Maya Techniques: Hyper-Real Creature Creation

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9781897177044: Maya Techniques: Hyper-Real Creature Creation
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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

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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.

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

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