1st Edition

How to Cheat in Maya 2012 Tools and Techniques for Character Animation

By Eric Luhta, Kenny Roy Copyright 2012
    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    320 Pages
    by Routledge

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    The Maya guide for animators, How to Cheat in Maya 2012 presents everything you need to know about character animation in Maya. Fully updated for the latest revision of Maya, this book provides you with complete, step-by-step walkthroughs of essential animation techniques to increase your efficiency and speed. This is an animator's workflow in book form, written by professional animators-not a software book with a few animation pointers thrown in.

    In addition to all the gold-mine coverage and interviews with expert animators from the previous edition, How to Cheat in Maya 2012 also features a new in-depth chapter on the principles of animation, updated information on camera settings and animation using Maya's new Camera Sequencer tool, the ins and outs of the brand new Editable Motion Trails tool, new techniques for working with characters in multi-shot animation tests and short films, a new cycles chapter covering actions like flying and walks, time-saving scripts, and advanced tricks with the new Graph Editor. The proven "How to Cheat" series gets you up to speed quickly, and in a way that's fun.

    How to Cheat in Maya 2012 -

    Chapter 1 - Animation Principles in Maya


    Overlap and Follow Through

    Squash and Stretch

    Staging (Cameras)



    Ease In/Ease Out

    Chapter 2 - Splines
    All cheats revised for new interface

    Chapter 3 - Graph Editor

    All cheats revised for new interface

    Chapter 4 - Techniques

    smear frames

    bendy arms

    Possible material for tools added in Maya 20XX

    Chapter 5 - Constraints

    All cheats revised for new interface

    Chapter 6 - Gimbal Lock

    All cheats revised for new interface

    Chapter 7 - Cameras and Layout 

    In-depth cheats on cameras and staging, applicable to multi-shot dialog tests and short films

    cheats for new Camera Sequence tool

    Chapter 8 - Blocking

    New project for the chapter, so all cheats will be revised

    Chapter 9 - Cycles

    Shorter examples of walk and run cycles with new character

    Older walk cycle material will be put on the website

    Tips for personality walks

    Chapter 10 - Polishing

    New chapter project, all cheats revised

    Chapter 11 - Facial Animation

    New chapter project, all cheats revised

    Mouth shapes

    Eye shapes

    Chapter 12 - Animation Layers

    New chapter project, all cheats revised

    Chapter 12 from the first book is retired to the website


    Eric Luhta is a professional animator whose recent credits include "Bioshock 2", "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs", "Horton Hears A Who!", and numerous television commercials. Eric has extensive experience with Autodesk's Maya, including teaching it, as an instructor for the Maya Training Program at AnimationMentor.com. He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife and 3 computers.
    Kenny Roy entered the animation industry in 1998 and has animated on feature films, television, commercials and rides, and started his very own animation studio in Los Angeles, CA. Now in its 6th year of operation, Arconyx Animation Studios has worked with clients Nickelodeon to Cartoon Network, Fox to Mattel. Kenny has mentored full time at AnimationMentor.com for 6 years, and also offers in-depth animation video training on his personal website, www.kennyroy.com. He lives in LA with his wife and son.