Maya for 3D (x, y and z) graphics and animation

810:088 Topics in Computing: 3D Graphics in Maya - 9 MWF Fall 2008

Note: 810:088 and the MASI class - 810:022 - 2 MWF is part of UNI CS dept Certificate in Computer Applications program.

Spring 2009 810:023 Microcomputer Systems is also part of the program. 15+9 = 24 classes will involve Flash and Adobe After Effects.
The 810:023 class will have a strong graphics concepts and multimedia emphasis.

... Student Final Projects - 22 submitted so far.

... Who will be the 23rd to be done?

  1. Student Final Projects either rendered or screen captures if the rendering lighting doesn't do justice. These are very exciting, whatever original work or variations you are doing.
    ... By 10 p.m. Friday 12/19 (or by 5 p.m. Monday 12/22) ...

  2. Final Exam Study Guide is FINISHED.
    ... At 10 a.m. Wednesday 12/17 is the final. ...

  3. The Curtain Rises (or CURTAINS draw back) on your Last Project
    The Final Maya Assignment is open ended, but there are lots of ideas here for a specific task you can do for your final Maya assignment. It does NOT have to have curtains, but please email me what you are doing to get permission to not include the animated, swaying curtains if your project is better without them and challenging enough without them.

    Note about last assignment, in case you do not get your email.

  4. Bouncing Ball scenes. Dariush Derakhshani book pages 314-323. We did this in the Friday, April 5th lab. Study these pages carefully and practice the skills again on your own.

  5. Michael O'Rourke A Cartoon Ball Squashing is the tutorial that I meant to show the video for on Monday, December 1st. It will be covered in detail on Wednesday, 12/03/08.
    User ID: mayatuts
    Password: morourke

  6. Maya Dynamics: Michael O'Rourke RAIN tutorial.
    User ID: mayatuts
    Password: morourke

    See and hear also Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.
    See a very cool scene involving bikes and bulls and romance. The song is part of the soundtrack to the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

  7. Take-home QUIZ for Wednesday 12/03: Duplicating Curtains question, plus review/preview of this weeks class. Last assignment is not yet ready, but swaying, animated curtains will be part of it.

    VIP note: Take-home Q U I Z: Ghostbusters, Flash video and cue points, TAKE-HOME QUIZ, 810:023, etc. Email note.

  8. Skeletons, Joints, Hierarchies: Friday Character Rigging and Animation Studio IT 1 lab. 810:023 class and Adobe After Effects information.

  9. The new web page for 810:023 Microcomputer Systems class - 1 MWF Spring 2009 class. It will be a completely different class from what it was the last few spring semesters. Projects based, Adobe web and graphics and animation based class. Includes Adobe After Effects as a major component.

  10. Spring 2009 Maya along with review of majors and hometowns of Fall 2008 Maya students.

  11. Friday, Nov 14th - Swaying Curtains lab review: not ready yet...

  12. Nov 14th lab: Expression Editor with if and else and conditional expressions. Also, review of November 12 quiz question on scaleX and scaleY and scaleZ expression, along with time. How big is the Ball after the Time Slider reaches frame #120? If the frame rate is 24 fps?

  13. Chapter Nine: Character Rigging and Animation. Skeletons, Joints, Walk Cycles, Block Man example, Pick Walking a Hierarchy in Maya. November 17th, 2008. Quiz will cover pages 360 to 367. Read and practice those pages and these examples for 11/19 quiz.

  14. Spring 2009 Maya and 810:023 Microcomputer Systems class.

  15. Bouncing Ball is a Sine Wave and Maya MEL Expressions. Will be covered during week of November 10th.

  16. Maya Dynamics menu set: Soft and Rigid Bodies, Particles, and Fields - Two 3dbuzz videos to watch to review the Friday, November 7th StudioIT 1 lab class.

    More information on Active and Passive Bodies Dynamics with links to tutorials.

  17. 11/03/Monday: Review of MEL Expressions and interpolation between keyframes to calculate the attribute values. Note: "Compare this to interpolation" Purple Text is a hotspot, a link to the definition of interpolation.

  18. 11/03/Monday: Particle Fountain Dynamics menu set assignment. Due Monday, November 10th.

  19. Particle Special Effects and the particle emitter object. Dynamics menu set introduction.

  20. October 29th QUIZ Study Guide and Monday, October 27th review of Set Driven Key animation concepts.

  21. The Maya Sculpting egghead assignment #3 portfolio of works by students in the class can be seen here. 37 different JPEG files of Maya rendered scenes.

  22. Quiz #7 review: APS DR and Wedge Face and the Polygonal HAND Width Divisions, Height Divisions and Depth Divisions being as easy as X, Y, Z for W, H, D.

  23. Layers in Maya, the Outliner, Layer Editor and Channel Box video tutorials. Watch, write and win some new insights into Maya. Layers were introduced on Friday, October 17th in lab. QUIZ - October 22nd QUIZ on this Channels, Layers, Outliner material.

  24. ASSIGNMENT: Egghead, SpongeBob, Mr. Staypuft, Pumpkin Carving MAYA Assignment #3: Due date: Friday, October 24th.

  25. Preview of Friday, October 17th lab: Sculpting Pumpkins, Halloween Masks, Cartoon Characters or Aliens from imaginary worlds. Also, review of Ghostbusters movie Scott, Jennifer, Dr. Peter Venkman studies on "KNOWING and LEARNING ABILITY" scene. Can be somewhat shocking.

  26. Polygon Modeling Tutorial: Creating a Helmet using Image Planes and basic polygon mesh components like faces, edges, and vertices to shape it to the jpeg image. Friday, 10/10 Maya lab. Please review and read over this tutorial material by Monday 10/13. It went by fast in the lab.

  27. Wine Glass problem with Extrude: Faces, Helmets, Wine Glass modeling with Keep Faces Together. But how to select the faces and why selection preferences are VIP. Week #7 review.

  28. Tip about building the 2nd lamp to avoid some confusing problems that occur when working with NURBS Cubes (if you want a CUBE for the base of the 2nd lamp, use a Polygonal Cube, NOT a NURBS Cube).

  29. Maya student's LAMPS projects work: Lamps Assignments with various views of the shadows and the objects and the lamps.
    See 9 student lamp projects as of 9:15 p.m. Thursday evening.

  30. NEW: Baseball Bat and tutorial on creating a NURBS Surface by Revolving a Profile Curve 360 degrees around the X, Y or Z axis. (Wednesday, Oct 8th, 11:15 a.m.)

  31. Examples Two Lamps, Baseball Bats, Wine Glass and floor with one wall. See the TwoLamps1 thru TwoLamps7 JPEG examples. The FridayNightLights examples have two walls, but only one lamp.

  32. Setting Lighting for different Decay Rates (Linear, Quadratic, Cubic) and Intensity (Increase from default 1 to intensity 10 is typical with Linear Decay Rate). Point Light and Spot Light Attribute Editor snapshots.

  33. See 14 examples via Javascript written slideshow application. Lighting, Texturing, Lamps, Walls, Baseball bat, wine glass, suspended cones containing Spot Lights.

    Checkboard texture floor: Friday, October 3rd example from lab. Point and Spot Lights, without any decay setting. Uploaded to account. Note the URL.

  34. Wednesday, October 1st: Lights, Lamps, Rendering, Shadows project to light a scene that has a floor, two lamps, one wine glass and one baseball bat.

    PRACTICE EXERCISES for you to DO: Prerequisites and resources:

    1. Read and reread and take notes/draw pictures on the following: Luxo Lamp and Maya Lighting explanation and links. Consuming some INK will help you to thINK and understand the concepts. Then the process of doing the project will FLOW more smoothly and your ability with Maya will GROW more considerably. If the INK don't flow, the understanding don't grow. BICTION is very important during class and outside of class.
    2. Michael O'Rourke tutorial is linked to from this page: Class #14 review includes the User ID and Password needed to access the Luxo Lamp Hierarchy concepts tutorial.
    3. Video tutorial: Modeling a wineglass using Polygons should be followed to learn the techniques of Poly Mesh modeling in making your wineglass. You will probably enjoy the Aussie accent of the teacher.
    4. Here are some examples of what the Rendered assignment might look like:
    5. Further information about RENDERING. (CHECK BACK ON WEDNESDAY EVENING - October 1st).
    6. How to publish examples of your RENDERED work as JPEG files and upload the masterpiece to so I and your friends your give the URL too can look at itat:
          to see the scene from several different Tumbled, Tracked and Dollied
      perspectives and appreciate the colors and shadows and geometry.

  35. Wednesday, September 24: Snap to Grid, Snap to Curves (Hulls and Edges), Snap to Points (Vertices and CVs).

  36. Friday, September 26th Luxo Lamp and Wine Glass and Maya Lighting prelab preview and postlab review. Two online tutorials.
    VIP Note: NEW MATERIAL on Popup TOOLTIPS and on HULLS added on Friday at 11:02 a.m.

    Preview of lighting - 4 examples and of rendering modified scenes. The scene has the Luxo LAMP with a Spot Light and a Point Light above the Lamp to illuminate the lamp and the scene. Posted 9:45 p.m. Friday evening as the first Presidential debate finishes.

  1. Quiz #3 and Trains Assignment In Person grading of Maya Project.

    SUBMIT INSTRUCTIONS: Email your SCENE file as an Attachment by Friday at 7 p.m. --- SKIP THE IN PERSON GRADING until a later assignment/project.

  2. VIP: Maya Project #1: Train Polygon modeling, with a tiny bit of NURBS work for the Boiler Front Cap.

  3. Please, READ THE DIRECTIONS. You are to have 36 Cylinders instead of 20 Spheres for the BOLTS. That is a REQUIRED modification from the textbook.

  4. Here is the detailed description of the assignment with the careful description of the polygon primitive cylinders that you will use for the BOLTS and how many BOLTS (36) you will have revolving around the BOILER PLATES and the BOILER FRONT CAP. THIRTY-SIX Polygon Cylinders, NOT Twenty Spheres.

VIP: New review pages about Selection Modes and Selection Masks. H O C. The H and O and C icons are each HotSpots on an ImageMap. The Alt text (like tooltip) seems to only work in Internet Explorer and some versions of Mozilla Firefox. Note to Maya students: This page serves a dual purpose: It teaches Photoshop and Dreamweaver skills and workflow to 810:022 class.

Just in case you do not see the imagemap hotspots, here are the links to separate H and O and C pages. The hotspots should be obvious to Maya students, as they are the H and O and C icons on the Status Line screen shot.

  1. H: Selection by Hierarchy and Combinations. Groups and Parent/Child relationships between objects.

  2. O: Selection by Object Type.

  3. C: Selection by Component Type. Faces and vertices and hulls, oh my.

  1. Maya has been used in the production of just about every major film involving computer-generated effects since its release, including Star Wars Episode I, Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings, Stuart Little, etc.

    1. Here is a link to the top 100 grossing films of all time. What percentage of these contain significant computer generated 3D visual effects? How many movies from the TOP 20?

    2. Of course, you don't want to forget those commercials. Talking lizards that sell car insurance. Super bowl commercials in 2008.

    3. Engineering and CAD (Computer Assisted Design) using Maya: What percentage of things that you own began life as a virtual model? Not to mention bridges, boats, tractors, combines, airplanes and buildings!

  2. Every episode of VeggieTales after King George and the Ducky was animated using Maya. It is used in combination with CorelDRAW to animate the cartoon South Park.

  3. "Alias Software's Maya is well known as a cutting edge 3D application. Early in March of 2003, Alias Software won an Oscar for Scientific and Technical Achievement for the development of Maya. Among its many credits, Maya was used to create visual effects in several Oscar winning and nominated movies, including The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Spider-Man, and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. According to one of my sources, Maya is used for up to half of the available 3D work opportunities." Nathan Segal.

    1. The Maya Animation pipeline has seven stages. You will gain experience, develop skills and grasp the associated concepts associated with every one of these stages in the 9 a.m. MWF class as you learn the Maya 3D graphics software.

    2. Look at either the QuickTime Fall 2007 showcase or the YouTube example Animation from AnimationMentor school. The tool they use is Maya.

    3. Another fun animation of a dancing alien. (You Tube)

    4. The Maya Personal Learning Edition (PLE) is FREE and it does NOT have any time limit of 30 days or 6 months.

    5. Maya still life examples: Characters and Cars and random ideas and examples and more miscellaneous 3D Maya creations.

    6. Excerpt from Maya at a Glance Wiley book is a great introduction to Maya terms and user interface.