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Maya Springboard comes to an end

The Maya Springboard is over. We still have a week left before the semester is officially done but as far as classes go it is over. I am very glad I took the Springboard class before going in. For anyone who does not know Maya and is trying to decide which class to go in first I highly recommend the Springboard.  You may do just fine jumping into class1 but I think this will give you an edge for sure. While part of me still feels like I hardly know Maya I have to step back and think about what I HAVE learned.  I can't imagine going into class one not know what I have learned. Our peer buddy AnthonyTravieso has done a excellent job making sure we understand all the basics (plus more) needed to move forward.  One class down and six more to go!

Here is my latest Demo reel. They don't require you to make one in this class as nothing is really show reel worthy. In this case I wanted to show what we learned. Most of the assignments are not about quality animation. They are about leaning the user interface controls. What better way to learn it than to Animate. 

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Basic Animation Assignment 1

Week Five begins the first taste of why we are all here. Basic animation! The assignment this week was to just make a sphere move. Not to focus on the quality or motion but on how to use the actual controls for animating. I ended up Animating a snowman which is essentially 3 spheres stacked.  I thought I would keep it simple and have him sliding on ice.

I had a lot of fun finally being able to animate in Maya. It is a very complicated beast. Even working with the limited experience I can tell the amount of hours (maybe years) of thought that went into this programs user interface.


The Maya Learning Begins

Week Six arrived,  we finally had our first class. It was great meeting and seeing almost everybody in class. With all things tech a few students had some technical difficulties. Otherwise a smooth and fun class. We got to meet our teacher aka Peer Buddy Anthony Travieso. He is currently working on season 1 for the animated Speed Racer series. He is doing a great job and has put in some extra hours to help us learn Maya! After all the introductions we got on with the class...

Week Six was about making NURBS & polygons shapes. The assignment was to create these shapes and put them on a 3D shelf and matching an image provided by AM. It was a great exercise to get my chops at moving around in a 3d program. Having used Photoshop for many years helped and hindered at the same time. Some hot keys are the same while others are completely different. So often I would hit a key out of habit expecting one thing and see something completely different happen. All part of the learning curve.

Second part of week one was to create to a simple character using polygon primitives. Additionally we had to set up the hierarchy for the basic parent objects (i.e. upper arm, elbow, wrist,hips,legs).  It was the first insight to how a character is built and moved in Maya albeit primitive.

Week 8 was about building a set. Any type of set and place your character into it. I decided to do a late night show tv set. I called it the super late show. Was another great test at learning how to build and place shapes together. The second part of that week was to then add color to the set. Up until this point we just dealt with the basic default gray.  Also we learned how to place cameras on the set and their features. The camera is the angle from which the final shot will be seen from.

Next we learned how to place a jpg images and textures onto the shapes for our set. The second half of that week was inserting lighting and how to view a rendered version. 

I would like to end by mentioning that there are so many talented students in the classes who are great about sharing what they know. it is great to be here with everybody and able to feed off of one another. I know I am sounding like a bit of a cult here...but hey I am having a blast!


Maya Springboard

I am now in the third week of Maya Springboard class for Animation Mentor.  The first 5 weeks can be considered orientation and grace period to buy and get all supplies needed. Each week we have new access to some part of the site. First part was adding your profile informtion. Second week was to buy a webcam and test it out on the site. I ended up getting the Logitech 9000. A pretty sweet camera. Has all the bells and whistles. As well as the camera I finally purchased the tool of tools that will be used.  I have my Maya 8 Complete in the mail and on it's way. On top of that I ordered a book that is highly recommended by the AM crew called Learning Autodesk Maya 2008, Foundation .  Since I really have never used Maya I will need all the help I can get.

 This week we finally got assigned to a class and a Peer Buddy as they call them. They will be the ones teaching is Maya. I also got to meet fellow students  yesterday  while attending my first group Q&A.  I got to hear fellow studets ask questions about what is expected for the course. Seeing the school in action is very exciting for what is to come.  Week 6  though 12  is the portion of the class  for Maya training. Once that begins we will have two tasks to complete each week.