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One of the most powerful 3D applications on the market, Maya 2010, now includes three complimentary bundled applications: MatchMover, powerful camera matching software; Toxik, a node-based compositor; and Backburner, a network rendering manager for Maya, 3ds Max, and Toxik. In Maya 2010: Getting Started with MatchMover, Toxik, and Backburner, instructor George Maestri demonstrates how to use these applications with Maya's existing powerful feature set to create engaging 3D animations. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now we're going to take a look at the last of the applications that now ship with Maya 2010, and that's Toxik. Toxik is a compositor, very similar to After Effects or Shake, in that it allows you to combine multiple images into final output. Now this works really well with Maya, because it allows you to render in layers and then bring everything back together, and just fine tune it in the compositor before doing final output. So, Toxik also can be used as just a general image processor as well.
Now before we get started in Toxik, let me just show you some of the basics of the Toxik interface. First, you'll notice that Toxik uses a lot of its own conventions. It's not quite like a Windows app, so you'll notice that you can't resize the window, and the menus look a little bit different, but once you get past these differences, you'll find it's fairly easy to work with. Now Toxik is a node-based compositor, so most of the menu options are actually attached to the nodes that it uses, so along the top here, we only have a File > Edit and then a small Scripts menu.
There's really not a whole lot along the top menu. Most of your options are within the nodes. Now Toxik has a couple of different window types. The first is Viewport. So for example, the robot that we're seeing is in a Viewport. We also have all of our compositing nodes here, which are also in a Viewport. So for example, here we have our layout, which has our robot element, the shadow, and then those two comps together, so we have nodes. You can actually just trace through the lines here and see how it's all kind of wired together.
And then we have our backing plate here, and then we've composited all that together for final output. Now notice when I actually click on these, how this bottom set of menus changes, so when I'm in output, I am actually looking at the output options for this scene. When I hit the one that says Blend & Comp, then I get the controls for blending and compositing two elements together, and the same for the footage. So this is actually the controls for the footage, how long it is and so on.
So, in addition to our Viewports, we have our Controls, which are down here. So for example, if I clicked on this footage here, I could actually work with this and if I clicked with my output, I could change that as well. Now in between these we actually have a Timeline, which allows us to scrub, we have keyframing controls here, we can turn this on and off to automatically Keyframe or create Keyframes. We have our Frame counter here. We also have a Player. Now one of the things with compositing is that you really do need a fast hard disk in order to play things in real-time.
So with this particular one, we've got a lot of elements, so I'm not going to be able of play this in real-time, but let me show you how this work. If you hit Play here, it will actually start to play in Full Screen. Now all I have to do is hit Esc, and then I can see it in the smaller Viewport. So, if I hit that, it goes big. Hit Escape, it goes small. I hit this one to Stop. So this plays forward, this one plays backwards, and this one is the Full Screen Player.
Now the rest of the interface is fairly simple. Along the bottom here we have a Status Bar, and actually one of the nicest things is here we can click this and pull down and figure out what type of layout we want. So, if we want something a little bit different, we can just create whatever type of layout we want. Now I'm going to go ahead and put this back to where it was, and also, down here, we also have our Preferences. So, if you click here, you get your Project Preferences. These are things related to the actual file that we're working with, and these are more global User Preferences.
So those are some of the basics of the Toxik interface, and now let's go ahead and get started in actually using Toxik.
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