The end goal for this blog is to document my journey to becoming an Autodesk Maya artist. I’m doing whatever I can to get to that goal by learning from my own personal projects and sharing my progress with you here.
I have some self-doubts as I continue to write, but I believe we all have to go through our own creative struggles to get to where we need to be. I just happen to be sharing those struggles in the hope that it helps others become better Autodesk Maya artists too.
A few years ago, when I was looking for inspirational audio during my schooling, I came across a really great sounding 8-bit song Most awesome 8-bit song ever3 as I was listening to different versions of converted 8-bit pop culture songs. It gave me ideas to create a project with an 8-bit theme, and years later, this is where my focus is beginning.
When I first heard the audio I didn’t know how to download it from a YouTube video. If you don’t know, as I didn’t back then, the way I downloaded it onto my computer was to use the web browser Mozilla Firefox’s add-on feature that extends the browsers capabilities. Here’s an example video on how to do that: Download Free Music And Videos On Youtube Using Mozilla Firefox. In Autodesk Maya, you will need to download a .wav file format as your audio.
With the audio now on my desktop, my thoughts for the beginning of the project were to first start animating my website branding logo with the opening beats and tones of the music before working on the core of the animation story. I don’t feel the need to create a storyboard for this introduction section of my project.
Now that I had the first section of what idea I wanted to work on, it was time to import the audio into the Autodesk Maya program which is pretty straight-forward. On Maya’s time slider, set the ticker onto the frame you want to begin your audio and go to File-Import to choose your file and the wav file appears in the timeline. If the audio doesn’t play, make sure your animation settings have a playback of 24fps.
IMPORTING VECTOR CURVES TO MAYA
I’ve had a basic logo that I created a few years ago which I use for my website.
I’ve always wanted to convert the logo into 3D from from an Adobe Illustrator vector file to fit with the branding better. I’ve wanted to use the option even more so after seeing the different workflows beginning with the Maya 2016 extension 1: improved vector graphics workflow video and the newer MASH nodes as in Maya 2016 extension 2: Motion Graphics.
When I used the SVG node on import like the above example videos above, I ran into all sorts of bug issues with Maya 2018. Maya crashed every single time I tried the various ways and I couldn’t figure out how to resolve the issue so I went back and did it in Maya 2016 in the same way they’ve done for a while. Maya tutorial-creating 3D logos and tribal’s from any picture
With all the extra curves in my original design (the checkerboard, the extra type as part of my design, and unneeded extras), the results weren’t quite what I was looking for in my logo, so I simplified the design in the 3D version to it’s basic core.
When I went searching how to improve the look, I noticed the text features that have been updated in Maya 2018 which worked better than the effort I went through explaining. I decided to use this option in the long run because it had features that I could animate better than the curves I had imported.
That was done in a separate Maya scene, but once it was looking more to my liking, I imported it into my original audio file project I had just been working on previously. Again, File-Import your Maya scene into the current scene you are working on—it shows up automatically in the Outliner.
The end result is having the two merged opening assets ready to work with some rough timing for the opening animation.
Working with Autodesk Maya can take a lot of researching into reference, googling YouTube videos, and playing around with different nodes to get what you’re after. It could be time consuming to get the results you’re looking for, but a great learning experience with the program that can teach where you need to improve in my opinion.
Next my focus will be on researching the storyline I want to achieve. Possibly, I’ll use some storyboarding references and 8-bit video game design for style frame looks to show.