Computer Graphics for Animation and Film – Maya Introduction

Friday 15th October 2010

Introduction to Maya 3D Animation

Flying through the Wormhole

Had our first look at the Maya application and its workspace, the creation of basic objects, shading and keying for animation. Then a quick look at creating a camera and lighting effects.

In the latter half of the day the group were split into two and given the opportunity to explore and create their own design and produce an animation.

I had the idea to create a sequence representing space travel through a wormhole – not an original idea as this has been explored many times in sci-fi movies and TV productions.

How I did it

Using Polygons I created a Torus and a Sphere. I manipulated the Torus to create a cylindrical shape and then positioned the Sphere at one end of the cylinder. I then rendered these using the Lambert option. Following another session where we were introduced to adding a file and applying it to rendering I added a JPEG file of the earth and mapped this onto the Sphere giving the effect of the Earth spinning in space.

I then created a Camera which I then planned to animate so that it effectively flew through the cylinder and passed close to the orbit of the Sphere (Spinning Earth).

I keyed the first position of the camera to be right of the centre of the cylinder and the next to be central to the cylinders opening and the final key to be just passing the rotating Sphere.

To add to the final animation I used the paintbrush and the Galaxy selection to add stars in front off and behind the cylinder (Wormhole) and keyed in the rotation of the Sphere.

Finally I edited the exported AVI animation from Maya in Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, added a copyright free sound file some basic titles and uploaded the finished animation to YouTube.