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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.
When you work with Maya, oftentimes you'll have a lot of different files that contribute to your Maya project file. For example, in this file we have a bitmap that creates the sky, as well as a couple of other bitmaps and other things that are actually included into this scene to make an entire file. So when you work with Maya files, it's always a good idea to learn to how to work with projects. And what these are, it's just a standard way of organizing your Maya data.
So before I open a file, I want to make sure that I set my projects. So I'm going to go ahead and go Project > Set, and then I'm going to set it to the chapter that I'm working in. Let's just go ahead and go Set. Now what this does is it actually creates the proper paths so that all of the bitmaps in a project show up. Now let me go ahead and show you what this looks like in the directory. I'm actually going to go into my Exercise Files, and in Chap_01 you'll notice that I have all of these standard directory names.
All of my Maya scenes are in the scenes folder of the project. I also have source images which have all of my textures, and then we have a number of other ones. For example, 3dPaintTextures, motion clips and so on. Now how we set this up in Maya is by going into the Project menu. So when you actually start a new project, you want to go into Project > New.
And this allows you to create a Project, Browse for a specific directory that it's going to be located in, as well as what the paths are for each one of these many different types of data. And if you want you can just hit this Use Defaults, and it will create all the default names that Maya normally uses, and once you hit Accept, it can create a new project. I'm actually going to hit Cancel at this point, because we're actually using the Chap_01 project.
So when you start working with Maya, be sure to set up a project first. That way, your data will be portable. It allows you to just take that Project directory and move it to another machine, and then be able to have all of your paths line up. And this is very important, particularly if you're downloading the Exercise Files and following along with me.
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