1st Edition

Creating Visual Effects in Maya
Fire, Water, Debris, and Destruction

ISBN 9780415834186
Published March 20, 2014 by Routledge
328 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

Produce mind-blowing visual effects with Autodesk Maya. Gain the practical skills and knowledge you need to recreate phenomena critical to visual effects work, including fire, water, smoke, explosions, and destruction, as well as their integration with real-world film and video.

In Creating Visual Effects in Maya, Maya master Lee Lanier has combined the latest studio techniques with multi-chapter, hands-on projects and professionally-vetted workflows to bolster your CG toolkit. Engaging, full-color tutorials cover:

  • Creating foliage, fire, and smoke with Paint Effects
  • Growing Maya Fur and nHair on clothing, characters, and sets
  • Replicating water, smoke, sparks, swarms, bubbles, and debris with nParticles and nCloth
  • Controlling scenes and simulations with expressions and MEL, Python, and PyMEL scripting
  • Adding dust, fog, smoke, rippling water, and fireballs with Fluid Effects containers
  • Creating damage with Effects presets, deformers, and animated textures
  • Matchmoving and motion tracking with Maya and MatchMover
  • Creating complex destruction by combining rigid bodies, nParticles, nCloth, and Fluid Effects
  • Setting up, rendering, and compositing mental ray render passes with Autodesk Composite, Adobe After Effects, and The Foundry Nuke

The companion website (www.focalpress.com/cw/lanier) features a treasure trove of Maya, MatchMover, After Effects, and Nuke project files, image sequences, texture bitmaps, and MEL, Python, and PyMEL scripts, allowing you to immediately apply the techniques taught in the book.

Table of Contents

Paint Effects; Fur and Hair; Particles and nParticles; Cloth and nCloth; Soft and Rigid Bodies; Fluid Dynamics; Ponds and Oceans; Motion Tracking; Expressions and Scripting; Render Passes;

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Lee Lanier has worked in the motion picture industry since 1989, having spent hundreds of hours on live-action sets and thousands of hours working with high-end animation and compositing software. He’s created visual effects for Walt Disney Studios and served as a senior animator in the modeling and lighting departments at PDI/DreamWorks on Antz and Shrek. In addition to having taught at the Academy of Art University and Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Lee has written seven books on visual effects and digital compositing, has recorded tutorials for lynda.com and The Foundry, and is a member of the Visual Effects Society.

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Lee  Lanier

Lee Lanier

Director, BeezleBug Bit, LLC
Boulder City, Nevada, United States

Learn more about Lee Lanier »


"Lee Lanier is a fantastic artist and teacher. These techniques for creating destruction using simulations are a critical part of the VFX workflow and should be in every artist's toolbox!" -- Rob Garrott, Content Manager, Video Segment, lynda.com

"Wow! What an exceptional book full of meticulously organised information. Lee Lanier is obviously not only a very talented Visual Effects artist but also a very intuative tutor." -- Wendy Laybourn, Network Nine

Support Material

Companion Website

Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.