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Prerequisites to this program

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kat hayes
Prerequisites to this program
on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:15:21 am

I work at a school and we are considering developing an introductory Maya course. I know nothing about the program.

1. What prerequisites, if any, would someone with ZERO Maya experience need to take a introductory course? Some of the courses we have considered are Photoshop, Illustrator, screen writing, 2 dimensional hand drawing, Motion Graphics. Do you think these would be helpful?

2. What other types of courses, if any, would you recommend as prerequisites?

Thanks!!!!!!!



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Michiel Duvekot
Re: Prerequisites to this program
on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:15:08 am

I work at a school and we are considering developing an introductory Maya course. I know nothing about the program.

Might I suggest that actual knowledge of the the software and its use in production would make good prerequisites for teaching such a course?


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kat hayes
Re: Prerequisites to this program
on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:40:13 am

I am not teaching the course. I am trying to get the paperwork processed and jump through tons of hoops so we can hire someone to teach the course. That is how it works in the school system.

Thanks.



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Michiel Duvekot
Re: Prerequisites to this program
on Sep 9, 2010 at 2:17:45 am

You'll want to make sure your students are comfortable with using a computer. Some programming/scripting (Python) is very handy. If you teach adobe apps, it is useful to know Photoshop and After Effects.

Here's an example of a pretty well thought-out curriculum

http://animation.filmtv.ucla.edu/NewSite/WebPages/Curic.html

Michiel
http://www.thnkr.com


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kat hayes
Re: Prerequisites to this program
on Sep 9, 2010 at 4:20:10 am

How much programming takes place with using Maya? Is programming used just for rare occasions, or is it fairly common?

Can any other programming language besides Python be used?



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Michiel Duvekot
Re: Prerequisites to this program
on Sep 9, 2010 at 2:26:13 pm

There are a few languages that are used with Maya.

Maya has its own scripting language, MEL, that is used to create the UI and is need to write (animation) expressions. Character rigging and dynamics at a level beyond introductory require MEL scripting skills, for introductory level it could possibly be considered optional, but I think it's essential.

Python can do almost anything MEL can, with some exceptions, and gives access to the Maya API, which MEL doesn't. PyMEL is an open-source Python library that makes Maya's Python implementation more Pythonic and adds object-oriented aspects to Maya's Python. You can write (prototype) plugins in Python.

C++ gives access to the Maya API. mental ray shaders can be written in C or C++

HLSL and CgFX are used to write hardware shaders for use with Maya.

Qt is Maya's new UI framework.

Not directly used in Maya but very good to know is some shell scripting, sh, csh or bash.

I would suggest that for an introductory level course you limit yourself to MEL unless your students already know Python, in which case you can use Python instead and only need to cover MEL for expressions.

Michiel
http://www.thnkr.com


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Stuart Christensen
Re: Prerequisites to this program
on Sep 11, 2010 at 1:27:54 am

Hello Kat, Sometimes I like to weigh in on the whole educational aspect of the beginning Maya Classes. With all due respect to Michiel's advice, a begining course in Maya would hardly touch MEL or Python scripting. The first course, and even the second course would almost entirely be based on the fundamentals of using Maya and learning all that it can do and how it does what it does.

You could give me anyone motivated to learn Maya and I could have them up and running (in the simplest terms) in one week. Then, there are core fundamental concepts that follow to engage all of what Maya can do, but everyone has to start somewhere and Maya is perhaps one of the most complicated graphics programs on the planet. And, 3D production always has specialists that work within various disciplines within Maya.

So, if it's a beginning class in Maya at the High School or Junior College level, you will probably find a larger pool of well qualified instructors, as well as motivated students to take the course if you leave out MEL or Python programming because frankly it's just not needed in the first year of learning Maya. As a gauge, take a look at all my Maya tutorials I have posted on You-Tube (search Stuart Christensen deepfriedectoplasm)and you will find about 50 tutorial I have posted that cover the basics of using Maya in the "generalist" sense.

Maya is one of the greatest graphics tools on the planet for anyone who is learning the media arts, and no one should be scared off from learning Maya because MEL and Python programming are listed as pre-requisites for learning or teaching Maya at an introductory level.

There will be those students who never have more than an introductory course in Maya, but rest assured it will change the way they see the world in a super positive way. And! there will be those who go on to advanced coursework in Maya where certainly, MEL Python C and all that other programming stuff will come into play.

Just my two cents worth from a humble working digital multimedia artist. STU

I know alot....but not as much as the other guy.


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kat hayes
Re: Prerequisites to this program
on Sep 14, 2010 at 1:27:51 am

Thanks guys for your help!



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