Maya Training

Introduction to Hard Surface Modeling

Maya Training

Interiors and Furniture Vol 1 & 2 - Modeling & Cloth

Maya Training

Shading, Lighting and Rendering the Bedroom in MR

Maya Training

Robot volume one - Modeling with animation in mind

Maya Training

Spach-Alspaugh House the complete courseware

Maya Training

Burt The Cartoon Dinosaur Vol 01 - Modeling

New Maya Training

Robot Volume 02 - Hybrid Rigging
You are here > Home > SimplyMaya Community Forums
Loading

Welcome to Simply Maya

Please Sign in or Sign up for an account

Member Login

Lost your password?

Not a member yet? Sign Up!

Old 01-01-2003, 08:53 AM   #1
silva
Subscriber
 
silva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 84
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Require guidance !

Hey there, I'm about as newbie as they come in the world of 3d & Maya I posted a while back about windows98 etc, well I have just upgraded to win2k and grabbed a copy of Maya PLE and am ready to get stuck in!

I'm taking computer science in uni and am really wanting to get into a field for a career using the PC, and seeing as I like to draw, and love cartoons, I thought I'd get stuck into this!

Anyways .... I'm looking for a bit of information and some recommendations. Firstly, the main area I want to get into and learn is animation, making characters and animating them , not really into the art/concept art side of things. What I would like to know is, being just new and starting out, is it wise to narrow down my focus so early, or should I start broad and try to learn as much about everything before I start (I realise Maya is so incredibly huge and theres so many areas of 3d design that can e used with it), or are books on animation etc sufficient enough to learn from and get a broad scope on the basics with? Get all that?

Also, because books on Maya (not to mention Maya itself!) are so expensive, could someone recommend one book, which will basically cover what I will need to know to start using Maya and set me on the right path, something which may be a bit pricy, but will be a really good investment in the long run, with tutorials etc and everything I'll need to know, will have to be aimed at a beginner level tho.

Phew, sorry about that, I tend to blabber on and write too much Any help or words of wisdom from you professionals would be much appreciated
silva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2003, 12:10 PM   #2
kal
SM Alumni
 
kal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Exeter, UK
Posts: 407
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

If youre set on becoming an character animator then go for it! its the hardest aspect of 3d but I think definatly the most reqarding, and you can always pick up the other bits (ie particles/advanced modelling) later on.

I'd recomend going through the tutorials that come with PLE just to get grounded on all the tools etc, check out the free tutorials available here and elsewhere on the net, and also get the following books:

Animation theory/reference:-
Animators Survival Toolkit (Richard Williams)
Cartoon Animation (Preston Blair)
Illusion Of Life (Frank Thomas / Ollie Johnson)

Maya specific:-
Learning Maya - Character Rigging and Animation (A|W)
and if your feeling rich - "integrating a creature rig within a production pipeline" (A|W DVD) for some very advanced rigging techniques by the mindblowingly brilliant Jason Schleifler.

I wouldnt bother bulking yourself down with loads of maya books - you'll end up wasting time learning things you dont need to know. imo it is a great idea to have one specific area of interest as the 3d scene seems to be filled with "jacks of all trades, masters of none" (myself included).
hope this is of some help, and welcome to the forum
kal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2003, 10:27 PM   #3
dannyngan
Registered User
 
dannyngan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,154
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

In addition to Kal's comments (all very solid, btw), I would recommend that you practice a lot. And I mean A LOT. Character animation, in general, is very hard and requires a great deal of dedication to be even moderately successful. It's also one of the most demanding areas of 3D. You have to know animation. That encompasses acting, timing, human/animal anatomy, understanding emotion and performance, scene composition, etc. You have to be very proficient with the software. It's very difficult to build good character rigs that make it easy to animate, and 3D animation requires a solid understanding of the internal workings of any particular 3D program.

With that said, character animation is a very rewarding field. There's something very exciting about bringing a character to life and creating a performance that affects people in some way. It's also nice knowing that there aren't a lot of good character animators out there. Kind of opens up the field a bit more.
__________________
Danny Ngan
Animator | Amaze Entertainment
my website | my blog | my job
dannyngan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2003, 11:07 PM   #4
silva
Subscriber
 
silva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 84
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

You make it sound very daunting lol !! I think I'll try and stick with it and work through some books this year and asses if I want to continue with it at the end of the year. Also, those books you listed, any ONE in particular a good book to start with? I don't really want to buy up the whole bookstore at this stage
silva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2003, 12:52 AM   #5
dannyngan
Registered User
 
dannyngan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,154
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

At first, it can be daunting. But, with practice and focus, it gets easier.

Of the books Kal listed, I'd say The Animator's Survival Kit is a must-have for any animator. I have two copies -- one desk copy and one for when I need to carry it with me. For something more 3D-specific, the Character Rigging book would be good.
__________________
Danny Ngan
Animator | Amaze Entertainment
my website | my blog | my job
dannyngan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2003, 02:04 AM   #6
silva
Subscriber
 
silva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 84
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Just another general question, with 3d animation, is drawing a big requirement? I mean actual artistic drawing/sketches of characters etc using pen & paper, because at current I am not exactly an artist and am pretty shocking at drawing anything. I just thought actually constructing it in the program would allow you to take time and tweak it as you build it, might make it a bit easier (once I get maya sussed), as opposed to drawing, but i'm guessing sketching it first would be a necessity?
silva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2003, 02:53 AM   #7
dannyngan
Registered User
 
dannyngan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,154
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

I don't think you need to a master illustrator or draftsman, but it does help to have at least some basic sketching skills. It comes in handy during planning and previsualization stages. It's faster to plan out a character design and rig on paper as opposed to futzing around in 3D. If you do all your work in Maya, for instance, it's too easy to get wrapped up in the technicality of things.
__________________
Danny Ngan
Animator | Amaze Entertainment
my website | my blog | my job
dannyngan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2003, 04:43 AM   #8
silva
Subscriber
 
silva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 84
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

rigging? see how much I have to learn

and I was checking out a few reviews of those books mentioned on Amazon... that first one by Richard Williams had some very good reviews, seems like a good book, but it also said it has absolute no computer generated images or any mention of anything to do with using a pc in it, all sketching, would it still be a good pickup for technicalities of animation?

Also that book by A/W on character rigging & animation doesnt seem suited for a beginner, from the reviews I read it assumes an intermediate/advanced knowledge of how to use Maya and some people mentioned it was rather confusing and had errors...

I was looking round for ebook's online today and came across a book called Learning Maya, i checked it out and began to work through it, it had a tiny introduction which didnt help explain much, but it has 4 projects which it helps you work through to get hands on experience, the first one is a bouncing ball, im about 1/2 way through and enjoying it, only problem is it looks like it was written for Maya version 1 or something, and I'm having trouble finding where some things are in this newer version, was this book ever rewritten for newer versions?

Sorry for asking so many questions, but its better to get all the easy questions out of the way now rather than starting up topic after topic.
silva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2003, 05:23 AM   #9
dannyngan
Registered User
 
dannyngan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,154
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

It's ok to ask questions. That's what these forums are for.

Rigging: building a skeleton and animation controls for a character (or anything else, for that matter). One of the hardest and most frustrating things to do in 3D. Somehow, I enjoy doing it for a living.

The Richard Williams book is geared specifically towards animation regardless of what the medium is. Good animation is good animation. Richard Williams refers to computer animation in his book, but his background is hand-drawing animation (he worked on Roger Rabbit). If you want to learn animation, get this book.

If you want to learn 3D computer animation, then the Inspired Series is really good. There are two books specifically geared towards character work: Inspired 3D Character Animation and Inspired 3D Character Setup. They're expensive books (retail USD $60 each), but they contain good information. The setup book gets advanced very quickly, but, as long as you've gone through the tutorials included with Maya and some free online ones, you'll be on your way to understanding the material.
__________________
Danny Ngan
Animator | Amaze Entertainment
my website | my blog | my job
dannyngan is offline   Reply With Quote

A little bit about who we are
Links you might find useful
Catch up with SimplyMaya
SimplyMaya specialises in Maya tutorials. We offer over 1,000 individual Maya training videos, ranging from basic Maya tutorials through to intermediate Maya tutorials. Our tutorials are created by instructors with industry experience and are designed to get you up and running in Maya quickly without making it seem like hard work.

Copyright © 1999-2015 SimplyMaya - vBulletin® Copyright © 2000-2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.