Learning Maya 5: Character Rigging and Animation

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9781894893411: Learning Maya 5: Character Rigging and Animation

"...the best book out there for learning how to do MAYA rigging and animation."
--Ian Cairns, Editor, MAYA Association

Learning Maya 5: Character Rigging and Animation will teach you everything you need to achieve effective character set-up and animation in Maya. Learn what you need to become a true puppet master!

New for Maya 5!

Updated from the popular Learning Maya: Character Rigging and Animation, the book's latest edition will allow you to explore powerful new features in Maya 5 such as IK/FK Blending and Parent Constraints. We've also updated Melvin to a polygonal model from a NURBS path model to make him easier to manipulate. In addition, you'll take advantage of updated graphical selectors and controls that will make your rigs more customizable and easier for artists to work with.

Features:
This book will allow you to explore character rigging that is based on a human character - walking you through the process as you rig arms, legs, a face, and more. Learn the fundamentals of properly setting up a character to avoid pitfalls as you animate. Starting from an introductory level, this book covers advanced concepts in a comfortable format. Each topics is explored in both theory and practice so that you'll be able to complete easy-to-follow, step-by-step tutorials. In addition, you'll take advantage of valuable chapter-by-chapter overviews provided in QuickTime format on DVD-ROM. Offered by one of the book's authors, Bill Dwelly, an Alias|Wavefront(TM) Certified Instructor, these helpful movies will allow you to gain additional insight as you work through the book.

With this book you will:
* Create Skeleton Chains and edit Joint Orientation.
* Render particles with hardware graphics and software techniques.
* Set up Single Chain, Rotation Plane, and Spline IK Solvers.
* Use Set Driven Key to create powerful control systems.
* Use of both Forward and Inverse Kinematics.
* Simulated the deformation of clothing using Wire Deformers and Set Drivin Key.
* Drive Joint Rotation with a Blendshapte Slider to help consolidate you control windows.
* Understand the difference between Smooth and Rigid Binding.
* Use Pole Vector constraints as a fast and easy way of achieving realistic motion in arms and legs.
* Create a complex and subtle character deformations.

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Review:

It’s not hard to build a 3D character in a program like Maya and animate it; the hard part is doing it convincingly and easily, without the visual flaws that say "An amateur made this!" In Character Rigging and Animation, part of the "Learning Maya 5" series, you’ll follow the production of a short film featuring several characters, from initial modeling to animated scenes ready to render.

The authors pay close attention to detail, for it is in the details where characters come alive. It isn’t enough, for example, to model a hand with a multi-jointed skeletal structure. The hand joints in chapter 6 are designed to look like a real hand when flexing, even if the skeleton you build doesn’t quite look like the skeleton of a real human hand. This CG hand can flex and bend and form a "cup" with the fingers and palm without creating unnatural distortion in the hand geometry.

"Flexors", covered later in the book, illustrate another detail that gets added when building a 3D model. Flexors are used to help geometry avoid creasing when flexing at joints. Through a deft use of concise text and annotated graphics, we learn how to add and adjust flexors to jointed areas so that, for example, elbows don’t crease when bending. Other critical areas that are well covered include facial animation and lip sync, smooth skinning vs. rigid skinning, inverse kinematics vs. forward kinematics, influence objects, and others.

Building well-crafted characters ready for animation is not easily done, but there are no secret tricks involved either. It takes planning and patience, and Character Rigging and Animation shows just how to build characters capable of Oscar-winning performances. --Mike Caputo

About the Author:

This official book is authored by Alias Systems (formerly known as Alias Wavefront), the creators of Maya.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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