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Introduction to 3D Animation with Autodesk Maya

Learn step by step the fundamentals of 3D animation by creating an entire 3D animated space scene from scratch.
4.6 (653 ratings)
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11,963 students enrolled
Last updated 7/2013
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion


Learn The Fundamentals of 3D Animation Quickly!

Have you ever wanted to become a master 3D modeler or animator? Or are you already a veteran of 3D but want to switch over to the industry's most power 3D software Autodesk Maya? 

This course is designed to get those completely new to the world's most powerful 3D package up and running as quickly as possible.

Building Your First 3D Scene By Creating An Alien World

We begin this series by introducing you to the basics of the user interface, and how to navigate around 3D space. You will then dive right in and start building and alien world which you will have a spaceship flying through. By the end of this course you will know how to create your own 3D movies with models and environments you have modeled and animated.

This Course Covers The Following Topics

  • Introduction to the Maya user interface
  • Navigating around 3D space
  • Sculpting environments
  • Texturing
  • Working with lights
  • Animation
  • Polygon modeling
  • Working with cameras
  • Creating visual effects like fire and electricity
  • Rendering and exporting animated movies
Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for those who are completly new to computer animation and for 3D artists that want to make the switch over the the industries most powerful animation software.
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What Will I Learn?
By the end of this course you will have a strong understanding of computer animation techniques like modeling, texturing, animation and rendering. You will finish this couse by creating a complete 3D animated space scene.
View Curriculum
  • For this course you will need a Mac or PC
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 15 Lectures Collapse All 15 Lectures 01:44:14
1 Lecture 01:16
Throughout this training series you will be learn the basics of the powerful 3D software MAYA. This will be a project based series, which means that while you are learning you will be creating and entire animated space scene from scratch. 
What You Will Be Learning
Getting Started
1 Lecture 03:34
In this section you will learn about the different versions of the 3D software that we will be using throughout this course, and where you can download it from.
Downloading MAYA for Free
Learning The Basics of 3D in MAYA
4 Lectures 26:57
In this section you will learn how to navigate around your 3D scene using a 3 button mouse.
Navigating Around Your 3D Scene

In this section you will learn how to create your first polygon objects. You will also learn how to move, rotate, and scale those objects.
Creating Polygon Geometry

In this section you will learn how to edit polygon object's individual components. 
Editing Polygon Components

So far you have been viewing your 3D scene from a single view called the Perspective. In this section you will learn about different views in which you can view your 3D scenes.
Working With in Different Panel Views
Creating Rocky Terrain
3 Lectures 23:07
In this section you will learn how to use MAYA's Sculpt Geometry tool to create a rocky canyon that your ship will fly through.
Sculpting The Terrain

Download Project Files


Creating The Spaceship Animation
2 Lectures 19:21
In this section you will learn how to import the 3D model of the ship into your scene. You will also scale and texture the spaceship in this section.  Don't forget to download the project files you need for this section.

Importing 3D Objects

Creating Motion Path Animation
Adding Stars To The Enviroment
1 Lecture 09:23
In this section you will learn about Paint Effects and how you can use it to add stars to your space scene.
Creating Paint Effect Stars
Working With Cameras
1 Lecture 10:46
In this section you will learn how to create a new camera and animate it to follow your spaceship. 
Creating And Animating A New Camera
Creating A Final Render
1 Lecture 09:38
In this section you will learn how to render out images and videos of the 3D scene you have created.
Rendering Images And Movies
1 Lecture 00:07
What To Do Next
About the Instructor
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83,440 Students
7 Courses
The Leader in Online Training for Aspiring Game Designers


The School of Game Design was created to provide in depth, current industry education in the area of interactive arts. We have our finger on the pulse of the tech industry and keep our curriculum up to date so our students are some of the most sought after artists and designers available. We arm you with the tools needed to thrive as designers, coders, 3D animators, game developers, web designers, and UI / UX artists.


Unity3D, Photoshop, Illustrator, GameSalad, Maya, and several powerful programming languages are just some of the many topics we cover here at The School of Game Design. We pay close attention to the latest tools and techniques that are being utilized by the tech and gaming industries, and we make sure that what we teach keeps you on the leading edge of technology. We are constantly developing new training videos which make our students leaders in their chosen fields.

All of our instructors here at The School of Game Design are experts at what they do and are currently working in the game, film, and tech industries with over 15 years of experience. Not only have we taught at major schools and studios like Ubisoft and the LA Film School, but our instructors have worked on Films like Lord of the Rings, and Rango. Our dedicated team has won major awards for their films, and innovative web designs and combined have launched over 30 apps to the iTunes App Store and Android Market. We are pros at what we do and we have a passion for sharing our industry knowledge with our students.

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