Here we cover the topics that will be discussed throughout Project III - When Mechs Attack!
In this video we take a look at the basic storyboards for our scene and how the animation will look.
A brief discussion of the all-important process of establishing your project.
This video introduces some of the upcoming lessons and concepts you'll see as we discuss polygonal modeling.
This video illustrates what polygons are and gives you some critical insights into how they are used.
Extruding is one of the most basic polygonal functions, and here we show you how to do it.
By beveling, you can keep your models from looking like they have razor-sharp edges.
Sometimes you need a customized polygonal shape to create an object and in this video we show you how.
The Wedge Faces operation allows for smooth bends and curvature by hinging an extrusion from an edge.
One of the most critical tools in polygonal modeling, the cut faces tool allows you add edges into your model.
In this video show you how to modify hard and soft edges to make your models appear faceted.
To begin the modeling process, we will start by setting up our reference image planes.
The first portion of the mech will be the foot, consisting of all four toes and the central connection shaft.
In this video we add the joint of the ankle to our foot mechanism, which will eventually connect to the leg.
This video focuses on constructing the lower portion of the mech's leg and the main pipes of the leg itself.
Moving up the leg, we create the caps on the end as well as the supports that hold the pipes together.
In this video we create the shapes needed to form the upper portion of our mech's leg.
The joints of the pelvis are now created to give our hips greater functionality and flexibility.
Here we create the torso for the mech and the base of the cannon that will serve as the primary platform.
In this video we begin creating the cockpit area for the mech, which will be positioned behind the cannon base.
Our cannon's pitch will be determined by a simi-circular track, which we will model in this video.
Next we will model the base of the cockpit's seat, along with the armrests for the chair.
Moving along, we will now create the back portion of the chair, including the head rests and lumbar supports.
No sci-fi cockpit is complete without several flat panel data screens, and here we build them for our cockpit.
Next we generate the sphere-shaped panels of glass that will form the canopy of our mech.
In this video we will create the two power tanks that are located behind the cockpit and power the laser.
Moving forward, we now model the base of the cannon itself by branching out of the cockpit area.
Here we create the retractable barrel that will rest inside the base shape and allow our laser to fire.
In this video we add on some embellishments and improvements to make the overall look more interesting.
Here we discuss the different topics that we'll be covering as we discuss texturing methods in Maya.
This video introduces the concept of UV coordinates and how they are used to position your texture.
A discussion of the various mapping methods available in Maya and how they work.
In this video we discuss the UV Texture Editor and how we can use it to modify our UV coordinates.
This video shows the workflow that we'll be employing to apply textures to the surface of our mech.
We begin the mech's texturing process by creating the textures for the two power tanks.
Next, we texture the insides of the cockpit, including the data screens just behind the cannon.
We now place textures along the surface of the cannon itself, including the base and the barrel.
In this video we place remaining textures on the body of the mech and along the legs.
To wrap up the texturing process, we now place textures on each of the mech's toes.
Here we discuss the upcoming lessons as we assemble the target antenna array for our animation.
We begin the process by modeling out our antenna array, which will be kept fairly simple for our scene.
With modeling out of the way, we next go on to apply some shaders to the antenna array.
Since we want the antenna to explode, we'll need to bust the shape up into various shrapnel pieces.
In this video we cover the upcoming lessons that will be included as we rig up our mech.
Before we begin rigging, we first take a moment and lay out a plan for how the rig is going to be created.
This video introduces the Single Chain IK solver and how we can use to to automatically rotate joints.
Our next step is to create the mech's skeleton and parent its geometry to the joints.
Since we don't want to use manual rotation, we now add some IK handles to the mech's legs.
To help control animation of the hips, our next step is to create the root control object.
In this video we establish an automation system for animating some of the joints and geometry.
Next we create a global positioning object and clean up our scene as we finalize the rig.
This next series of videos will introduce you to the Maya Embedded Language (MEL) and its use.
We begin by taking a look at what MEL is and how it works within Maya.
This video covers the Script Editor window and how you can use it to help generate your scripts.
In this video we discuss some of the many commands within MEL and how you go about writing them.
Need a hand figuring out which command you're going to use? We show you were to get help!
In this video we show you how to go about writing your very own MEL scripts for your scenes.
Storing data is a fundamental necessity in programming. Here we show you how to do it in MEL.
Conditional statements allow you to make your scripts intelligent, and we show you their syntax.
This video introduces the process of creating your own customized user interfaces with MEL.
One of the primary parts to making a UI is to create a customized window to house your interface.
Layouts allow for HTML-like control over how your controls will be placed within your UI.
Once your layouts are in place, you can look at placing various controls wihtin them.
Procedures are a way for you to add functionality to your UI controls. Learn how to use them here!
We will now move on to creating our own user interface to help us animate the mech character.
To begin we create a basic plan and layout for our UI, to serve as a map during construction.
Our first part to building the UI is to first create the window upon which it will appear.
With our window and layout in place, we now need to add in the selection controls for the mech.
Next, we add on slider-based controls for the mech's cannon, simplifying the animation process.
In this video we add on further controls for animating the mech's feet and controlling rotation.
Next we will take a look at producing the layout and animatics for our mech animation.
Our next step is to prepare the scenes of our work for animation.
To aid in the modeling and animatic process, we will create a simplified version of the mech model.
Here we quickly animate a basic version of the shot that we can use to measure timing.
With our animatics done, we can officially lock down the position and animation of our camera.
It's finally time for us to animate, in in this video we outline the upcoming topics!
Our first step is to rough out the walk cycle that the mech will use as it marches through the snow.
With our walk basically roughed in, we can now clean up and start finalizing the walk.
Now that the mech is moving, we can animate the rotation of the turret and the camera.
Our mech's final act of destruction is animated in this video, as it fires at the antenna array.
We now take a brief digression to discuss the world of rigid body dynamics!
This video introduces you to the concepts behind rigid bodies and how they work.
Here we take a look at some of the many attributes used to control the simulation of a rigid body.
This video shows how you can control and manipulate collision surfaces in your simulations.
Fields such as gravity and drag can affect rigid bodies and here we show you how to do it!
Dynamic constraints allow you to simulate springs, pins, hinges and more to affect your simulation.
Once your simulation is complete, you need to be able to bake it out to keyframes for efficiency.
Before we go back to our scene let's take a few moments and introduce you to working with particles.
For starters, what is a particle in Maya and in what ways are they generally used in CG scenes?
A look at emitters and how they are used to place particles in your scene based on a variety of settings.
Emitters aren't the only way to create particles. In this video we demonstrate other methods as well!
There are many different types of particles available in Maya and in this video we look at them all!
A discussion of some of the more frequently used attributes associated with particles.
Ramps do more than just affect shaders; they can also be a critical way to affect particle behavior.
This video shows how expressions can be used to control the behavior of your particle systems.
Just like with rigid bodies, fields can be used to affect the motion of particles in your scenes.
Particle simulations appear more lifelike when the particles interact with the environment.
It's now time for us to move on and look at how we're going to handle some of the environmental effects.
First, we set up the sky dome that will surround our scene and give the illusion of an open sky.
Next, we discuss the various ways in whcih we could create footprints in the snow as the mech walks.
For this first method, we'll begin by cutting the ground up into panels that can be sculpted individually.
Next, we shape each panel for use as a blend shape, to be animated as the mech marches forward.
In this video, we show an alternate method for footprints that the mech can create dynamically as it walks.
A brief discussion over how to make shaders that are affected by a surface's distance from the camera.
In this video we set up the lights for our scene's environment, such as the sun and any ambient lighting.
We now need to create the shader that will make the ground appear to be covered in snow.
Using a special expression to control the snowflake rotation, we now create our final snow storm.
It's time for us to create the effect of our antenna's explosion, which will be covered over the next several videos.
FOR loops allow for a portion of code to be repeated a set number of times, which is critical for some operations.
Linstep and Smoothstep offer ramp-like incrementation (or decrementation) of set values in your scenes.
To ease the load on the computer, we set up an external scene for our explosion that can be re-imported.
The first step is to blow apart the shrapnel pieces of the antenna, which we do with a reversed Newton field.
With the shrapnel blown out, we now need the upper portion of the antenna to collapse downward.
The motion is in place. Now we need some pyrotechnics. Here we look at adding the initial fireball.
Next, we add on some smoke trails from each of the shrapnel pieces of our tower.
To control the smoke, we're going to be using a few fairly simple expressions with what we've learned so far.
Now that the explosion is done, we can import the scene into our primary shot for the final result.
It's time for us to create the laser effect of the cannon blasting away the antenna array.
Here we show how to go about fixing any flickering issues that are present in our final render.
The next error to fix will be any seams in the ground's NURBS surfaces.
By adding some motion blur to our particles, we can get some much more realistic effects.
Here we finalize our shots and prep them for batch render. Project III is finally completed!