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Maya Character Animation, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0782143287
ISBN-10: 0782143288
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

 "The best character animation book available."
—Ian Cairns, Editor, MAYA Association

This second edition of the popular Maya Character Animation is an in-depth, step-by-step guide to perfecting your modeling and animation skills. Abundantly illustrated tutorials teach you how to build life-like characters from the ground up, with detailed coverage of effective subdivision surface and polygon modeling techniques. You’ll master the intricacies of rigid and smooth character binding, discover the art of convincing facial expressions, and conquer post-modeling challenges ranging from character setup to non-linear animation editing to mapping and rendering. Benefit from this edition’s coverage of inverse and forward kinematics, 3D character animation for character modeling and character setup, and valuable info on rigging your characters.

Put your new skills to the test by completing a realistic project in which you plan, create, and refine your own short-piece animation. Throughout, you’ll find hundreds of full-color images that demonstrate what you can—and will—accomplish. You also get bonus coverage of Deep Paint 3D, the premier texture-painting program.

About the Author

Jae-jin Choi is a Director at ARC Studio, Inc., Senior Vice President at the Maya Professional Academy, and a lecturer in the Gachon Multimedia Graduate School.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; 2 edition (February 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0782143288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0782143287
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,458,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have found this to be a remarkable book which has helped me take my skills to another level. That said, if you're starting out, you will probably be overwhelmed and frustrated for awhile. It's less of a how-to book and more of a "looking over the shoulder of an expert" book. He illustrates how he does things and it's pretty much up to you to experiment with the concepts/techniques and adopt them as you see fit. Thousands of pictures and full color - very beautiful book. It also extensively covers areas like rigging and deep paint, which are difficult subjects to find books about, as well as modeling and animation. But, if you're just starting out in 3D, hold off until you have a solid foundation and good basic skills.
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Format: Paperback
If you're looking for something to introduce you Maya... this ain't it. It is however one of the most informative books I've found on building characters using NURBS and Subdiv modelling along with excellent sections on rigging and binding. The texturing section could use a little extra work, but for what this book does that's just niggling. Readers should be warned that the author's native tongue is probably not english, so there will be occasional phrasing that may read oddly. Great book for intermediate and advanced Maya users. Definitely not for the newbie.
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Format: Paperback
Look, I'm a fair-handed guy, so let me give this book an honest review.

The good to excellent:

First, the presentation is top notch. Over 850 pages of beautiful full color pages makes this book very easy on the eyes.

It comes with a CD that contains most tutorial items, which is also a plus.

And with that, the not so good.

I'm one of those aspiring MAYA guys who sits around all weekend learning this great program--I love it. So when I first tore into this book I was rife with hope. Honestly though, it's sort of a let down. For one, this book was authored by an incredibly talented person who simply doesn't speak English as a first language. The result is many passages that are just plain confusing.

Let me give an example. In one section Mr. Chio explains how to make a Reverse Foot. He adequately describes how to make the IK handles, but then this wonderfully confusing passages drops:

"Now make a new support joint and parent it to the support joints with the IK Handles. First of all, make the support joint in Side View as shown in Figure 7-6"

Huh? Anyone who has done this before knows this statement is like saying: "Lets make a peanut butter sandwich by getting some bread. Now lets make a peanut butter sandwich".

Examples of that caliber abound. There are also tons of spelling and usage errors, and coming from me, that's really saying something.

Hey, it's ok to be rough with your English, but when it comes in the form of an instructional book for one of the toughest programs around...well, you get the idea.

I also have a problem with the tutorial materials.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I wanted to learn how to animate a character, as the title suggests. However, the book is more of a general reference of how to model, rig, skin, and create a character rather than animate a character.

For example, it covers nothing about making a character move in a believable way, how to use the character controls effectively, or any suggestions on a good animation workflow (such as blocking in, then converting to spline keys).

At the end of reading it you will have a fully created and rigged character but still not know how to animate it. The book should have been entitled Maya Character Creation and Rigging instead.

That said, the material is very in-depth and nicely presented for what it does cover. The title's a bit misleading, that's all.
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Format: Paperback
I was about to buy the first edition of this book, until I heard about the impending second, which was literally just published in March 2004 (and the cover that Amazon.com shows is slightly incorrect; the sax player is replaced with another character, but, oddly, the background is exactly the same).
The major plus I have to give this book is the sheer fact that everything is in *color,* and it is neither too basic, nor too advanced. There are plenty of step-by-step tutorials for everything from modeling to animation.
I have only really scratched the surface of this book (after all, it was only recently published), and if you're savvy enough to have found this book here in Amazon.com (searching for "Maya Character Animation" only yields the first edition of this book; I clicked on the author's name to find the 2nd edition), I would certainly suggest picking it up. If you only buy one intermediate-to-advanced Maya 5 book, then I'd suggest this one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the past three years, I've accumulated a modest library of over 30 books and DVDs on Maya and 3D. Only two have risen to the level of "essential:" Maya Character Animation and Jeremy Birn's [Digital] Lighting & Rendering. I had some background using Maya before I bought this book, so I can't speak to it's appropriateness to complete newcomers. But for people who have the basic fundamentals down and want to improve their knowledge, I don't believe there's a single volume that will be more effective than Maya Character Animation.

Far too many training books and DVDs walk you through the steps for a particular project without spending enough time explaining what the actions your taking do. Jae-jin Choi explains every tool and command you're working with clearly before walking you through creating a character. It's easy to skip around, using the text as a reference, as well as reading it straight through.

While aimed at people who are fairly new to Maya/3D, Choi includes more advanced techniques in an accessible way. If you spent a year with this book and no others, you'd like come out much better than sampling a dozen different training resources.
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