Autodesk Maya is a powerful design software that allows users to create 3D models, visual effects, animations and renderings. While many of Maya’s features are quite complicated, users can learn use Maya by downloading and following video demonstrations and tutorials created by Autodesk. There are also reference books that teach users everything they need to know about working with Maya.
1. Download a free 30-day trial of Autodesk Maya 2009 (see Resources below for link). If you’re ready to buy the software, you can purchase it from the Autodesk website.
2. Familiarize yourself with Maya by viewing the diagram called “Maya User Interface Overview.” Print the diagram and display it next to your computer while you are working with Maya.
3. Follow the “Getting Started with Maya” tutorials. The lessons provide a brief introduction to the major features of the software. The tutorials can be downloaded for free from the Autodesk Maya Services & Support website.
4. Download the free video demonstrations from the Autodesk Maya website. Start with the video called “Accelerated Modeling and Mapping.” The video will teach you about some of the selection tools of Maya, such as the drag-selection tool and the new true-soft select tool. You will also learn use the symmetrical modeling and merge-vertices features. Watch the video demonstration called “Animation Layers” to learn blend, group and merge animation layers.
5. Purchase the book “Learning Autodesk Maya 2009” by Autodesk Maya Press. The comprehensive 560-page training book will teach you use Maya to create animations and models. It also contains a bonus DVD featuring reference guides, videos and free 3D models.