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This tutorial section is a collection of scientific visualization-oriented training materials. One can browse this material either by difficulty level, software package, or 3D topic area. Tutorials will either be in PDF or video/audio format - a link to download any associated scene files and scripts is provided next to the link for viewing the tutorial.

If you are new to working in Maya and/or After Effects, here are some convenient "shortcuts" pages for both applications to help you through the tutorials:

You can browse:      By Level    |     By Software    |    By Topic Area

Molecular Graphics Software to Export PDB Geometry    |   Gaël McGill & Janet Iwasa
   
  • Software: Chimera, PyMOL, Cinema4D, wrl2ma, Deep Exploration, Maya
  • Level: INTRODUCTORY
  • Topics: PDB GEOMETRY

This tutorial takes you through the basics of creating PDB-based geometry in molecular graphics programs and exporting it to Maya.

>> View this tutorial


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Villus Capillary - Your First Maya Scene from A-to-Z    |   Gaël McGill
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTRODUCTORY
  • Topics: MODELING, SURFACING, ANIMATION, DYNAMICS, RENDERING

This tutorial will give you an overiew of the Maya pipeline with a scene involving a bit of modeling, surfacing, animation, dynamics and rendering.

>> View this tutorial | download files
>> View an example animation for this tutorial


Calcium chelation & cadherin flexibility    |   Gaël McGill
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTRODUCTORY
  • Topics: MODELING, SURFACING, ANIMATION, DYNAMICS, RENDERING

Like the 'VIllus Capillary' tutorial, this is meant as a brief introduction to the Maya pipeline. The scene starts with PDB geometry of E-cadherin and explains the very basics of animation and rigging.

>> View this tutorial | download files


Maya 101 - Modeling Using Polygons, NURBS & Deformers    |   Janet Iwasa
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTRODUCTORY
  • Topics: MODELING

This tutorial provides a rapid overview of some of the basic polygonal & NURBS modeling tools and operations. Maya deformers are also introduced.

>> View this tutorial | download files


Mouse Embyro Modeling    |   Eric Keller
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTERMEDIATE
  • Topics: MODELING (poly & subD)

This tutorial goes through the basic 'box modeling' approach to modeling with polygons. Benefits and pitfalls of both the 'poly-to-subD' and 'smooth proxy' workflows are described.

>> View this tutorial | download files (~1.5MB)
>> View timelapse of modeling process


Maya 102 - Surfacing, Lighting & Rendering    |   Janet Iwasa
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTRODUCTORY
  • Topics: SURFACING, RENDERING

Covers Maya shaders basics, creating 'EM' style shaders, bumps versus displacements, basic 3-point lighting, fogs & glows, batch rendering, and toon-style rendering in mental ray.

>> View this tutorial | download files

Global Illumination & Ambient Occlusion    |   Gaël McGill
   
  • Software: Maya & mental ray
  • Level: INTERMEDIATE
  • Topics: rendering & shading

This tutorial takes you through the basic steps for enabling and optimizing global illumination, as well as methods for adding ambient occlusion to your renders.

>> Tutorial (Maya 2008) l tutorial (Maya 2009)
>> Download supporting files (~0.2MB)


Maya 103 - Animation    |   Gaël McGill
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTRODUCTORY
  • Topics: ANIMATION

This tutorial takes you through the process of rigging, skinning, and animating a simple NURBS 'tentacle' structure. Basics of key-, expression- & fractal texture-driven motion are covered.

>> View this tutorial


Maya 104 - Dynamics    |   Gaël McGill & Janet Iwasa
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTRODUCTORY
  • Topics: DYNAMICS

This introduction to Maya's dynamics engine covers emitters, particles, softbodies, collisions, springs, goals, expressions, PP attributes, sprites & blobby surfaces render attributes.

>> View this tutorial | download files


Constraints & Dynamic Parenting    |   Eric Keller
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTERMEDIATE
  • Topics: ANIMATION

A brief introduction to Cinema4D metaballs and the generation of metaball surfaces from imported PDB point-cloud data.

>> View this tutorial | download files (~55MB)
>> View an example animation for this tutorial


DNA: Variations on a theme    |   Janet Iwasa & Gaël McGill
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTERMEDIATE
  • Topics: PDB GEOMETRY, MODELING, DYNAMICS, MEL

Covers the creation of a variety of DNA models - from simple 'plank DNA' to a PDB-based model that unwinds and melts using a master controller. pdbReader, ballAndStick and jPivToParticle MEL scripts are also covered.

>> View this tutorial | download files
>> View plankDNA.mov | View blobbyDNA.mov


Molecular Challenges    |   Janet Iwasa
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTERMEDIATE
  • Topics: PDB GEOMETRY, ANIMATION, DYANMICS, MEL

This tutorial shows you how to create and prepare a mesh from a PDB file, use constraints and a softbody motion path to animate binding events, and MEL to add membrane-tethered receptors and generate ECM fibers based on particle trajectories.

>> View this tutorial | download files (~13.5MB)


Dictyostelium - The Social Amoeba    |   Gaël McGill
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTERMEDIATE
  • Topics: MODELING, SURFACING, ANIMATION, DYNAMICS, RENDERING

> feeding.mov
> aggregation: 01.mov | 02.mov | 03.mov
> slugmotion: 01.mov | 02.mov
> phototaxis.mov
> fruiting: 01.mov | 02.mov
> needle_response.mov

>> View this tutorial (12 MB - PDF)
>> View movies: scene 1 | scene 2 | scene3


PaintFx Membranes    |   Eric Keller
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTERMEDIATE
  • Topics: PaintFx & nCloth

An introduction to Maya's PaintFx system. Preset brushes are modified to generate custom brushes and, using either default PaintFx turbulence or nCloth, animated lipid bilayer membranes are created.

>> View this tutorial | download files
>> View PaintFx membrane example


nCloth & Hair - Animating Mitosis    |   Eric Keller
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: INTERMEDIATE
  • Topics: nCloth & Hair

This tutorial is an introduction to Maya Unlimited's nCloth and Hair dynamics systems. Various techniques are explored to animate events from mitosis.

>> View this tutorial | download files (~1.4MB)
>> View: loops | chromosomes | mitosis


Wire Rigging Cartoon Ribbon Models in Maya    |   Geordie Martinez
   
  • Software: Maya
  • Level: ADVANCED
  • Topics: ANIMATION

A novel method for rigging an imported cartoon model of a protein (in this the HIV receptor gp120) based on blendshapes and wire deformers.

>> View this tutorial

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Cinema4D Metaballs for Molecular Surfaces   |   Gaël McGill
   
  • Software: Cinema4D
  • Level: INTRODUCTORY
  • Topics: PDB GEOMETRY

A brief introduction to Cinema4D metaballs and the generation of metaball surfaces from imported PDB point-cloud data.

>> View this tutorial | download files


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After Effects Compositing Basics   |   Gaël McGill
   
  • Software: After Effects
  • Level: INTRODUCTORY
  • Topics: COMPOSITING

This introduction covers the fundamentals of the After Effects interface, importing & organizing footage, creating compositions, keying layer attributes, and queuing for rendering/export.

>> View this tutorial | download files (~100MB)
>> View an example animation for this tutorial

Rendering for Compositing    |   Eric Keller
   
  • Software: Maya & After Effects
  • Level: INTERMEDIATE
  • Topics: RENDERING & COMPOSITING

This tutorial serves as an introduction to Maya's render layers and shows how multiple render passes (color, depth, occlusion etc) can be composited together in After Effects.

>> View this tutorial
>> download: layers (85 MB) | maya files (14 MB)
>> View: finished composite

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