Advanced Maya: Character Modeling Review

Advanced Maya: Character Modeling
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As a trained, certified Maya user I have never fully explored modeling human characters as my work never required it. But like most 3D artists I am always hoping to expand my abilities, and as a result I have completed just about every single tutorial online and none seemed to really get me where I wanted to be. This DVD, however, will get you there. The Author's technique is easy to follow, produces a clean and polished result, and just makes sense where other tutorials simply fall apart if you don't understand one step. I would definitely recommend this DVD to current Maya users, though new users might be lost early on since the Author assumes a working knowledge of the Maya interface and settings.
The only reason I give it a 4 instead of 5 is that the Author spends a lot of time moving points around and spinning around his model. While you too will be doing this in the course of building your character, you probably don't need to see him do it for 15 minute stretches to get the idea. There seems to have been no editing of the material, so there are one or two times where he makes a mistake and has to back up several steps, which if you were following along too closely means you too will have to back up and unlearn a step or two. Editing, fellas, editing.
They probably could have used this wasted time more wisely, perhaps giving a better overview of WHY you are doing this particular step, how it fits into the big picture, and less with the "how."
That said, the Author really does know his stuff and is a good teacher, so I still highly recommend this for anyone looking to learn character modeling.

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Advanced Maya: Character Modeling will take you through each step of modeling a character from head to toe. Starting with photographs of a human female model, every step from the first polygon to the final tweak is illustrated and explained. Also, learn how to create a custom shelf to be used throughout the modeling process that will speed up your workflow.The 16 page book is a handy guide to the included DVD disc. The DVD disc (data format) includes over 16 hours of high-resolution (1024x768) video in Quicktime™ MOV format, designed for crystal clear viewing on a computer monitor. Voice narraration on these movies by artist Kenny Cooper will guide you through each movie. A Maya scene file is saved on the disc for the start and end of each movie segment - 50 segments in all.Designed for the intermediate level Maya user, this training video will help you learn how to use polygonal and sub-divisional modeling tools to create a fully articulated human 3D model. Follow along as each body part is created, matched, attached and refined. - Includes printed guide to all 50 movies - 16 hours of Quicktime™ Movies with audio - Suitable for all Maya platforms - Suitable for intermediate Maya users (advise that you have a basic understanding of Maya before beginning) - High resolution 1024x768 captures - Movies created using Maya 5.0 - Works with the free Personal Learning Edition of Maya - Produced by Jim Lammers, co-author of the best-selling Maya Fundamentals books.

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