-step lessons, you'll develop the confidence you need to create incredible renderings and animations using Autodesk Maya.

Who this book is for

This text was created specifically for users with no prior 3D modeling or animation experience. If you want to work in a creative field or are just curious about how 3D animated movies are made this book is the perfect way to get started. Users who are migrating from another 3D application or upgrading from a previous version of Maya will also benefit greatly from this text.

What you'll learn

  • How to create models using curves, NURBS, Polygons and more
  • How to assign materials and textures to make realistic-looking models
  • How to use Paint Effects to paint on and quickly create complex 3D Models
  • How to use lights, cameras, and depth of field to render captivating scenes
  • How to use keyframes, motion paths and the Graph Editor to create animations
  • How to use character rigging, skinning, and inverse kinematics to animate realistic movements
  • How to add influence objects, skin weights and hair to a character for a more realistic look
  • How to use dynamics to create fire, smoke, lightning, explosions, cloth and ocean effects
  • How to enable raytracing, motion blur, and fog effects for increased realism
  • How to render stills and animations using Maya Vector and Mental Ray for different looks
  • How to use the Command Line and MEL Scripting to work faster

About Autodesk Maya

Maya is a program, created by Autodesk, used to model, animate, and render 3D scenes. 3D scenes created with Maya have appeared in movies, television, advertisements, games, product visualizations, and on the Web. With Maya, you can create and animate your own 3D scenes and render them as still images or as animation sequences.

Author's Introduction to this Book

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Learning the Maya Interface
  3. Controlling the View Panel
  4. Working with Objects
  5. Drawing and Editing Curves
  6. Working with NURBS Surfaces
  7. Creating and Editing Polygon Objects
  8. Assigning Materials and Textures
  9. Adding Paint Effects
  10. Using Cameras and Lights
  11. Animating with Keyframes
  12. Working with Characters
  13. Animating with Dynamics
  14. Rendering a Scene
  15. Using MEL Scripting


Customers who want to learn Autodesk Maya and do not have a license to use the software may be eligible for a free three year trial license. For more information please visit Autodesk's Website.

Related categories:
Books > 3D Animation > Autodesk Maya > 2015