Maya, one of the leading applications for producing 3D animation, is widely used in the development of 3D worlds and characters for film, TV productions, computer games and the Web; as well as for real-time visualizations in architecture, industrial design, and the sciences. Mayas strengths lie in its highly specialized yet easy-to-use tools for creating naturalistic character animation, spectacular special effects, and photorealistic scenarios. In Exploring Maya 4, author Maximilian Schönherr offers intermediate to advanced Maya users a chance to broaden their skills by looking over another animator's shoulder. Each of his 30 projects demonstrates the software's enormous versatility. Beginning with an analysis of a practical task taken from everyday life, Max then playfully and entertainingly leads you step by step to a practical yet inspired solution. It's the idea behind each chapter that determines the tools that will be used. You'll work with new tools in Maya, including Paint Effects, nonlinear animation using the Trax Editor, and modeling objects with Subdivision Surfaces. Using a wide variety of Maya tools, you'll learn to: Turn the page of a book in 3D; Make a character whiz away like a cartoon; Construct a car's fender from a few good NURBS curves; Stitch three surfaces together to create a face; Make a volcano crater that spews fire into the dark; Work with Maya Cloth to create a silk poncho; Move a diffuse light source through a room with ambient light.