Intro to Maya
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Registration Starts On
August 7, 2017
Class Begins On
October 9, 2017
David Mooy
Senior Modeler
A longtime veteran of the industry, David began his career illustrating car accidents for the courtroom, which led to illustrating the gruesome injuries caused, which led to illustrating surgical procedures which led to working on the VFX for dozens of fancy car commercials! This led to VFX work on a wide variety of films, ride films, TV series and more commercials, which led to modeling for five Disney animated features and four Disney “apps”, which led to his current career as a freelance consultant, modeler and technical artist for companies working in advertising, design, VFX, games, VR and big oil. And all of that led to doing one of the things he enjoys doing most,.. teaching.

Course Description

Students are introduced to the Maya interface and philosophy, as well as 3D modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, and animation. Lectures cover the application of these tools in the VFX, game and animation industries. Students will work on multiple projects throughout the course.

Course Format

Course Format: Standard
Duration: 10 Weeks
Lecture Type: Pre-recorded
Assignment: Deadlines each week.
Feedback: Individual Recordings
Q&A: Once a week.

*For classes with less than 6 students feedback may be provided during the live QandA session.

Course Outline


The Maya Interface

  • Scenes and project management
  • Editors, viewports and menus
  • Navigation and Toolbox
  • Students will customize specific Shelf buttons, Hotkeys and Marking Menus amd create a basic model


Modeling Approaches

  • Mesh creation and editing tools
  • Re-topology tools
  • Students will create simple a simple robot


Modeling Best Practice

  • Surface types overview (NURBS, Polygons, and Subd)
  • "Box" modeling
  • Students will finish modeling the robot character


Preparation for Materials

  • Creating UVs
  • Materials, textures and the Hypershade Editor
  • Students will UV the robot character and prepare it for materials



  • 2D and 3D textures
  • Bump, displacement and normal maps
  • Maya and Arnold shaders
  • 3D Paint
  • Paint effects
  • Shading networks
  • Students will add shaders and textures to their robot character


Lighting & Rendering

  • Lights
  • Cameras
  • Action! (just kidding--animation is week 8!)
  • Rendering in Maya
  • Renderng in Arnold
  • Students will light and render their scene



  • Joints, IK/FK, handles/controls, constraints
  • Skinning
  • Blendshapes
  • Deformers
  • Students will apply a rig to their characters



  • Graph Editor
  • Dope Sheet
  • Ghosting
  • Grease Pencil
  • Sound
  • Students will create a simple animation.



  • Paint Effects
  • nParticles
  • nCloth
  • Students will set up a simple physics or particle animation and perhaps a flag, curtain or tablecloth for their scenes


Misc. Areas of Interest

  • MASH
  • Bifrost
  • Students will experiment with Maya’s newest tools!


  • 3D Animator
  • Texture Artists
  • Layout Artist
  • Prop Artists
  • Architectural Previz
  • Game Environment Artists
  • Hardsurface Modeler
  • Rigging Artist
  • Lighting Artist