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Sci-fi cars in Maya and Maxwell Render: Desert Racer Part 2

Sci-fi cars in Maya and Maxwell Render: Desert Racer Part 2 Icon
In this tutorial I will be following on from the modeling tutorial in last month's issue by texturing and compositing our futuristic desert racer. In particular we will be looking at how to create a variety of materials from pearlescent paint, carbon fiber and metallics using Maxwell Render's Material Editor. We will also go through the process of creating a foreground with rocks and trees, a distant background using the Maxwell Ocean tool, creating depth with the Maxwell Fog Emitter, and finally we will bring all of these elements together using HDR lighting.
 
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Better Managing Pole Vectors on an IK Chain

Better Managing Pole Vectors on an IK Chain Icon
Ever have an issue when setting up pole vectors in Maya? If you have had IK joints that seem to snap out of place when setting the pole vector constraint, you are not alone. Rooster Teeth’s Rigging Artist, Giovanna Coutinho is right there with you. She has run in to this problem a few times. A pole vector in Maya is meant to confine an IK chain so that it moves and follows the position of a control object.
 

How to Use Maya’s Motion Graphics Toolkit to Animate with Audio

How to Use Maya’s Motion Graphics Toolkit to Animate with Audio Icon
With this installment, Daryl walks through how to animate with audio using Maya’s Motion Graphics Toolkit, MASH. He sets up a vowelized wall that will automatically react to a section of music or audio. This is something that MASH can really excel at with a few nodes. The interesting part is in setting up the voxel wall manually. Daryl shows how you can re-order the individual polygons by selection. Using Maya 2017’s new bake pivot tool to provide the foundation for the motion.
 

Create Position Reference Pass in VRay

Create Position Reference Pass in VRay Icon
Compositor and certified Nike Trainer, Erwan Leroy thinks some things in Vray are easy. Yet, some other things, might be a bit convoluted, and needs more of your attention. You can find plenty of tutorials that cover creating custom render passes in VRay. There aren’t a lot of tutorials that cover creating a (Pref) position reference pass. As a compositor, Erwan used position reference passes all the time. The only mystery seemed the “how” with Vray.
 

Creating red blood cell animation with mash

Creating red blood cell animation with mash Icon
Maya’s Motion Graphics Toolkit, MASH can be a great way to create bio and medial animation. MASH offers simplicity in replicating objects, but it is also great at procedural animation. Medical Illustrator and Animator, Emily McDougall walks us through animating a biological system. Using MASH, it is easy to set up a scene with red blood cells and animate them all at once.
 

Maya Part 2: Viewports and Navigation

Maya Part 2: Viewports and Navigation Icon
In part two of the Know the Basics: Maya 2017 series, Paul Hatton explores the viewports and navigation... Now that you have a better understanding of the interface we'll focus now on how to utilise the viewports and navigate around your scenes. As with any piece of software, the learning curve is usually pretty steep to start with...
 

How to Get Better Control Over Maya nParticle Instances

How to Get Better Control Over Maya nParticle Instances Icon
Even thought Maya ships with MASH, the motion graphics toolkit which makes instancing easy, there is still a case that can be made to fundamentally understand how Maya instances work. Creating instances is pretty easy. The issue then becomes, how do you control them. There are actually a few ways that you can control Maya nParticle instances.
 

An Introduction to Proxy Skinning

An Introduction to Proxy Skinning Icon
Showing some examples of how proxy skinning can help you in production is Sean Nolan. Sean shows how a proxy concept can really help out for quick iterations with skinning, or as a solution to some skinning and rigging challenges with certain source geometries. The tutorial shows using some Proxy Skinning Utilities code, that Sean makes available for download.
 

Modeling an Axe in Maya using Curves and NURBS

Modeling an Axe in Maya using Curves and NURBS Icon
Here, 3D Modeler Alex Cheparev gives us all a class in using Curves and NURBS-commands to create an axe in Maya. If you have forgotten a bit about using curves in Maya, this is a good tutorial to get you reacquainted with biRail’s lofting and other tools.
 

Nerd Out and Code a Maya Plugin With Assembly

Nerd Out and Code a Maya Plugin With Assembly Icon
Assembly is a pretty low-level language, perhaps only a step above machine language. If that sounds like programming The Matrix, it kind of is in a way. Why Assembly? Well, Assembly in production, doesn’t make much sense. This isn’t an exercise that you would use in a production environment. It’s not like the code runs significantly faster. creating a plugin in assembly, can be a great learning experience though.
 

Maya beginner's guide part 1

Maya beginner's guide part 1 Icon
Welcome to the first part of this beginner's guide to Maya 2017. This incredibly powerful piece of software gives you a whole host of modelling, animation and rendering tools right at your fingertips. It has been used in a huge variety of industries including on feature length films, so it really does pack a punch. Throughout this series we're going to be getting to grips with some of the basic elements of the software, and hopefully it'll stand you in good stead for the future. But first things first let's dive into the interface and get comfortable with it.
 

Corrective Blend Shapes By Extracting Deltas

Corrective Blend Shapes By Extracting Deltas Icon
Giovanna Coutinho is a Character TD and Rigging Artist for Rooster Teeth, working on shows such as RWBY Chibi and Red vs. Blue, and here she covers her workflow for creating corrective Blend Shapes in Autodesk Maya. Giovanna uses a script to extract deltas from a sculpt that can then be used for corrective blend Shapes. The walkthrough uses Christian Breitling’s (B-Ling) BSpiritCorrectiveShape script.
 

Create a space switch for multiple spaces

Create a space switch for multiple spaces Icon
A Space Switch is really important concept in character rigging. One of the rigging challenges is managing parents and spaces of a rig and being able to switch between them easily. Really, a rig should consist of a hierarchy of spaces. This will allow an animator to temporarily alter the parenting of the character’s parts so that it can interact with other objects such as props, its environment or even itself — think of a character placing a hat on its head as an action of all three of those dynamic parenting examples.
 

How to use New Script Uses Topology to Place and Orient Joints

How to use New Script Uses Topology to Place and Orient Joints Icon
It is a simple process to place and rent joints in Autodesk Maya… Or is it? This falls under “simple tools, bad workflow” category actually. Using the rent joint tool without any MEL scripting to repeat the task can be really time consuming. And what about arbitrary angles? What if you needed to place and orient joints at strange angles? You might be relegated to just guessing.
 

Basic Particle Object Dissolve

Basic Particle Object Dissolve Icon
In this video we use Maya's nParticles to dissolve an object into blowing dust.
 

A quick and easy way to create animated villi with mash

A quick and easy way to create animated villi with mash Icon
Once upon a time, there were only cumbersome methods to create animated Villi in Maya. You had the choice of using Paint FX, or Maya’s instancing tools. Both of those methods were not ideal. Since then, Maya has new motion graphics oriented tools in MASH, and MASH can be used to take the guesswork out of creating projects, such as animated Villi.
 

Create geometry from xgen for game character hair

Create geometry from xgen for game character hair Icon
Maya’s XGen is a great system for instancing elements for landscapes, fur and hair. When creating hair for characters, it is not uncommon to have hundreds of thousands of instances for a typical hair groom. If you are working with a realtime engine, you will need to create something a little more manageable, while still keeping they style and intent of the character’s hair.
 

Building a Basic nParticles Object Dissolve

Building a Basic nParticles Object Dissolve Icon
The tutorial covers pretty much everything, so if you are just starting out in Maya, this is a great follow-along. Jeremy walks through the entire project starting from using nParticles, Surface Emissions, Fields including turbulence, as well as driving parameters and in-render composites with image maps in Maya. The techniques used here are pretty straightforward and are useful in many other situations where effects might be needed.
 

Creating a Realistic Teddy Bear in Maya : Part 2

Creating a Realistic Teddy Bear in Maya : Part 2 Icon
Start Maya. Open the teddy bear file which was saved in the last part of the tutorial. In the front view, select the poly cone primitive in the shelf menu and draw it around the nose area as shown in the following image.
 

Automatically connect substance painter textures

Automatically connect substance painter textures Icon
If you use Allegorithmic’s Substance Painter for a more traditional workflow in another 3D applications like Maya, you may find that linking all the textures can easily get out of hand. Reconnecting Substance painter textures can take some time. One 3D model can be made up of many components, and each component, a shader, and each shader has a number of channels and maps. All that can quickly add up. Especially if you need to connect all of the Substance Painter textures into new shaders in Maya.
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