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Maya 2 Character Animation (Inside)
by Nathan Vogel
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0735708665, Paperback)In Maya Character Animation, the technical details of creating believable and engaging characters, from modeling and texturing to adding bone structure and keyframes, are thoroughly explored.
Although Maya can be used for many kinds of 3-D animation, the tutorials in Maya Character Animation are designed for character work that will make your creations walk the walk and talk the talk. The book covers character animation rather than mechanical or effects animation, and the chapters that focus on modeling (chapters 4 through 6) use Maya's NURBS modeling tools. Texture mapping in chapter 7 is also described from the point of view of texturing organic shapes.
Part III covers setting up the character for animation, including skeletal hierarchies, creating keyframes for movement, and facial animation. The character used for these examples is a simply designed cartoon man--but the principles used can be applied to almost any character--and the example face used for facial animation is complex enough to describe the nuances of animating expressions.
While the entire book is lavishly illustrated and written with great attention to detail, the most valuable chapters are the first three, a full third of the book, and they have nothing to do specifically with Maya. Covering such fundamental issues as choosing the right story for the medium, designing characters for 3-D, aspects of storyboarding, and other preproduction issues, this section is invaluable to any budding animator looking to make a film that's more than just eye candy.
The use of Alias Wavefront's Maya for character animation, whether the character is a photorealistic digital stuntman or a three-legged Martian, is growing exponentially. Maya Character Animation clearly explains how to bring your virtual self to life in vivid computer-generated detail. --Mike Caputo
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:00 -0400)
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