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Advanced Maya Texturing and Lighting

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Advanced Maya Texturing and Lighting [Paperback]

Lee Lanier
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Advanced Maya Texturing and Lighting Advanced Maya Texturing and Lighting 5.0 out of 5 stars (6)
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Book Description

September 19, 2006 047179404X 978-0471794042
* Written by an industry veteran who has used Maya in such films as Mortal Kombat and Shrek, this full-color book offers advanced, professional-level techniques for texturing and lighting for rendering 3D models in Maya * Begins with an introduction of various lighting concepts, then offers readers detailed explanations of Maya's numerous hidden features so they can achieve amazing results quickly * Features an unparalleled exploration of Maya's Hypershade, where animators create connections between shaders, texture maps, lights, cameras, and geometry * Provides a thorough look at rendering in Maya, including everything from batch rendering to global illumination workflow and HDRI techniques * The CD-ROM includes the Maya Personal Learning Edition, textures, tools, professional shaders, and more

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Valuable Techniques from an Industry Veteran

The art of texturing and lighting is a crucial aspect of any movie, game, or other animation project. Now you can learn the secrets of professional animators, mine powerful and often hidden features in Maya, and achieve amazing results with the detailed information you'll find in Advanced Maya Texturing and Lighting.

Written by an industry veteran whose texturing and lighting has been featured in such films as Mortal Kombat, Antz, Shrek, and many others, this in-depth book focuses on advanced techniques used in real-world production environments. You'll find out how to add complexity to your work with custom shaders, high-level texture mapping, a full understanding of lighting concepts, and an unparalleled exploration of Maya's Hypershade window. The book takes a detailed look at rendering in Maya, including everything from batch rendering to global illumination workflow and HDRI techniques. In gorgeous full color and full of tips, techniques, and workflow ideas straight from the studio, this valuable guide doesn't just teach, it shows you how to achieve the same dazzling and rapid results as the pros.

The enclosed CD features exclusive content, including two bonus chapters, Maya scene files, custom shading networks, textures, the Maya Personal Learning Edition, and files for the practical tutorials, which were designed from an industry perspective and refined in the classroom.

  • Understand lighting theory, history, application, and technique.
  • Painlessly raytrace with Maya Software and mental ray.
  • Get the most out of Maya shadows and post-process effects.
  • Master Global Illumination, Final Gather, mental ray shaders, HDRI, and normal mapping.

About the Author

Lee Lanier is a professional animator and teacher who has created digital special effects for such films as The Santa Clause and Mortal Kombat. He served as a senior animator in the Modeling and Lighting departments on Antz and Shrek and has produced and directed the animated short films Millennium Bug, Mirror, Day Off the Dead, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and 13 Ways to Die at Home. He has also taught advanced Maya classes at several schools, including the Art Institute of Las Vegas, where he designed the Media Arts & Animation curriculum. His work can be seen at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex (September 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047179404X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471794042
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,914,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Professionals August 12, 2007
I bought this manual to help me ugrade from Maya 7.0 to Maya 8.5 and it's become my most prized and relied upon resource. Every tutorial I've gone through has worked perfectly (no missing steps or errors so far), Mr. Lanier writes coherently & well, and each new topic is presented in a straightforward and matter-of-fact fashion.

As a professional Video Game Artist, I've reccommended this manual to our enitire company of 300, and will continue to do so to everyone else. In the past, decent documentation on the finer points of Maya has been elusive, but Mr. Lanier has saved us! I will be adding his other manuals to my library.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ! November 17, 2006
I've been reviewing several books on this topic, and this one's a winner! It's specific and useful and goes into great detail about nodes in Hypershade and how to use them that the manuals don't.

If you're serious about reaching an advanced level with your Maya rendering skills, then this book is for you. Just buy it now, and you can thank me later! In terms of lighting design and the esthetic side of things, I also like the book Digital Lighting and Rendering, 2nd Edition by the Pixar artist Jeremy Birn, I think the idea to buy both of these together is an unbeatable combination for any serious Maya user!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource, lots of good information January 3, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read a number of Maya books over the past few years. Most focus on basic-intermediate usage. Lanier's book is a great resource for learning advanced tips and theory, with many color pictures. This is the best book I've found about using Hypershade nodes to build professional materials.

I particularly liked that the included DVD contains Maya project files for every scenario pictured in the book (although most of the cool models are not included, just simple geometric primitives). These project files contain great setups comparing different lighting and rendering settings. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in learning intermediate-advanced Maya topics.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST book on the subject November 11, 2006
Every other book on the subject pales in comparison. This text accomplishes what many of us have been waiting for in both a textbook for advanced students and a guide for experienced users. The explanations are clear and thorough; the examples are useful and extremely well thought-out. This is an instant classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent technical book! June 20, 2008
By Veda P
This book is written for intermediate Maya artists and it begins by covering some basic skills. In addition to lighting and texturing it goes on to cover a lot of valuable techniques. Since textures and lighting require good rendering setups, the author explains raytracing, mental ray, global illumination and HDRI. Those subjects are covered in more detail in other books but the author goes a long way in introducing them. Overall, it's a great way to advance your skills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful book for the medium-level Maya user November 4, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had certain expectations when I chose this book and I found that it lived up to almost all expectations I had. This book gives you an overview of a large range of Maya's texturing and lighting utility nodes and it explains to the reader all their individual attributes. At the end of each chapter useful tips and tricks are explored in the form of step-by-step tutorials - from lighting to texturing and rendering techniques. One chapter is devoted entirely to Maya's lighs, another to only 2D texturing nodes, a third to 3D texturing nodes, and so on.
It is a good book for people who have already some experience in using Maya and want to broaden their knowledge.
That said the book contains 13 topical chapters plus a 14th chapter filled with "additional techniques". However, the last three chapters (12-14) can only be found as PDF files on the accompanying CD. The printed book itself finishes with chapter 11. The book could also do with an update to bring it in line with the extensive changes to Maya's UI since the release of version 8.5, but if you use your brain a little you can use Maya's online reference to help you locate menus that have been moved or renamed since this book was published.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I learned more from this book than I did in school!! September 18, 2006
I have a degree in media arts and animation and I studied many books and online tutorials for Maya. It soon became clear that those information sources would give you clues into learning new tools and techniques, but you had to decipher those clues on your own to determine the intention of the author.

Mr. Lanier provides his knowledge in an extremely clear and concise manner that leaves nothing to the imagination. The full color illustrations go above and beyond in clarifying complex concepts and procedures.

The supplemental material also covers the basic theories behind the art of lighting. That is something I didn't learn with my degree and something you may only learn if you are a film student. Animators need to understand the technique behind filmmaking and Mr. Lanier knows this.

I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in improving their skills in Lighting and Texturing. The concepts can easily be applied to other 3D programs.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Authority on Lighting and Texturing in Maya! September 13, 2006
Mr. Lanier has really put it all together. Finally someone has written a book about the intricacies inherent in this wonderfully powerful tool. His insight on textures, shading, lighting, and rendering are a boon to anyone hoping to harness the power of Maya. I would recommend this book to anyone who considers themself an intermediate-and-higher user of Maya.

Kudos to Mr. Lanier. Well done.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
it's good!!
Published 6 months ago by Hyungho Shin
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A useful book
Published 9 months ago by west wind
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It helped a lot
Published 14 months ago by Duane Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Thank you!
Published 17 months ago by Jose Y. Garcia
5.0 out of 5 stars Needed for Lighitng Class
I had to get this book for my lighting class using Maya - it contains a lot of useful information for those who don't know how to work lighting and texturing in Maya.
Published 21 months ago by Amber Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Great book for when you're a student, but as a vfx pro it's a glorified 3d magazine. Obviously dated from the time of publishing, but will give some insight to new emerging... Read more
Published on May 30, 2013 by Nicholas Daniels
4.0 out of 5 stars SOLID TEXT
I am reading this book and I am finding it easy to understand and follow. The teacher I had was very technical and I was a bit wary on how much I did grasp. Read more
Published on April 28, 2010 by C. Rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Product
The book i ordered came within just a few days of purchase. It was in excellent condition (as was described) and i couldn't find a better price anywhere. Thanks!
Published on November 20, 2009 by Christopher Knight
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Beginner or advanced
was very pleased and excited to see such a great new refreshing book on texturing. Great book for a beginner or advance maya user. Read more
Published on January 7, 2008 by Marie B. Huneycutt
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
This Book is just tells you EVERYTHING about the Lighting and the Texturing.... if you want to learn about that 2 things... Buy This Book NOW
Published on March 8, 2007 by Victor Eloy Niebla Camacho
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More About the Author

I'm a professional computer animator, visual effects artist, painter, and director based in Boulder City, Nevada. I've worked for Walt Disney Studios, PDI/DreamWorks, and numerous other production companies on over 70 features, shorts, music videos, trailers, and commercials.

For information on my latest book. "Advanced Maya Texturing and Lighting,3rd Edition" please visit: or

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