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!

Zane Kohler