This Maya course is part of our Maya Foundations series and covers Simulation and Effects. We look in-depth at these fundamental building blocks using a selection of software focused around Maya. We’ll look at both the technical and artistic aspects as we progress through the course with each component being real-world project focused. The course will be broken down into a number of key areas, nParticles, Rigid and Softbody Dynamics, nCloth, Bullet Physics, nHair and Fur, XGen, Fluids and Bifröst. We’ll draw on real-world examples, examine white papers and dig deep into the software of today's VFX artists.
The course is aimed at anyone interested in Simulation and Effects work. We will use Maya 2016 as the backbone of everything we do, covering the tools to a more detailed level than ever before as well as including the techniques used in both large and small VFX facilities around the world. Alongside Maya we’ll be using RenderMan, Mental Ray and Hardware 2.0 as our renderers, and Nuke for basic compositing. This will be an excellent course for anyone who knows Maya already but wants to expand their knowledge, or for someone just getting into the business.
The course is taught by Matt Leonard who has been in the 3D and Visual Effects industry since 1990. He has been using Maya since its release in 1998 and before that 3D Studio (DOS), 3DSMax and Softimage. He is a member of the Visual Effects Society and has worked as a beta tester for not only Maya but also Katana, Arnold, RenderMan, Mari, Nuke, and Fusion. He currently works for MPC (Vancouver) as Lead Lighting Instructor and before that ran his own training company Sphere VFX for 9 years.
We look nParticles and how you can simulate a wide range of complex 3D dynamic effects such as smoke, spray, dust, and liquids. We’ll look at how particles can interact with volumes and how you can add mapped shading attributes such as radius, colour, opacity, and incandescence, all based on time, age, radius and speed.
We look at creating convincing simulations of multiple rigid and soft-body objects. How to use Nail, Hinge, Barrier, Pin, and Spring constraints to create more complex simulations, and how secondary motion can be achieved with paintable goal-weights. We’ll also look at applying natural forces with dynamic fields such as air, wind and gravity.
We look at how you can convert polygon models into nCloth objects. How you can paint cloth attributes such as bend, stretch, shear, and dent along with making the objects stiff, viscous, or flowing. We’ll explore how you can attach buttons, tear the cloth, and even control the movement with topology-independent constraints.
We look at Bullet Physics which can be used to create large-scale, highly realistic dynamic and kinematic simulations. We’ll create both soft and rigid bodies sims in a single system along with continuous collision detection. We’ll also look at how you can use Maya’s dynamic fields to enhance the simulations.
We shift gears to look at nHair. We look at the common system of fields, forces, and constraints all based off the Nucleus framework. We also look at how you can simulate clumping to set the look of various styles.
We look at XGen which was developed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and used to create and groom hair, fur, and feathers on characters. You can also use it to populate large landscapes with grass, foliage, trees, rocks, and debris trails. During this class we will look at many of the key features including guides, brush-based grooming tools, Ptex maps, expressions, and custom attributes.
We shift gears to look at nHair and other curve-based dynamics such as ropes. We’ll use the common system of fields, forces, and constraints all based off the Nucleus framework which controls all nDynamics. We’ll also look at how we can create fur, short hair, wool, and grass based on both presets and custom controls. We’ll look at how you can simulate clumping to set the look of wet, matted and dirty fur, and how all this can be control by animation.
We look at XGen which was developed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and used to create and groom hair, fur, and feathers on characters. You can also use it to populate large landscapes with grass, foliage, trees, rocks, and debris trails. We look at many of the key features including sculpt guides, brush-based grooming tools, Ptex maps, expressions, and custom attributes.
We return to the area of Particles to create a effect similar to that seen in Terminator Genisys. We look at nParticles, Emitters, Nucleus, Volume Axis Fields and Particle Shading.
We explore one of Maya’s newest and most exciting features, Bifröst. We’ll look at how you can create simulated liquid and aerodynamic effects using a FLIP (fluid implicit particle) solver and how you can generate liquid based off emitters being controlled by gravity, working with colliders which can be used to control the flow. Plus the ability to creating splashes and the use of accelerators to create jets and other effects.