Instructional Maya Book
Do you know of a great instructional book that contains tutorials? I am teaching a beginning 3D animation course with Maya Unlimited 9. I have tried various books in the past but have had issues with it being too advanced for students. The book I am in search of is a beginners level type book. If you have any recommendations, I would appreciate it. Thanks.
I have had the same issue in the past. Over the last year and a half I have been using many different books in my classes but to be honest I haven't really found one that is adequate. There doesn't seem to be a good mix in the text books between the technical aspects and the theory behind them. A good source of information would be Digital Tutors, their material is usually quite good and they go into a lot of detail when describing what they are doing and what they are trying to accomplish. I have recently acquired a couple of other books, Maya for games and Advanced Materials and Lighting and Maya Hyper-Realistic Creature Creation. They are actually quite good at giving industry tips and the Advanced Materials and Lighting is predominately theory based with a lot of exercises. Might be worth checking them out. I hope this helps
I've been teaching myself Maya for about a month now and I bought Mastering Maya 8.5, Mastering Maya 2009, Introducing Maya 2009, and Advanced Maya Texturing and Lighting. I know Photoshop, After Effects, and Final Cut Pro inside and out. And I can tell you this, even armed with a lot of graphics knowledge going in to learning Maya, I have struggled from the get go. Partially because of the language and terms used in Maya to describe physically what's happening. It is not a program for the timid! However, all of these books have helped tremendously to get me up and running, but I sort of had to skip all over them all at the same time to get to where I needed to go. And I'm glad to say I am now comfortable with most aspects of this program.
I didn't have time to take a class so I fiddled with it for a long time and here's what I wish I would have had starting out.
A simple intro to creating models with simple geometry to start.
A simple intro to creating cameras and working with keyframing.
A simple intro to assigning textures to surfaces.
A simple intro to using the UV texture editor, and UV methods.
A simple intro to using the interface.
A simple intro to the render settings, both mental ray and maya.
A simple intro to assigning 2d and 3d bumps to objects.
A simple intro to creating/assigning shader in the hypershade.
A simple intro to particles, fluids and cloth.
Eventually, I got all of this information from the books from Maya, and that was the main reason I bought Maya was because of the excellent documentation from the Sybex/Maya Press. However, they use interactive material from a CD to teach lessons and I didn't find that I wanted to create the elements covered in their lessons. So I found lot's of great tutorials on you-tube and some other sites that helped me greatly as well.
Keep in mind that in order to not lose student interest, especially in the beginning course, short sweet and simple will go a lot further than trying to explain the entire program in a beginning course. I can tell you this, for the motivated student Maya is the ultimate program. I can't wait to get up in the morning and create stuff with this program now that I know the basics of how it works.
If you absolutely must have a textbook to base your course on I would probably opt for Introducing Maya 2009. It has a lot of the essential material a beginner needs to know. Hope that helps! Cheers. STU
I know alot....but not as much as the other guy.