Posts Tagged maya training
DMA’s Maya Certification program centers on its series of 3d modeling and animation courses. These courses are broad and deep and tackle some of the most complex problems and powerful tools in Maya, Autodesk’s industry standard software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, and visual effects. From a beginning of how to create basic shapes in Maya I, to a finalized piece with finished facial animations, body rigging, and narrative based story – the Digital Media Academy series of courses provides an intense submersion into the Maya toolkit and workflow.
Paul Randall and Karen Laszkiewicz – who attended DMA at Stanford University as part of a partnership with NOVA this past summer – in collaboration with other students at animation summer camp created the sample project displayed below. Both Paul and Karen were among the Digital Media Academy attendees who tackled all four courses back to back. The amount of technical information was huge. The requirements to process and apply the information were quick. And the necessity to work as a team came as an extra spice to the mix. Paul and Karen were integral parts of a diverse team that included participants of varying ages, abilities, gender, and nationality. They both kept learning, kept producing and working with the team through the deadline to create the final piece seen here.
This project is based on a story from a children’s book and due to time constraints does not have voice over or final render. That said, in this format you can see the scripted words (for voice over) and the skeleton (rigged, model) and other directional tools. The important thing to remember is that Paul and Karen started with no experience in 3d or Maya and after 20 days of class were able to produce this. Digital Media Academy will get you started on your new career path! The skills they departed with will enable them to pursue the field of 3d art, modeling and animation as a viable career path. What are you interested in learning with Maya? Is it time to learn new skills to be competitive in today’s employment marketplace? Why not learn new skills and have fun too at Digital Media Academy’s Maya summer camp? Please join the conversation, and leave a comment below!
Looking for more information on Maya Certification? Please click here: Maya Certification Which Digital Media Academy location will work best for you? Take a look! Please click here: Digital Media Academy Adult Training Locations.
By Geoff Beatty, Lead Maya Instructor – DMA @ UPENN
One of the most rewarding parts of teaching is opening doors for my students. At the beginning of each class, I literally unlock the door to the computer lab, turn the lights on, and lead my students in. But in a more meaningful sense, I enjoy being the one (or one of many) who introduces them to a new medium, a new set of tools for creating imagery and telling stories. The part of that experience that is especially gratifying is seeing my students making connections between their respective backgrounds (e.g. illustration, music, graphic design) and this newfound world of 3D modeling and animation.
Last year, during DMA’s Maya sessions at the University of Pennsylvania campus, I had the wonderful opportunity to teach an amazingly diverse group. Among that group, there was the middle-aged illustrator from the midwest, learning a new skill. There was the recent art school graduate with a graphic design degree. There was the home-schooled high-schooler with an interest in visualization. And there was the teenage musician and composer with a talent for digital imagery.
Each person brought a unique sensability and focus to their study of Maya. And I can truly say that by the end, there were just as many unique 3D creations. The characters, environments, and animations they made each reflected a personal vision. And this is what I consider the strength of both the software, Maya, and the type of course I was teaching at DMA. My duty as an instructor was two-fold. First, I introduced students to the basics of the software. This included both the explicit features and the implicit workflow, which is the proper process and sequence for using those features. Secondly, I attempted to build on that foundational and common knowledge by guiding each student to a point where they could begin to use that tool to fulfill a personal interest or vision.
This ends up being the point at which I grow too as a 3D artist and instructor. DMA courses bring together such a variety of students that it ends up being an antidote to the homogeneity common to most 3D classrooms. I learn new things every time I interact with my students. My experience last summer was so gratifying in that respect that I couldn’t turn up the chance to teach again. I look forward to opening doors, turning on lights, and having my students do the same for me.
By Keith English – Animation Director, Screaming Pixels and DMA Instructor.
Thought you might be interested in a project we have just delivered to a client which uses a lot of the tools you can learn, or might have already learned at Digital Media Academy. “Red Carpet” will be running before every movie at the upcoming Sonoma International Film Festival April 1-5th 2009. The main purpose of openings is to list sponsors before each movie and our quest is to make that repetitive experience as enjoyable as possible, especially when some of these run over 150 times during a festival.
This spot was produced using Maya, RealFlow and Shake (which could have also been done in After Effects if necessary), plus of course Photoshop to create a lot of the textures we needed. We were first given the poster, which the client had designed in Sonoma and although they gave us a carte blanche, from that point on it was obvious it needed to be styled as an art deco piece.
To give it a poster-like look we rendered using only a 20 degree angle of view camera, so that it was almost orthographic with only a tiny amount of perspective, and then added a paint, cartoon and film grain filters all mixed back into the original so that everything was kept subtle.
The character models were built to be almost comic-like, flat and graphic, and the last thing we did was to take off the specular highlights on their eyes to flatten it a even more. The sets were also designed to be slightly exaggerated, especially the car of course, which is just the front end of a car. We only built just as much as we needed for each shot.
The champagne was created using RealFlow. The bubbles were from Maya’s underwater Paint Effects, painted onto the interior bottom of the animated glass, which had its visibility turned off, and then those bubbles rendered, taken into Shake, color corrected, then warped with a filter to look like they were inside the liquid, rotoscoped out to be seen only in the area of the liquid and finally layered over the glass as a “screen” to combine the lighter areas of both the original image and the bubbles.
The flash bulbs were created by rendering the two finished characters separately (as they were massively different scales), then rendering them again with an all white version of each character with a single spotlight ahead of their faces for the complete sequence. This created a grayscale image of each face front lit and black on the back of their heads, which when applied as a matte to a brightness node in Shake would brighten just the front of their faces.
Their eyes were tracked, again in Shake, and a 2D flare added to the front ofeach eye. So now we had two complete sequences, the first with their normal face renders and the second with the flash on the front of their faces continuously including a continuous flare. Now we just used a “mix” node in Shake to dissolve between the two sequences every time we wanted a flashlight to go off. 3 frames up for the flash and 10 down for the bulb fading.
Only the bottoms of her dress and bottoms of his pants used Maya’s nCloth, with all else being regular polygonal geometry modeling. The hair on both characters was created using Joe Alter’s Shave plugin in Maya, but without any dynamics on it. Everything was rendered using Maya’s software renderer except for the champagne liquid and glass shot for which we used Mental Ray in Maya as it’s much faster with refractions. The project, from conception to delivery, took just three weeks.
Cody Westheimer, a very talented LA composer created the music for the piece. Well actually, that is where we really began, with the music and then everything was animated to that. Hopefully in the end it looks and feels as though it was all created together.
If you have any specific questions I would be happy to answer them. And my advice to all of you who want to work in this business? … really learn the tools and then … BE PROLIFIC.
Watch the video here:
By Dave Bittorf, Lead 3d Modeling and Animation Instructor, DMA @ UC San Diego
Learning Maya can really open some doors for you in the world of 3D, animation, and special effects. This will be my 3rd summer with DMA and I love how streamline the curriculum is. Here is a quick overview of the Maya I and II courses.
MAYA I : Introduction to 3D Modeling
Maya has become one of the foremost 3D packages in the film industry. Participants in this Maya I training course will explore the Maya interface, workflow and production pipeline. The course includes an in-depth analysis of the modeling and texturing process. The class will also introduce students to basic rigging, blendshapes and other character animation functions.
During the course, you’ll use many of Maya’s high-end modeling tools to create a fully modeled, textured, lit and rendered interior set design. You’ll also construct a game character and a higher-poly organic head. And you’ll do basic rigging for a pre-built character including blendshape (for facial animation) setup and use these rigs for basic character animation
MAYA II : 3D Character Animation
In this Maya training course, you’ll learn the advanced features of Maya’s animation package. We’ll explore the dope sheet and graph editor in depth, and learn about keyframes and how to manipulate them to create believable motion. Many of the basic tenets of good animation will be covered to help you understand the difference between motion and believable physics and weight-based animation.
During the course, you’ll create multiple animation projects, including custom rigs utilizing techniques like IK, spline IK, custom skinweights and custom character control systems. These projects (including illustrations of stretch & squash, the whip principle, secondary motion and anticipation/action/follow-through) will be output both as playblasts and portfolio-ready rendered clip.
I hope you can join DMA for an amazing Maya learning experience this summer.