By George Maestri | Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Today is a sad day in the 3D community—Autodesk has stopped development on Softimage. They’ll continue to support the software for two years as the Softimage community transitions to Maya or 3ds Max.
The history of Softimage is interwoven with the history of 3D animation. The program goes back to the 1980s, when it became the first go-to software tool for character animation. The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park? Animated in Softimage 3D. In fact, many early CG milestones used Softimage. In the mid-1990s, Microsoft purchased Softimage Co. and ported Softimage 3D to Windows. The software was then purchased by Avid Technology a few years later, where it became Softimage XSI, then sold again to Autodesk. And with every one of those changes, the software lost momentum; it never fully recovered.
By George Maestri | Monday, September 16, 2013
Explore 3D printing at lynda.com.
We’re proud to announce our very first 3D printing course: Ryan Kittleson’s 3D Printing on Shapeways Using Maya. 3D printing allows you to take almost any 3D object file and print it out in materials such as plastic, ceramic, and metal for use as prototypes, products, jewelry, or works of art. This technology has really caught on in the past few years, thanks to inexpensive 3D printers and online printing services.
Author Ryan Kittleson is an expert in 3D printing and his work has been featured in publications such as Boing Boing, Time, and others. His course covers the basic workflow needed to print 3D objects using the Shapeways online printing service, which can print objects in a variety of materials and colors. Using a 3D printing service is a great way to get your feet wet by creating a few models without the cost of buying a 3D printer.
By George Maestri | Thursday, November 11, 2010
Last Thursday night, AIGA/LA hosted three lynda.com authors for an evening that focused on 3D design. The event was held at Continuum, which is one of the best-looking design studios in Venice. The evening started with pizza and beer, then the authors took the stage.
Author Dave Schultze showed how Rhino can be used in product and package design. He showed a very cool Philco PC he designed as well as some very realistic renderings. Author David Lee showed some of the finer aspects of Sketchbook Pro, which is used extensively in illustration and design. I showed tips and tricks for Google Sketchup. After the talks ended, free passes and other goodies were handed out to the audience.
The event was a success, and it introduced a lot of Los Angeles-based creative types to a whole new dimension in design.
By Crystal McCullough | Wednesday, May 19, 2010
In Maya 2011 New Features, lynda.com author and content manager for 3D, animation, and video George Maestri explores the significant and robust features in Maya 2011 that add functionality to its 3D workflows. This course covers the addition of Bezier curves for NURBS modelers, the Connect Component and Spin Edge tools in the polygonal modeling mode, and rigging tools for character animation. George also covers enhancements to rendering and special effects, adjusting skin weights with color feedback with Paint Skin Weights, making object-level soft selections, using the camera sequencer, and much more.
By Megan O. Read | Friday, May 07, 2010
There have been a lot of new releases in the 3D category at lynda.com lately, with more to come.
First-time lynda.com author Rob Garrott was just in town recording a new project-based course using Cinema 4D training. Rob has worked in the industry for 17 years as an art director, animator, editor, and an instructor at Art Center College of Design teaching 3D motion graphics, compositing, and motion design.
Rob Garrett on the lynda.com live action set.
Veteran lynda.com author and channel manager for 3D and video, George Maestri, just wrapped up recording new Maya 2011 training. Maya 2011 is a really significant upgrade, and George’s new training will explore the numerous upgrades and functionality.
George Maestri in a lynda.com recording booth.
Jeff Bartels’ AutoCAD 2011 New Features course was released recently, and covers all of the new and cool features AutoCAD 2011 has to offer, from transparency, to the new 3D surfaces, to hatch creation. Look for more AutoCAD training from Jeff soon.
The highly anticipated Rhino 4 Essential Training by Dave Schultze was released this month, and is proving to be an exciting addition to the Library. In addition to building with the curve, surface, and the solid, members can learn how to create shoes for their robots and watch as their sketches come to life.
And in case you missed the New Deal Studios, Visual EffectsCreative Inspirations documentary that was published in February, you might want to check out how this visual effects house uses Rhino and other 3D applications to create models, miniatures, and other computer graphics you will probably recognize from major motion pictures like Shutter Island, and The Dark Knight.
By Megan O. Read | Monday, March 08, 2010
This past week at lynda.com we had an impressive showcase of talent.
Dave Schultze is a new author at lynda.com. He is recording Rhino training for those of you in the 3D field. He teaches Toy Design at Otis College of Art and Design, and his body of work is impressive to say the least. You may already be familiar with the toys and products he has deigned for his company SchultzeWORKS, such as the singing toothbrushes for Hasbro.
The Philco PC, designed by new lynda.com author, Dave Schultze.
The beautiful and sleek Philco PC was featured in any number of magazines, but most recently, it was entered in the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA Awards).
Clockwise, from far left: author Chris Orwig, lynda.com co-owner and founder Bruce Heavin, supervising training producer Max Smith, content manager for 3D/Video George Maestri, author relations manager Megan O. Read, author Deke McClelland, content manager Cynthia Scott (standing), author Dave Schultze, training producer Kirk Werner, and author David Blatner.
Dave was in good company with Chris Orwig, David Blatner, and Deke McClelland all working away in the recording booths and live action stages to bring you some new training. We took all of the authors and a few local content managers out on the town for some creative brainstorming and pasta. We are looking forward to sharing their training with you soon.
By George Maestri | Friday, February 12, 2010
George Maestri, content manager for 3D, animation, and video for lynda.com.
Allow me to introduce myself: My name is George Maestri, and I’m the content manager for 3D, animation, and video for lynda.com. My job is to find great authors in these areas and have them produce and teach courses that our members need.
My background is in animation, and I started my animation career 20 years ago. Back then, learning animation was not an easy task. There were very few books, and only a handful of colleges in the country taught the subject. The technology was primitive, as well. Even the best computers struggled with something as simple as a pencil test, and computers that could do 3D animation cost as much as a house.
Back then, we resorted to pencil, paper, videotape, and film to learn how to animate. I was fortunate to live close to a college which had a good animation program and a giant Oxberry camera stand. While there, I made enough films to get my foot in the door and start my career. Others were not as fortunate, and many had to literally move across the country to learn the craft.
In the intervening years, a technology revolution has made animation much easier, not only in the way it is made, but also the way it is taught. Almost all animation today is created digitally, and just about any modern computer is powerful enough to create high quality animation. The only barrier these days is some talent and the willingness to learn.
This is where technology comes to the rescue again. Instead of having to move across the country to learn animation, the power of the internet allows lynda.com to bring some of the best teachers of animation to you. I’m a total animation geek, and I’m very happy to bring my laser geek focus to bear on creating great animation courses for both 3D and 2D character animation, as well as special effects, motion graphics, and anywhere else animation is used. Look forward to a lot of great new courses in the coming year, and let me know what kinds of courses you’d like to see.
By Crystal McCullough | Wednesday, January 13, 2010
In Google SketchUp 7 New Features, George Maestri reviews the major enhancements to Google’s free and user-friendly 3D modeling software. One of the most exciting changes is the addition of Dynamic Components, and George takes an in-depth tour of their features, including built-in animation and the ability to scale without distortion. He also reviews the new point-and-click Interact tool, which allows users to customize Dynamic Components without the use of a keyboard or menus, and the improved Line tool, which transforms intersecting lines into separate segments. Other improvements include updates to the 3D warehouse and the ability to download models directly from Google Earth.
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