October Maya Tasks for completion on Blogs

  • Research, Write and Discuss two 3D related jobs and what skills are required?
  • What are the common and practical job skills required?
  • What form of 3D is being used?
  • How is it being outputted?
  • Discuss the importance of Topology in 3D?
  • Discuss why it is important to have correct asset management when using the software?
  • How do you set up a project in Maya?

The following tutorials should be complete and discussed on the blogs with screenshots:

  • Spaceship Review (Basic primitive box modelling, channel box, outliner, orthographic views, face, edge, vertex etc.)
  • Column Review (Insert edge loop, taper, extrude, basic texturing etc.)
  • Rotating Primitives and keyframes (Timeline, Range Slider, set key etc)
  • Bouncing ball (Graph editor, Dope Sheets etc.)

Subject terminology should be used with a clear description of application processes. 

Blogs will be reviewed on the week of 16/10/2017

All resources can be found on Moodle!

Maya Tutorials


  • Polygonal Modelling
  • NURBS: Non-Uniform Rational Basis Spline
  • Hulls control Vertices
Shapes; Square has an edge, face, vertex and vertices.
You use NURBS when modelling tablecloth (Smooth Objects).
Ngons don’t tesselate when modelling.
Maya needs a specific structure, it has to be organised with folders and the files can’t include spaces in between the words only “- or _” can be used.

Nodes of information 

  • In order to transform a Cube into a crate you need: Cube > Textures > Lighting > Rigging > Animation > Vertices > FX > Camera


  • F – to re-locate one object into the frame.
  • A – to frame more than one object in that scene.
  • Q – General Selection Tool.
  • W – Move Tool.
  • E – Rotation Tool.
  • R – Scale Tool.
  • File Structure “polyCube1”
  • Lower Case > Upper Case > Number
  • Green Selection = Object Mode

To delete waves of information Highlight Tangents inside the graph editor > Edit > Delete by Type > Static channels.

Maya has two file types

  • Maya ASCII
  • Maya Binary

ASCII vs Binary

  • American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) format. Maya scene files are saved in an ASCII format (file extension .ma) or in a binary format (file extension .mb).
  • Binary files are usually smaller and load faster than ASCII files, and are the default. However, only ASCII files can be edited using a text editor.
  • Binary files are usually smaller and load faster than ASCII files, and are the default. However, only ASCII files can be edited using a text editor.
    Tip: Don’t include spaces in between saving projects, use underscores, dashes or don’t have spaces.

How many Job roles use 3D animation?

Jobs List

  • Auto CADGame Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Architect
  • Geologists*
  • CGI Editor
  • Scientist
  • Engineers
  • Teacher
  • Archaeologist
  • Meteorologist
  • Animator
  • Artist
  • Motion Graphics Animator

Additional Information

  • Archaeologists use Blender to re-create ancient artefacts. It’s the process of gathering 3D data from the field in order to build accurate models of archaeological excavations. These models can be used to evaluate various amounts of data in order to process an accurate representation of the ancient artefact. Sometimes a simulation of the ancient people using the building or artefact is also generated and shown to the public in order to enrich the explanation. Different companies/ organisations use different software, for example, Autodesk, Blender, Maya and Auto CAD. 3D Mapping is also used to re-create the surface area of the site.


Aztec Pyramid

Maya Lesson 1

Basic primitive box modelling


Channel box




Orthographic views








  • During the tutorial, we learnt the user interface and various tools used to create shapes and structures.
  • The image below portrays three small blocks that have been imported from the toolbar at the top; then extruded using the “Object Modifier”.
  • I pressed spacebar to access the orthographic viewport.

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 10.08.21

Maya Lesson 2

  • Throughout this lesson, we were asked to use our knowledge of Maya to create a 3D Modelled spaceship.
  • Firstly, I imported a sphere from the toolbar at the top of the screen.
  • Once the sphere had been imported, I then halved the sphere using the face “Object Modifier”.
  • With the sphere halved, I then imported another sphere and changed the dimensions of the “Y-Axis” to create a disk, this would be the base of the spaceship.
  • With the disk and the sphere created, I then added detail by extruding one of the sides to form an engine.
  • Lastly, I then added two cylinders to represent the thrusters/ rockets which in theory would power the spaceship.

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 10.09.56

Maya Lesson 3

Insert edge loop

Mesh Tools > Insert Edge Loop

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 10.17.38

Edit the settings to change the number of edge loops.

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 10.17.56

Create an Edge Loop > Drag from the sides to create new Edges

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 10.26.07




Using the Extrude tool > Drag up to create another level

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.00.33

Basic Texturing

  • For this lesson, we had to create a “Greek Temple” using a reference from moodle.
  • Firstly, I imported a square > Changed the dimensions of the Square to create a flat surface for the base.
  • Using this information, I went to Mesh Tools > Insert Edge Loop (This gives the user the option to drag lines from the edge which would create new areas on a face to be edited)
  • I dragged and clicked the box next to Edit Edge Loop > Changed the number of edge loops to two which helped simplify the process of aligning both sides.

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 10.09.16

I duplicated the Pillars and created a roof using the Extrude tool and the Insert Edge Loop.

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.20.41.png

Keyframe Basics


Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.24.45

Range Slider

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.25.28

Set key

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 11.25.43.png

Bouncing Ball Animation

Graph Editor


Dope Sheets


Arnold – Robot Lighting

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 10.15.36Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 10.19.16Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 10.18.54Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 10.18.36

Barry Character


Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 10.28.25Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 10.28.36Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 10.28.49Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 10.57.10Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 10.57.34

Light Sources

  • Ambient
  • Directional
  • Point
  • Spot
  • Area
  • Volume

Create > Lights > Select a type of light (More than one way to achieve this)

Basic light setup


Brightens all parts of the scene uniformly

Useful for: Stimulating a combination of direct and indirect lighting.


Even illumination of a scene using parallel rays of light

Useful for: Extremely far away sources

Ex Sunlight

Point Light

Light radiates in all directions from a single point

Ideal for: Omni-directional sources

Ex Lightbulb


Creates a cone of light in one direction

Useful for beams of light.

Ex. Flashlight and lighthouses.


2D rectangular light sources

Useful for: Windows, Ceiling Lights.

Longer render time.


Light fills a 3D shape (Sphere, cylinder etc)

Useful for: A visual representation of the extent of the light.

Three Point Lighting

KeyLight – The Main source illuminating the object

Secondary (Fill) Light – Highlights details of the object

Back Light – Distinguishes the object fro the background.

Attributes of light

Intensity – How much light emitted from the light source.

Fall-off/ decay – How much light diminishes away from the source light (Fall-off).

Cone angle – Width of the lights cone of influence – area outside cone not illuinated.

Penumbra Angle – Fall off at edge of cone angle – “more” gives a softer edge to the light cone

Drop-off – How much the light diminishes at the outer edges.

Colour – Set and RGB colour for the light – affects the colour of the scene.

Light controls

Aim from/ Aim at

Fall-Off Rate

Cone Radius

Penumbra/ Umbra Control

Non-Linear Fall-Off

All in One Control

Good ways to use lights

Look to photographs for god techniques

Think in terms of balance

Avoid the overly dramatic

Look at natural lighting

Avoid saturated lights

Shadow Effects

Hard Shadows – Default Shadow option Faster render time

Soft Shadows – Soft realistic edges.

Fall-Out – Acts like a colour gradient, the shadow becomes lighter at the top of the shadow.


Shading is a combination of the basic material of an object and any textures that are applied to it.

“Lambert 1” –

“Blinn” –

“Phong” –

Go to> Windows > Rendering > Editors > Hypershade