Category Archives: Maya
It’s been awhile since I posted anything but I have a good excuse – I’ve been learning Maya the last two semesters at Middlesex County College in their new Gaming and Animation program which was started by Richard Thompson.
In the past, I’ve taken single classes in Maya at the School of Visual Arts and Mercer County Community College but I wasn’t able to continue any further for various reasons and as a result the knowledge that I acquired didn’t “stick” with me after the classes were over because I wasn’t using the program day-to-day. Over a year ago, I found out that there was an affordable 3D Animation program near where I lived so I decided that this was a good opportunity for me expand my skill sets by learning Maya again from the beginning and then sticking with the program so that I could continue beyond the simple 3D modeling and animation that I had learned in the two prior Maya classes I had taken. Now that I’m on summer break, I plan on updating and tweaking some of the class projects that I’ve worked and posting them for all to see.
The first project that I worked on was a 3D model based on a logo for our 3D Design class created by one of the students in the class (the class voted on their favorite after seeing all the students’ sketches). It was fun getting familiar with the interface again and then walking through the initial steps of working on the 3D model in class with the teacher. The interesting thing was later working at home along with the prepared Vimeo tutorials created specifically for the class. This was a new teaching approach for me and quite helpful since I could play the video over and over again until I got the model the way I wanted it.
In the end, the most interesting thing for me was taking the 3D model that I had created in Maya, converting it to a file format that that the 3D printer could read, and then printing the model. I’ve never had anything 3D printed before and I would be really interested in doing it again.
This is my first attempt at creating a 3D character in Maya and then making a simple animation from it. The figure is based on a character that I created in the 90s, Spaulding Zagmuire. My Jean Tinguely kinetic sculpture 3D model is still a work in progress. I hope to have a video of the final product up in a week or two for your viewing pleasure.
The animation was created in Maya and composed & outputted from After Effects.
My Maya project, recreating a Jean Tinguely kinetic sculpture, is coming along. Modeling in 3D space is just a different kind of thinking for me, though it’s very similar to sketching in a way. With a sketch, you rough out the drawing and build the drawing up until it has the detail that you want. When you’re working with Maya, or any 3D program I would assume, it seems like you have to take a similar approach. You start off with a simple object (a cube, sphere, or cylinder to name a few of objects) and then add detail by pushing and pulling vertices, edges, and faces until you get the detail you want. The thing that I’m still getting used to is how many different ways to push and pull vertices, edges, and faces there are. To think that I thought Photoshop and After Effects were complex programs. Maya might be edging them out.
I think my 3D object has come pretty far compared to my first posting, now I just have to add the “arms” and make sure that I can animate it. I think that once I apply a texture to it and put it in an environment with good lighting, it’s going to be a nice portfolio piece.
Most recently I enrolled in the Mercer County Community College 3D Animation Certificate Program. My first class in the program is 3D Modeling 1 with Autodesk’s Maya. Wow! Maya is powerful and there’s just so much to know. Our first big assignment is to create a machine which later in the semester we’ll be animating. I was going to do Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots but the instructor said that a lot of students create robots, cars, or guns and that I should create something “different”. After seeing some examples of projects done by the instructor’s prior students I was inspired to create a 3D model of a Jean Tinguely kinetic sculpture that I saw while visiting my friend, Joel Radvanyi, in Basel, Switzerland. I’ll be showing from time-to-time the steps taken in creating the model. So far I’m at the stage of creating the basic shapes that make up the sculpture and once I get everything laid out, I’ll be getting more intricate with the shapes. One thing I can say is that I’m not a big fan of Maya’s drawing tools so I’ve been drawing some of the shapes in Adobe Illustrator and bringing them into Maya to be extruded and revolved. Anyway, here’s where I’m at today…