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This is 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 techlogical invation 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; and, use particle effects, such as sprites and animated geometry, to add pizzazz to your model.
Michael McKinley is a 3D artist at Warthog Games in Austin, Texas. He is an online instructor at simplymaya.com as well as simplyphotoshop.com, and previously taught a Maya course at Collins College (Phoenix).