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Maya Visual Effects the Innovator's Guide


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Table of Contents

Introduction xii Chapter 1 Texture Effects 1 Create Animated Effects with a Ramp Texture 2 Create the Sign Geometry 3 Set Up the Neon Shader 5 Create an Animation Control for the Sign 8 Add a Particle Emitter 13 Animate the Effect Using the Custom Rig 16 Edit Connections Using the Node Editor 18 Further Study 22 Use Ambient Occlusion for Holographic Effects 26 Animate the Glowing Line Effect 32 Render the Effect Using a Render Layer 35 Further Study 39 Generate Creative Text Effects 40 Create the Text 41 Create an Animated Texture from the Text 44 Apply the Animated Text Sequence to the Sign Geometry 47 Animate the Reverse Disintegration of the Sign 49 Create the Dynamic Effects 52 Further Study 57 Chapter 2 Particle Effects 61 Orchestrate a Flowering Tree with nParticles 62 Emit nParticles from the Tree Branches 62 Edit the nParticle Settings 66 Create the Collision Event 69 Use Particle Instancing to Add the Blossom Geometry 72 Create the Blossom Animation Using Expressions 77 Further Study 81 Create a Beard of Bees Using a Force Field 81 Create the Beard Geometry 81 Add Dynamics to the Beard Surface Using nCloth 84 Add the Bee nParticles 87 Further Study 90 Choreograph a School of Fish by Layering Particles 91 Create the Bait Particle Goal 92 Add the Fish nParticles 94 Add an Agitator nParticle 97 Instance Geometry to the Fish nParticles 100 Create an Expression to Control the Cycle Speed 103 Create an Asset to Control the Fish 106 Further Study 111 Chapter 3 Joint Rigging for Effects 113 Animate a Growing Bacterial Colony Using Joints 114 Create the Joint Chain 115 Animate the Joints 117 Create the Emitters 118 Edit the nParticle Behavior to Simulate Bacteria 121 Create a Shelf Button for the Emitter Script 124 Further Study 125 Use Joints to Jiggle Geometry 125 Add Joints to the Model 126 Bind the Tentacle Surface to the Geometry 128 Create the Jiggle Motion Using a Fractal Texture 129 Create a Script to Add the Fractal Textures to Each of the 80 Joints 132 Edit the Weights of the Joints 135 Create a Soft Body 137 Further Study 138 Animate a Magic Curling Brick Road Using Joints 138 Create the Orange Brick Path 139 Create the Joint Chain 141 Create the Animation Rig 142 Run the Script 146 Bind the Brick Geometry to the Joints 148 Deform the Animated Brick Road 150 Further Study 152 Chapter 4 Creative Blend Shape Techniques 155 Create an Interactive Blend Shape Rig 156 Create the Blend Shapes 156 Create the Blend Shape Trigger 160 Create the Master Control 162 Duplicate the Rigs 163 Amp Up the Animation Using the Graph Editor 165 Further Study 167 Combine Blend Shapes and Other Deformers to Create Swimming Plankton 167 Use a Lattice to Create an Undulating Motion 168 Create the Animated Blend Shape 172 Animate a Plankton Model Using a Sine Deformer 175 Animate a Plankton Model Using a Wave Deformer 178 Animate a Plankton Using a Twist Deformer 180 Further Study 181 Automate Blend Shape Sequences Using MEL 182 Creating a Blend Shape Sequence 182 Create a Blend Shape Sequence Importer Script 186 Raw Scan Data 189 Further Study 191 Chapter 5 Paint Effects 193 Create Bursts of Electric Energy 194 Select a Paint Effects Preset 194 Edit the Stroke Settings 197 Instance Strokes to nParticles 202 Edit the Look of the Energy 205 Render the Effect 206 Further Study 209 Animate a Blood Vessel Growing on an Eyeball 209 Create a Texture Guide 210 Create the Vein Brush Stroke 212 Create a Control Curve 214 Edit Stroke Settings 215 Animate the Growth of the Veins 217 Render an Animated Texture 218 Add the Vein Sequence to the Eyeball Shader Network 221 Further Study 224 Use Paint Effects Modifiers to Deform Geometry 224 Attach Paint Effects Strokes to Curves 226 Convert the Strokes to Polygons 228 Edit the Brush Settings 229 Add Twisted Tubes Around the Main Tube 231 Create the Pumping Effect Using Modifiers 234 Create an Animation Loop 235 Further Study 237 Chapter 6 nCloth Techniques 239 Use nCloth to Melt a Complex Gun Model 240 Create a Wrap Deformer for the Gun 240 Create the nCloth Simulation 243 Create an nCache 247 Adjust the Wrap Deformer 248 Create a Geometry Cache 249 Further Study 250 Trap 3D Text in a Spider Web with nConstraints 251 Create the Polygon Web Surface 252 Add Dynamic Motion with nCloth 255 Create the Threads of the Spider Web 256 Connect the Title Text to the Web 259 Further Study 263 Use nCloth to Animate a Drop of Water 263 Rig the Grass Blade for Animation 263 Create the Water Drop 269 Animate the Motion of the Grass Blade 271 Convert the Grass to nCloth 273 Adjust the nCloth Settings 276 Adjust the Speed of the Animation Using Scene Time Warp 278 Further Study 281 Chapter 7 Fluid Effects 283 Create Shockwaves for a Futuristic Spaceship 284 Create the Fluid Container and Emitter 285 Edit the Fluid Emitter Settings 287 Edit the Fluid Settings 288 Create the Container Array 293 Create a Shockwave Fluid Preset 295 Align the Fluid Containers Along a Motion Path 297 Attach the Emitter to the Spaceship 300 Tweak the Effect 301 Further Study 303 Propel a Rocket Using Fluids 306 Create the Fluid Container 306 Use an nParticle as an Emitter 307 Add Collisions to the nParticle 310 Add the Mouse and Rocket Geometry 313 Refine the Smoke Trail 315 Further Study 317 Use a Fluid Mesh to Build a Head 318 Create the Fluid Container and Emitter 319 Create an Emitter from Particles 322 Use the Head as a Collision Surface 326 Convert the Fluid to a Mesh 329 Further Study 331 Chapter 8 nHair and Fur Effects 333 Create an Animated Jellyfish with nHair 334 Create the Profile Curves for the Jellyfish Bell 334 Create the Surface for the Jellyfish Bell 336 Edit the Dynamics of the Profile Curve 340 Create Tentacles Using a Second Hair System 341 Animate the Jellyfish 344 Create Geometry for the Tentacles 344 Further Study 347 Create a Dynamic Rig for Medusa?s Snakes 347 Create the IK Spline Handles 348 Convert the IK Spline Curves into Dynamic nHairs 350 Add the Bats 355 Add the Bat Instances and Adjust the Snake Motion 357 Further Study 362 Animate Crop Circles Using Fur 364 Create the Animated Crop Circle Design Sequence 365 Render the Sequence 366 Create the Wheat Field Using Fur 368 Create the Crop Circle Design Using the Texture Sequence 369 Render the Final Sequence 373 Further Study 374 Index 375

About the Author

Eric Keller has been a professional visual effects artist since 1998, creating animations for feature films, commercials, motion graphics, and scientific visualizations. He also teaches at the world-renowned Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood. Eric has created animations and effects for Disney, Warner Brothers, ESPN, Harvard Medical School, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and CBS. He is the author of Mastering Autodesk Maya 2009 and 2011, the first edition of Maya Visual Effects, and three editions of Introducing ZBrush, all from Sybex.

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