The C3dC Maya 2016 Prefs are the hotkeys/scripts and default prefs that are automatically setup and ready to go. Increase speed and workflow with this handy pack of mods for Maya compatible with all operating systems. Install is easy, unzip the folder and replace your current preferences. A full hotkey list is found here too.
Course: Character Generalist
2. Blocking Characters In Maya (30mins)
Learn how to block characters in one hour on this overview page which breaks down how to simplify complex characters into simple shapes. Learn how and why it’s good to do this in Maya and repeat the exercise as many as 50 times to build an eye for three dimensional form. A 15 min timelapse shows the process on a character with detailed notes. (Part 1 of 2)
3. Objects And Components (1hr 17mins)
A Maya overview of navigation, creation and handling of objects, vertices, edges and faces. These are the foundations of polygon modeling. We’ll cover these area in depth and explore various methods for handling objects and components, moving them around and duplicate/instancing.
4. Foundational Polygon Tools (1hr 03mins)
Get to know the polygon tools that cut merge and combine objects. We’ll cover extrude, bevel, bridge, mirroring, quad draw, history and basic sub division surfaces. All the core tools in the Maya polygon modelers toolkit are here. Very powerful stuff this page is a foundational page for later classes.
5. Roughing Polygon Workflows (1hr 30mins)
This page explores two methods for roughing out polygon SubD models in Maya. Box Modeling and Primitive modeling. Primitive modeling allows the student more artistic freedom and speed but will require extra work joining models later. Box modeling can build finished models quickly but at the expense of clean forms. Image plane creation covered too.
6. Joining Polygon Objects (1hr)
How to correctly connect objects together. This class explores connecting objects together with subdivision topology. We’ll be using bridge and quad draw techniques for connecting with good quad flow and a minimum of artefacts. We’ll also be exploring some topology ideas here too, such as when and where to use quads. And some manual smoothing and tweaking methods for organic surfaces that don’t have guide meshes.
7. Modeling Zanzi: Full Character Timelapse (46mins)
We go through a time-lapse of an entire character being built in polygons to final with commentary. We’ll go through every step using all the techniques learned so far. Areas of particular interest we’ll slow down the footage and explain thoroughly. The page features four videos each covering about 1hr of actual modeling time compressed into roughly 15 mins. We’ll go through the block all the way through to finishing all the annoying details.
8. Bug Free Models For Rigging And Exporting (35mins)
Creating clean bug free models in Maya. This page will go through cleaning models and checking for various issues with meshes that can affect rigging and export. Symmetry, nonmanifold, lamina faces, interior vertex, bugs, vertex and face normals, obj export among various other topics are explained.
9. Maya UV Fundamentals (1hr 09mins)
The fundamentals of unwrapping objects in Maya. We’ll look at how UVs work like unfolding origami or clothes patterns. How we can pick seams and then let maya do the majority of the work with it’s automatic unfold feature. We’ll see how the UV editor works, projection types, some handy visualisers and marking menus for quick unwrap workflows.
10. Custom Controls (57min)
In this class we’ll explore how to build fk joint chains with curve controls. We cover 3 different workflows and focus in on shape parenting which has a very fast setup using the cgMonks Toolkit. We’ll also cover follicles where we’re able to parent controls to vertices on meshes for appendages and clothing which is handy in certain circumstances. The first half of the class we’ll learn how to build everything manual, then we’ll find how we can build the controls easily with off the shelf scripts. In the last part we demo rigging an entire character in fk and then replacing the legs with some ik to show that whole characters can be rigged with this method as well, although the rig might be super simple it’s possible to rig this way.
11. ZooTools Biped Proxy Rig (1hr 08mins)
Create this fantastically lightweight biped rig fast with this proxy setup that builds ZooTools rigs effortlessly. Easy joint placement, rig rebuild, curve control setup and customisation. The rig comes with full space switching capabilities and comes complete with trigger UI selector. And we’ll quickly cover skinning and customisation too.
12. ZooTools Custom Controls (35mins)
Build custom controls with simple FK chains for assorted parts of your character like hair, face, clothes and other appendages. We’ll use the information from the custom controls page to quickly build controls manually and learn how we can easily parent them to the ZooTools rig.
13. Maya Skinning Foundations (42 mins)
Lets explore the foundations of skinning on this page. We’ll learn some basic tools like the Component Editor and the Paint Skin Weights tool, and we’ll quickly move on to two scripted tools like Skin Wrangler and Scripted Smooth Skin Tools that will make our lives much easier. Skinning in Maya is very powerful but it can be counter intuative unless we understand the fundamentals of how skinning works first.
14. Maya Skinning Class Two (24 mins)
This page “Skinning Class two is a continuation of “Skinning Fundamentals”. We’ll get into powerfully neat ideas that can really free up our skinning workflows. Learn how and why we lock skin weights, use vertex masking while painting weights and learn how the Smooth Scripts work using principles of Post Normalisation. Importantly we’ll take a good look at copy/transfering and import/exporting skinning between files and meshes allowing for easy topology changes without loosing skin weights, transfer between files and lores to hires workflows too.
15. Skinning Zanzi (25 mins)
This page features a complete timelapse of the skinning of Zanzi. More notes and videos to come breaking down the process. For now please see the complete timelapse without sound.
16. Drag And Drop Face Rig (1hr 3mins)
This page contains The Drag And Drop Face Rig a simple yet powerful facial rig designed to work with a blendshape system. This is a super easy rig to setup, simply drag and drop it onto your Maya scene, place the pivots and tweak as desired using the rigs attributes. Joints will drive the eyes and “the triple jaw joint” setup and then we’ll add a blendshape system for full facial control. (beta class)
17. Eye Lash And Brow Follicle Rig (52mins)
This class covers the setup of an eye lash and eye brow rig. We’ll use follicles which is the easy solution to what can be a difficult task. Ordinarily eyelashes and brows are tricky because we may have extra skinned geo following those areas, it’s difficult to maintain volumes in some of these areas. But with the follicle setup we can do this easily, though there are some little tricks along the way. (beta class)
18. braverabbits SHAPES Facial (1hr 38mins)
In this class we’ll explore blendshape facial setup with brave rabbit’s SHAPES 2.0 plugin that is a must have tool for blendshape facial setup. SHAPES makes it easy to do a lot of complicated tasks such as driven key correctives, sculpting shapes, tweaking and mirroring, editing renaming and managing all of our shapes. SHAPES 2.0 also goes much deeper but we’ll save those features for another class. SHAPES comes with a free personal learning edition so it’s easy to get started. (beta class)
19. Lighting Viewport 2.0 (49 mins)
Lighting in Viewport 2.0 is quick and easy. While limited compared to renderers like Mental Ray or Renderman it comes with one a huge advantage, it’s realtime! Great while animating, rigging demos, for previs, fun turnaround jobs, shorts and prepping for games export. We’ll cover character light setups and go through the 2.0 light settings, learn about depth map shadows and find out about cool lighting tricks for the viewport.
20. Viewport 2.0’s Fundamental Shaders (40 mins)
A great starting point for shaders here with The Fundamentals Of Shaders in Viewport 2.0. On this page we’ll look at the shader basics, including topics like specular, translucency, and even fresnel reflections. Maya’s viewport keeps getting better with each release and now comes complete with full color management and speed optimisation along with support for HDR images the viewport shaders can now emulate most shader types.
21. Viewport 2.0 Ramp and Layered Shaders (31mins)
This page explores the ramp shader in detail and we’ll look at layered shaders too. Now getting into the real power of the viewport’s shaders. The ramp shader can handle a variety of looksfrom effects like fire and ice and more practical looks such as skin, velvet and fresnel reflections. The layered shader allows us to combine mix and match all the viewport shaders in one.
22. Maya Mudbox PShop: Texture Overview (1hr11mins)
This texture overview page is the first page for textures. It’s a workflow for how the strengths of these three packages help us texture our 3d objects. We’ll learn about setting up project directories and folder structures, sending between all three packages and which programs are good for which part of the texturing pipeline. Start here for learning texturing.
23. Rig Referencing For Animation (30 mins)
Lets get ready for animation with this short class on setting up referenced rigs for animation. Referencing’s the best way of managing rigs so we can update easily if there’s any issues. We’ll look at a simple example and then the setup with the Skeleton builder ZooTools rig.
24. Animation Fundamentals (1hr 06mins)
This first page on animation covers the major tools without getting into the graph editor. We’ll cover keyframing, the timeslider and playback controls and animate this Snow Man with a squash and stretch jump, briefly touching on topics like anticipation, arcs, moving holds.
25. Selection Set And Pose Workflow (43mins)
This page explores scripted animation workflows that will speed the animation process and make it more manageable and easier. We’ll look at the ZooTools Selection Set Marking Menu (u) and Manager and see how the Make Hold hotkey (alt a) works too. We’ll see a real animation example with Zanzi flying around a scene and see when and why we’d use these in our animation workflow.
26. Run Cycle Blocking (Part 1/3) (48mins)
The start page of blocking runs before moving into the graph editor. We’ll follow a standard run cycle from animation legend Richard Williams before tweaking some of the poses. Lots of little tips here on how to mirror poses with scripts and manual methods and problem solving motion with editable motion trails too.
27. Maya Graph Editor Fundamentals (55mins)
This page is the foundational page introducing the main tools in the graph editor. We’ll learn about the editor, all the main shelf icons, the tangent types, move/copy/paste/scale modes and navigation among many more graph editor features. This is a must page for beginner animators. This is where animation gets interesting.
28. Run Cycle: Tweaks Legs/Hips/Spine (Part 2/3) (56mins)
The second page of a three part series this run cycle page moves into the graph editor for tweaking the body parts feet hips and spine. We’ll be looking at a lot of reference and refining in the graph editor. We’ll also look into ways of playing vimeo and youtube videos frame by frame for analysing reference.
29. Run Cycle: Arms And Polish (Part 3/3) (46mins)
Part three of three in the series we continue to tweak the cycle in the graph editor while using reference to improve the spine and arms. We polish the cycle to the final stage and examine the finished cycle from multiple angles.