I took this class because I enjoy sculpting. I had just taken the fine art programs version of the 3D design and I wanted to branch out. I was trying to apply to colleges in the winter but something stopped me. For better or worse I put off applying to four-year schools until I felt it was a good investment. So in the meantime, I wanted to take some fun classes at MCC. So I signed up for Art History: Contemporary, Creative Writing and the media and arts version of 3D Design. (Yes that’s my idea of fun. Don’t judge.)
When I found out the program concentrated solely on Maya I was excited. Over the winter I had found a Disney internship program that required knowledge of Maya. So I figured the class would turn out to be a good investment of time. I don’t want to be an animator but I would love to make toys so learning a cool organic modeling program seemed like a good thing.
My biggest frustration is that Maya is an incredibly boring piece of software. But I do want to keep using it and learning it. I plan to keep working on it to make characters. I want to make two character references. One from a fantasy series called Dragonriders of Pern and another would be my own lion story series. And I still want to create a skull for 3D printing. But again I find Maya to be really boring. It can do powerful, beautiful things but it’s not tactile enough to be engaging.
I think the best piece of advice is to keep it simple as long as possible. I wish I was told that in the first class. Or for the first project. It’s a great piece of advice about work flow. I wish that had been drilled because it’s really useful. When I was trying to craft a skull I was doing really well but I added so many unnecessary edge loops. It’s much easier to add then delete. So simple as possible for as long as possible. It should be put on a poster. The standard KISS as in “keep it simple stupid”. Applies with Maya. Every line added brings the computers closer to blacking out or crashing because of its complexity.
However, I was really happy yesterday when I created my first truly personal scene using simple techniques. Basically using the simple things from the fish video and then rendering it. It was awesome and showed me the power of using Maya. My goal over the summer is to model and rig a dragon. Maybe even animate it? Well, we’ll see. If I get a really successful model (I hope) I can use it over and over in various scenes. And that’s a huge advantage to traditional hand drawing techniques.
So I guess seeing the beauty of Maya and the possibilities helped me overcome my frustrations with it. Also, I was never annoyed at starting over. It’s so much easier than troubleshooting. And it teaches you to keep your workflow clean. Also, humor was huge for me. Just being able to laugh at mistakes or to search for silly gifs to explain things helped to keep the mood light.
So when this happens . . .
Eventually, you’ll get it.