Creating Natural Environments in Maya

with Aaron F. Ross
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Creating Natural Environments in Maya
Video duration: 0s 4h 18m Intermediate


In Creating Natural Environments in Maya, author Aaron F. Ross demystifies a common challenge of 3D modeling: fashioning realistic natural environments such as landscapes, atmospheres, and foliage. Starting with flat terrain, Aaron shows how to sculpt various types of geometry and smooth out jagged, polygonal edges. The course also covers creating convincing backgrounds and clouds, populating a scene with foliage using 3D Paint Effects, and incorporating natural light. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisite: Maya 2011 Essential Training

Topics include:
  • Laying out the scene
  • Sculpting terrain with Soft Selection and the Sculpt Geometry tool
  • Creating 2D textures using Artisan and Paint Effects
  • Applying 2D and 3D procedural textures
  • Building backgrounds with skydomes and matte paintings
  • Shaping clouds with Maya Fluids
  • Creating non-physical daylight and casting shadows
  • Rendering with Maya software
3D + Animation


- [Voiceover] Hi, I'm Aaron F. Ross. Welcome to Maya 2011, Creating Natural Environments. In this course, I'll walk you through the basic steps in creating landscapes, atmospheres, and foliage. We'll begin with terrain modeling, including choosing a model type, laying out the scene, and adding detail. We'll get into shading with a look at the 3-D Texture Tool, as well as paint effects, both packaged and customized. Additionally, we'll explore layered maps for more complex and interesting shading networks.

We'll create a sky dome and matte paintings for realistic backgrounds. I'll show you how to create clouds and atmospheres with Maya Fluids. You'll see how easy it is to populate the scene with plants and other background geometry, using 3-D Paint Effects. Finally, we'll look at lighting, casting shadows, and rendering your scene. This software gives you everything you need to create convincing outdoor scenes. And in this course, I hope to get you off to a good start in Maya 2011, Creating Natural Environments.

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