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Learning Autodesk Maya 2008, (Official Autodesk Training Guide, includes DVD): Foundation 1st Edition

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1897177426
ISBN-10: 1897177429
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


Learning Autodesk® Maya® 2008 / Foundation is your key to unlocking the power of Autodesk Maya software, directly from the creators of one of the world's most powerful 3D animation and effects softwa4re products. Get hands-on experience with the innovative tools and powerful techniques available in Autodesk Maya 2008 software through all new project-based lessons.

Learn key Maya tools and techniques while you model, animate, render and add dynamic effe4cts to your creations. Further, You'll gain a sense of the entire production process as you work on creating and animating characters from the Sony Pictures Animation feature film, Surf's Up. You'll even learn about compositing your characters into alternate environments in a bonus chapter on Autodesk® Combustion® software. Based entirely on easy-to-follow step-by-step lessons and including helpful demos on DVD, this book will help you develop your 3D skills.

With this book, you will:

  • Explore the Maya user interface (UI)
  • Learn to work in 3D space
  • Build characters & props with polygons
  • create organic structures with NURBS
  • Set keyframes & motion paths
  • Learn to use Trax non-linear animation
  • Apply forward & inverse kinematics
  • Deform surfaces
  • Set cameras & lights
  • Create & apply shaders and textures
  • Discover rendering techniques
  • Explore particles & dynamics
  • Begin to use MEL (Maya Embedded Language)

Bonus features included on DVD

  • Link to FREE trial version of autodesk® Combustion®
  • Autodesk® Maya® Reference Guides
  • Instructor-led podcasts presented by an Autodesk Certified Instructor

What you need to use this book

  • Autodesk® Maya® Complete 2008 or Maya® Personal Learning Edition software
  • DVD-ROM drive


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; 1 edition (September 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897177429
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897177426
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,769,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By R. McClellan on December 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
I just received this book 2 days ago from Amazon and I have to say I was totally blown away by the content.

The amount of detail in the book and the quality of the book is well done. There are 32 lessons that cover about 630 pages and 5 projects. The entire book is printed in vivid color on pages that are a bit thicker than most manual books, which will make them a bit harder to rip. Also with the book there is an included DVD that includes the projects and other bonuses such as podcasts from instructors telling you more about what to do.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Aelvin on June 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
The book is poorly written with grammatical and technical errors throughout. For example, uses "MMB" as a verb with no prior definition, which is not appropriate for a book advertised as a training manual for novice users (what's wrong with "press the middle mouse button"?). Freely mixes different names for the same object or operation, which makes it harder to understand the software and the book.

Contains an uneven mix of gesture emphasis with no conceptual explanation, and conceptual instruction without explanation of how to accomplish the task. Missing steps in several examples, and contains obvious copy & paste errors (which I assume are from some previous edition).

Lots of time spent developing the particular scene, which may be useful if you are planning to reproduce "Surf's Up", but very few explanations of what the tools you use actually do, and no systematic exploration of various settings. For example, you will often be told to set controls to particular values, with no indication of why, what that setting means, how to use it, or when else it might apply. This makes it very hard to generalize, which again hampers efforts to learn the software.

The book is probably twice as long as it needs to be, but contains about half of what it should. A simpler example, consistent terminology, and more logical flow would be a good start. For example, cover polygon, subdivision, NURBS modeling in one chunk, then move on to animation instead of throwing animation, rigging, IK, etc. in between polygon and NRUBS modeling; it will make it easier to understand the set of modeling tools if you don't try to interpose a whole new animation skill set in between.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kraken Yarrrr on August 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm a beginner using Maya so I bought this book because I like the project and the fact you could recreate a scene from Surf Up was very appealing to me.
The book is relatively easy to follow most of the time but the main issue is that it tells you to do this and this but with no explanation. It would have been nice to have the author explaining why we should uncheck this check box or not, why do we have to click on this button so I feel like I'm just following a tutorial and don't learn more about the functionalities of the soft.
Anyway I'm still glad that I bought it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By poikax on July 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
Maya strikes me as a program that is intensely difficult to learn if you don't already have an objective in mind. As a student of architecture in one of the few programs that encourages its use for design purposes I have found this book indispensable not only for its easy introduction to the virtually limitless Maya interface, but also for its excellent explanations of the three common 3D techniques available within (polygon, NURBS, and subD modeling). Although in general I had no use for the animation or effects chapters they did serve to give a glimpse into the overwhelming possibilities of the program.

The book is not for beginners per se, but if you have a working familiarity with a computer interface, a little 3D modeling under your belt and a reason to be lurking around in the machine then the book will provide a solid 'foundation', as its title suggests. If what you need is rather an 'introduction' then you might look elsewhere.
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