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The Game Artist's Guide to Maya

  • ID: 2247055
  • Book
  • January 2005
  • 240 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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The Definitive Resource for Up–and–Coming 3D Game Artists

Alias′ award–winning Maya 3D animation and effects software continues to lead the industry in technological innovation and is being adopted by more and more console and computer game developers. The Game Artist′s Guide to Maya is an official introduction to creating 3D game art and animations with Maya, brought to you by Maya Press, a publishing partnership between Alias and Sybex. Written by a production artist at a prominent game company, this detailed book focuses on the skills real game artists use daily to create stunning characters and environments.

By following the discussions and tutorials, you′ll bring a concept through the entire game art development pipeline, learning everything from modeling, texturing, rigging, and animation, to special effects. You′ll also glean insights from industry professionals and see how Maya has been used in popular games. If you′re a 3D game artist, or looking to become one, this book will help you master the skills and techniques you′ll need to excel in the competitive games industry.

Inside, you′ll learn how to:

  • Create a game model using a concept image as your guide
  • Model with predetermined real–time polycount limitations in mind
  • View martial arts videos on the book′s CD to animate your character more realistically
  • Prepare a model for texturing with UV mapping and layout techniques
  • Create different kinds of textures
  • Master the rigging process, from setting up a skeleton to preparing blend shapes
  • Practice techniques for creating animation clips to work with in the Trax Editor
  • Use particle effects, such as sprites and animated geometry, to add pizzazz to your model
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Chapter 1 The Game Industry.

Developers and Publishers.

Artist Jobs.

Getting the Job.

Art Tests.

Crunch Time.

The Game Development Pipeline.

Chapter 2 Polygonal Modeling.

Game Art Limitations.

Game Modeling Common Tools and Commands.

Game Modeling Pointers.


Edge Flow.



Reference Usage.


Scale and Orientation.

Tutorial: Creating the Weapon.

Creating the Blade.

Creating the Hilt and Grip.

Tutorial: Creating the Character Model.

Creating Silenus′s Head.

Creating Silenus′s Body.

Creating Silenus′s Armor.

Chapter 3 Texturing.

Texturing in the Gaming World.

Mapping UVs.

UV Projection Commands.

The UV Texture Editor.

Texture Resolutions and Formats.

Alpha Channel and Pixel Shader Effects.

UV Mapping the Sword.

UV Mapping the Body.

UV Mapping the Torso.

UV Mapping the Leg.

UV Mapping the Arm.

UV Mapping the Armor.

UV Mapping the Head.

The Hypershade.

Applying a Material to a Model.

Applying a Texture to a Material.

Optional Procedures.

The 3D Paint Tool.

Vertex Coloring.

Baking Normal Maps.

Texture Painting Tips.

The Finished Model.

Chapter 4 Rigging.

Skeletons and Joints.

Creating a Skeleton.

The Pelvis and Legs.

The Spine.

The Arms.

The Hands.

Extra Joints.

Setting the Local Rotation Axis.

Forward and Inverse Kinematics.

Leg IK.

Displaying Selection Handles.

Armor Parenting.

Binding to the Skeleton.

Painting Weights.

Joint Rotation Limits.

Eye Controls.

Rigging the Face.

Blend Shapes.

Binding the Head.

Set Driven Key.

Facial Skeletons.

Creating SDK Controls.

Sword Constraints.

Chapter 5 Animation.

Creating a Character Set.

Editing the Character Set.

Creating a Subcharacter Set.

Creating a Quality Animation.

Animation Reference.

Making an Attack Animation.

Creating Emphasis.

Modify Timing in the Trax Editor.

Secondary Motion.

Idle Animation.

Forward Movement.

Blending Between Clips.

The End?

Chapter 6 Particle Effects.


Creating a Sprite Effect.

Adjusting the Effect.

Creating a Second Effect.

Continuing the Dust Effect.

Geometry Effects.

Creating Impact Effects.

Additional Helpful CD Files.

Final Thoughts.


Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Michael McKinley
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown