Animated Information Graphics: An Introduction to Maya 3D | Graham Roberts | Skillshare

Animated Information Graphics: An Introduction to Maya 3D

Graham Roberts, Senior Editor in Graphics at The New York Times

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9 Lessons (1h 26m)
    • 1. Inspiration

    • 2. Getting started with Maya

    • 3. An overview of basic modeling techniques and practices

    • 4. Modeling a thermos

    • 5. An overview of basic animation techniques and practices

    • 6. Animating the thermos model

    • 7. An overview of basic rendering techniques and practices

    • 8. Rendering the thermos

    • 9. A look at working with data sets in Maya


Project Description

Create a 3D animation or 3D data visualization


1. Download and install a trial version of Maya

Interface Overview

2. Familiarize yourself with Maya

Spend some time with the Maya interface so that as we continue into the next steps you'll have a good idea of where the major elements of the software are.

Basic Modeling

3. Practice using the different modeling tools.

In this lesson we examine a number of modeling tools that will allow you to create a wide range of geometry. 

  1. This includes:

    • editing by component
    • face extrusion
    • boolean operations
    • sculpt geometry tools
    • cut faces tools

    Practice using each of these tools, before moving on to the next video.

  2. Model an object

    Follow along with the video to create a model of a typical coffee thermos, or use the techniques you learn to create a model of your choosing. 

    I've also included the model of the thermos that I created as reference.

    And here is some photo reference to help you follow along:

Basic Animation

4. Practice using the different animation tools.

In this video we learn the fundamental tools for creating animations in Maya.

  1. This includes:

    • how to create keyframe based animation
    • using the graph editor
    • animation layers
    • creating playblast previews
    • beginner rigging
    • using cameras

    Practice using these animations tools and techniques before moving on to the next video.

5. Create an animation

  1. Using the class model, or a model of your own, use the animation techniques learned in these videos to create your own animation. 

    Then, create a playblast of this animation and share it with the class.

    Be creative!

Basic Rendering

6. Practice using the different rendering options.

  1. In these videos, we learn a variety of rendering techniques including:

    • adding shaders to your model
    • manipulating textures
    • adding lights and cameras to the scene
    • maya software renderer, mental ray renderer, and vector renderer
    • working with render layers

    Practice all of these tools and methods before moving on to the next video.

7. Create a set of renderings

  1. Using the class model, or a model of your own creation, add shaders, textures, and lighting and create some renderings.

    Then share these images with the class.


    Output a frame sequence of an animation, and compile these frames into a quicktime video, and share the video with the class.

Data in 3D

8. Familiarize yourself with code in Maya

  1. Experiment with using MEL to create, and manipulate objects in Maya.

    Try creating and then manipulating an object as we learned in earlier videos, then look at the script editor and see how Maya expressed these actions in code.

    Then create a small program using these instructions to recreate yoru actions using code alone.

    Share your MEL code with the class along with some screenshots showing what the code produced.

9. Optional: Visualize a data set

  1. We saw in the video the power of visualizing data in 3D. Find a data set and try visualizing this data in Maya

    Share some screen grabs, renderings, or animations of the result with the class, with an explanation of the kind of data you are visualizing.

Additional Resources