Whether for big budget film and game productions or lower budget TV and Internet content, creating flexible and believable character rigs is one of the essential skills needed to bring any 3D animation to life. Maya is the leading software program used in such cutting-edge animation, and has an established rigging toolset for creating realistic character controls. Rigging has traditionally been very expensive due to the time consuming process of manually building custom rigs in the software interface. This book by the author of the best-seller Maya Character Creation shows you how the pros are using MEL (Maya Embedded Language) scripting to streamline and automate the rigging process to build custom character rigs in a matter of seconds, as apposed to days or weeks. The concepts, techniques, and Maya tools used to build a complex character rig in the software interface are presented in each chapter, followed by how to write the equivalent MEL code to script the entire process. In addition to standard MEL commands, important coding techniques such as using conditional statements, loops, variables, and procedures, are covered in detail. Once the character is fully rigged, MEL is also used to create a character animation GUI (Graphical User Interface) that makes animating the character easy and fast. This book uses examples that pertain to Maya 8.5 users and above, but users of previous versions of Maya will also be able to follow along and use the examples in the book.
Chris Maraffi has been teaching 3D computer graphics for over 10 years, most recently as the Course Director of the scripting and character rigging classes at Full Sail University in Orlando. He has also authored two popular books; Maya Character Creation published by Peachpit, and Softimage XSI Character Animation FX and Design published by Coriolis. In addition, he has lectured internationally at numerous conferences and universities, including SIGGRAPH, Animex, Red Stick, UNM Arts Lab, NYU CADA, Parsons School of Design, School of Visual Arts, NYIT, Academy of Art, Mesmer Animation Labs,and The Master's Institute.
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Publisher: New Riders
Page Count (est.): 353
Pub Date: 11/29/2008