Welcome to Introducing Autodesk Maya 2012 and the world of computer-generated imagery (CGI). Whether you’re new to 3D graphics or venturing into Autodesk’s powerhouse animation software from another 3D application, you’ll find this book a perfect primer. It introduces you to Maya and shows how you can work with Maya to create your art, whether it’s animated or static in design.
The first edition of this book was written out of the author’s desire for a solid, comprehensive, and yet open-ended teaching material about Maya for his classes. This book exposes you to all the facets of Maya by introducing and explaining its tools and functions to help you understand how Maya operates. In addition, you’ll find hands-on examples and tutorials that give you firsthand experience with the toolsets. Working through these will help you develop skills as well as knowledge. These tutorials expose you to various ways of accomplishing tasks with this intricate and comprehensive artistic tool.
Finally, this book explains workflow. You’ll learn not only how specific tasks are accomplished, but why—that is, how they fit into the larger process of producing 3D animation. By doing that, these chapters should give you the confidence to venture deeper into Maya’s feature set on your own or by using any of Maya’s other learning tools and books as a guide.
It can be frustrating to learn a powerful tool such as Maya, so it’s important to remember to pace yourself. The number-one complaint of readers of books like this is a sense that either the pace is too fast or the steps are too complicated or overwhelming. That’s a tough nut to crack, to be sure, and no two readers are the same. But this book offers you the chance to run things at your own pace. The exercises and steps may seem challenging at times, but keep in mind that the more you try—even the more you fail at some attempts—the more you’ll learn about how to operate Maya. Experience is the key to learning workflows in any software program, and with experience comes failure and aggravation. Nevertheless, try and try again, and you’ll see that further attempts will be easier and more fruitful.
Above all, this book aims to inspire you to use Maya as a creative tool to achieve and explore your own artistic vision.