Maya 5 Killer Tips

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New Riders, 2003 - Computers - 187 pages
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Ready to learn from a seasoned visual effects veteran? Then sit down and pay attention! In Maya 5 Killer Tips, effects wizard Eric Hanson lets the genie out of the bottle, revealing all of the Maya tricks, techniques, and shortcuts he's employed to create visual marvels for films like The Day After Tomorrow, Cast Away, Fifth Element, and more. By focusing on concise tips, informative nuggets, and seasoned productivity secrets that are rarely found in other volumes, this book takes you straight to the heart of the matter: the productivity enhancers that you usually only acquire after working with a program in an intensive professional environment. In this case, Eric reveals many of these road-tested Maya secrets: efficient modeling with NURBS and polygons; creating rich rendering results with shader networks; conveying professional camera techniques; using particle systems, dynamics; and more. Along the way he explores Maya 5's new features as well, including improved rendering and character setup options.

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About the author (2003)

Eric Hanson is a visual effects artist specializing in digital environments and effects for feature films. Originally an architect, he established early 3D visualization studios for some of the country's largest architectural firms, including The Callison Partnership in Seattle and Gensler in Los Angeles. An expanding interest in film led to a move into visual effects work, resulting in senior CG artist positions with leading visual effects houses Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, Dream Quest Images, Walt Disney Feature Animation, and SimEx Digital Studios. His work can be seen in Spider-Man, Cast Away, Hollow Man, Mission to Mars, Bicentennial Man, Fantasia 2000, Atlantis, and The Fifth Element, as well as many large-format special-venue films worldwide.

Eric specializes in 3D work with Maya, RenderMan, and Shake, and is an active teacher of those packages. He has taught for several years, having instructed courses on advanced 3D techniques at SGI's Silicon Studio and Gnomon School of Visual Effects, and is currently leading a curriculum on visual effects at the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-TV. He frequently speaks and holds workshops at various trade shows and schools domestically, as well as in Japan, even though he is not sure what to eat while there.

Eric is a member of ACM/Siggraph and the Visual Effects Society and holds a professional degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently contributing to a remarkable upcoming summer blockbuster at Digital Domain in Los Angeles. He wishes he could sleep more.

Eric can be reached at his web site,

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