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In Maya 2011 Essential Training, George Maestri demonstrates the tools and feature set in Maya, as well as the skills necessary to model, texture, animate, and render projects with this deep and robust piece of 3D animation software from Autodesk. This course takes an in-depth tour of Maya's interface, including navigating and manipulating objects in 3D and customizing the workspace. The course also covers object creation and modeling basics, shading and texturing, surface mapping techniques, character rigging, and lastly, rendering and final output. Exercise files accompany the course.
Many times you'll need to use your own images in Maya and that involves loading a bitmap image. So we can do that very easily. Let's just go ahead and create a simple plain. Shade it. And I am going to go ahead and turn off the grid here. So first thing we have to do is assign a material. I am going to show you that trick here. If we right-click over this to pull up our Marking menu, if you go down to the bottom here, we can actually assign a new material or assign a favorite material. So let's go ahead and assign a Lambert to this. And that brings up my Attribute Editor.
Now for this, let's just go ahead and put a bitmap into the Color channel. So I'm going to go ahead and click on this little Texture icon here and it's going to bring up my Create Render Node. Now I just want to scroll down, make sure 2D Textures is highlighted, and just select File. Now nothing comes up. Well, that's because I need to do a second step here and that's load the image. So I just hit my little folder option here, and I have a very nice picture of a donut here, and we can just go ahead and open that up, and if I hit the number 6 to do hardware texturing, it should show up.
Go ahead and scale that so it's the right length, and there we go. Now if I want, I can go ahead and adjust the bitmap itself. So if I select my Lambert, go into the Color channel, and then just go ahead and hit my connection here, I can scroll down and you'll see that actually I have some additional options. If you're using high dynamic range images, you can change the float value here. But the one I actually like is Color Balance. So you can actually change your default color. So if you want you can tint this, with any sort of color you want.
I am not going to do that, so let's go ahead there. Or we can change what's called Color Gain, which is basically the top end of your color. So you can actually change how bright this is. We can also change Color Offset, which is kind of the lower value. So that kind of brings the black levels up. That kind of makes it a little bit brighter, or maybe a little too bright in this particular case. And then we can also do Alpha Gain, Alpha Offset. We also have a number of different effects. One of them is called Filter, and this actually determines how Maya filters the bitmap so it doesn't get jaggies, that sort of thing, and here is a place where you can actually invert a bitmap.
So if you right-click over that, you can do that. And then we also have UV coordinates, and that's really how this image maps to the object that it's on. When you work with bitmaps, you're actually working with files outside of your actual Maya file. For example, if I were to save this, the actual image of that donut would still be in that JPEG file that I loaded. So this can make it hard sometimes to manage projects, because you may bring the Maya binary over, but the bitmaps may not come along.
So this is a really good time to use projects, because if you store your images in the source images directory of the project, then all you have to do is move the entire project and everything will link up when you get it to your new computer.
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