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By George Maestri | Tuesday, July 07, 2015

First-Time Animators: Maya 2016 Easier to Learn, Use


A stalwart 3D package used in countless movies, games, and TV shows, Maya is an industry standard when it comes to 3D modeling, rendering, and animation. It’s a powerful bit of software, and as such, it can be intimidating to novices.

But with Maya 2016, Autodesk has completely revised and updated the interface of both Maya and its sibling, Maya LT.  And the new interface should go a long way towards making the software easier to use and learn. 

Let’s take a look at some of the more important changes and additions.

By Scott Fegette | Thursday, June 04, 2015

5 Amazing Visual Effects from Mad Max: Fury Road


“Mad Max: Fury Road” ends a 30-year hiatus in George Miller’s wildly popular post-apocalyptic Mad Max movie series, and if one thing’s obvious after three decades, it’s that visual effects have come a long, long way since 1985.

The movie’s popularity is largely due to its non-stop, breakneck-speed action sequences featuring seamless visual effects that immerse you in the dystopian world of Mad Max.

Here are my five favorite types of visual effects in Fury Road—an amazing cornucopia of “modernized” photographic techniques and cutting-edge 2D and 3D digital effects orchestrated by visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson. If you’re interested in taking a shot at a few of these techniques yourself, I’ve included links to lynda.com courses that can help get you started.

By Starshine Roshell | Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Author Spotlight: The Multi-Dimensional George Maestri

George Maestri

The author of our brand new course Getting Started in 3D and Animation, George Maestri has been using 3D and animation tools for more than 20 years—starting with pencil and paper and learning the software as it developed.

He rides bikes, plays music, and … um, takes welding classes in his free time, but his professional life has led him to writing, directing, and producing gigs on projects from Rocko’s Modern Life to South Park.

“Each job taught me more about the process, and I got to invent new ways of doing things,” he says. “Everything was evolving so quickly, you always had to invent and learn.”

Find out why 3D and animation are important skills for anyone working in creative fields today—and how a lynda.com course once saved his hide!

By Ryan Kittleson | Saturday, November 15, 2014

Make 3D Printed Gifts! It's Easier—and Cheaper—Than You Think


Every holiday season, we all hope to give our friends and family members a present that’s unique, personal—and yet affordable. And as you know, finding an item that hits that sweet spot is not so easy!

But thanks to simple software and 3D printing, you can actually make the impossible happen this year. All it takes is a free download, a few clicks, and as little as $10. Let me show you how to make beautiful 3D printed gifts.

By Nick Brazzi | Thursday, August 14, 2014

Notes from the SIGGRAPH Floor: 3D Printing & Motion Capture


Here at SIGGRAPH, the international conference for computer graphics, animation, and interactive design, it’s really fun to walk the show floor and experience the new technology on display—especially 3D printing and motion capture.

By Aaron F. Ross | Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Coolest New Features of Maya 2015

Maya 2015 Texture Deformer

Maya 2015 Texture Deformer

With the release of Maya 2015, Autodesk demonstrates a strong commitment to developing the gold standard in 3D animation and visual effects software. From polygon modeling to liquid simulations, Maya 2015 offers many exciting new features.

Here’s a rundown of the most significant improvements to this powerful software.

By Scott Fegette | Sunday, July 20, 2014

Deconstructing Game of Thrones' Visual Effects


It’s often said that visual effects only succeed when you don’t notice them. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” received a staggering 19 Emmy nominations in 2014, including Outstanding Special and Visual Effects. It’s no surprise, given the show’s beautifully integrated visual effects are largely responsible for immersing viewers into its fictional world of Westeros. German VFX house Mackevision recently published a video breakdown of its visual effects work on the show’s fourth season, and as stunning as it is, the FX techniques they employed to create the world of “Game of Thrones” aren’t as out of reach to mere mortals as you may think. First, watch the reel.

By Jason Baskin | Monday, May 05, 2014

Free Maya Character Rig: Mike and Tina

Mike and Tina - a free Maya character rig from Jason Baskin

Looking for a new customizable 3D character rig that includes both male and female options? I’ve got great news: Mike and Tina, my new Maya character rig, is now available for download. Mike and Tina is free for non-commercial use, and packed with options, including:

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