Learn it fast with expert-taught software and skills training at lynda.com. Start your free trial

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

2014_11_14_3Dproject1

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

2014_08_14_siggraphClock

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

braavos-harbor-vfx-plates-WEB

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:

By Aaron F. Ross | Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Production rendering from the Maya Camera Sequencer

Production rendering with Maya's Camera Sequencer

Maya’s Camera Sequencer is an amazing tool for nonlinear editing and previsualization. It lets you create a cuts-only edit of multiple cameras and shots within a single scene, and render the edited sequence out to a Playblast. There’s just one catch: By default, the framing and aspect ratio of the exported sequence doesn’t match that of the cameras. I wasn’t able to cover this in my recent course Cinematography in Maya but in this article, I’ll describe how to work around the issue.

With the following steps, the Maya Camera Sequencer can render movies and image sequences with the same crop factor as the Batch Renderer. Depending on your needs, you may even be able to render final production animations using Viewport 2.0! Imagine that: You can stage, animate, and edit an entire movie within Maya, basically erasing the distinctions between pre-production, production, and post.

By David Mattingly | Friday, March 28, 2014

Digital Matte Painting is Just Good Painting!

Matte painting is just good painting!

Matte painting is meant to fool the viewer’s eye. It is a special effects technique that combines live-action footage with painted imagery that dates back to 1907— the very dawn of filmmaking. Mattes were originally painted on a sheet of glass, which was suspended in front of the camera. Today, with digital imaging, artists can work in Photoshop, and combine their paintings with a live-action plate in programs such as After Effects, Maya, or Nuke.

The tools and techniques I advocate aren’t just helpful for matte painting, but form the building blocks of all good paintings. If you want to learn the tools and techniques I use for creating a strong digital matte painting, here are five artistic principles to set you on the right path:

Get the latest news

  •   New course releases
  •   Pro tips and tricks
  •   News and updates
  
New releases submit clicked

You can change your email preferences at any time. We will never sell your email. More info

Featured articles

A lynda.com membership includes:

Unlimited access to thousands of courses in our library
Certificates of completion
New courses added every week (almost every day!)
Course history to track your progress
Downloadable practice files
Playlists and bookmarks to organize your learning
Start your free trial

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.