Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the exercise files, part of Creating Product Shots in Maya.
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Premium subscribers to lynda.com can download the exercise files that come with the course. If you're not a premium subscriber, you'll still need to make a Maya Project in order to manage all of the assets. Let's take a look at projects in Maya. First, creating a new project. Go into the File menu. And choose Project Window. And that'll tell you what your current project is. And that's the home base for all of your assets. The current Maya Project here, is the default one. Which is in the current user's documents Maya Projects.
I can create a new one by clicking the New button. And I'll call it Product Shots Project. And I can place it anywhere on the hard drive. I'll just choose to leave it in the current Users Documents and click Accept. Now whenever I save or load a file, it will be referenced to that particular folder. So if I go into File > Open Scene. It'll take me to So this is where I'll store and load all of my assets from now on.
If you are a premium subscriber, then you will want to set to the existing project. So copy that to wherever is convenient on your hard drive. I've placed it on my Desktop. So I can go back into the File menu. And choose Set Project. So I can point to an existing project. And then navigate to the Desktop, and here I've got Exercise Files. And just choose the top level. Don't go inside that folder tree. Just select the top level. And click Set. Now Maya is set to that project structure.
And if I go into File > Open Scene. I'm taken to Desktop Exercise FileScenes. And here are all the scene files for the course. I want to show you that folder tree for just a second. I'll minimize Maya. Here in Windows Explorer we can take a look at the exercise files folder structure. I just want to point out to you that as you progress through the course, you will create some assets. For example, you will render some files. And so that you do not get an error message or overwrite data.
These files are not included in the same directory that I'm telling you to render to or load from. So in other words, if we go into Images, for example. During the course I will instruct you to render a file into this images folder. If it already existed, then you would override the data that came with the course. And you might get an error message, or you might have issues. So in the case of files that you need to create during the course. I provided those as well, but I put them into a sub-folder called Examples.
And we can see here, there's a bunch of documents in here. There's also one here under Aftereffects. So if you open that up, you'll see there's some aftereffects documents that you can load. But the actual renders that you create are not here. They're under Examples. And you can see, you've got some examples there. So again, the reason that this is done is so that when you render, you're not going to overwrite a file that already exists. And if you open one of these Scene files, then they will actually reference the Examples documents.
Not the ones that you've created. So that may be a little bit convoluted. But the rationale here is that you should not get errors or override data. Alright. So that's how we work with the exercise files for the course. Let's get started creating product shots in Maya.
Want to learn how to create the same effect with 3ds Max? Check out Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max.
- Understanding the scene layout, hierarchy, and display layers
- Working with mia_material_x
- Creating and optimizing mental ray area lights
- Generating reflections with self-illuminated white cards
- Providing indirect illumination with Final Gathering
- Image-based lighting with high dynamic range files
- Rendering to a 32-bit file format
- Saving material and lighting components to render passes
- Adding ambient occlusion
- Layering and color correction in After Effects