Q: What is a learning path? How do I use them?
A. Learning paths are a series of courses organized into levels for easier organization. We recommend that you start with the first course in level one and work your way through all of the courses and levels sequentially.
Q. Are there any tutorials that I should watch before starting this learning path?
A. We recommend this learning path for artists who are already familiar with moving around in Maya and want to learn how to take their existing knowledge of Maya and create realistic models directly in Maya. If you feel comfortable moving around in Maya then you're ready for this learning path! Otherwise, if you've never used Maya before, you can get up to speed with the Maya: How to Get Started learning path.
Q: Do I have to follow along with the tutorial? Can I work on my own project?
A. The ultimate goal is to be able to transfer the techniques and tools you've learned in this learning path to your own projects. While everyone learns at a difference pace, we recommend a three-step process before trying to apply the techniques to your own projects. The first step is to watch each tutorial and take notes along the way. Secondly, watch the tutorial and follow along trying to replicate each step in the tutorial. Lastly replicate the project from the tutorial on your own trying not to watch the tutorials as much as possible. This helps to ensure that you not only are able to replicate what was taught in the tutorial but that you understand the techniques and tools that were used so you can then transfer them to your own projects.
Q. What if I don't use Maya? Can I follow along in something else?
A. We highly recommend that you use Maya while following along with this learning path. Many of the core fundamentals can be ported to another piece of software if you are familiar with that software, but if you are not extremely familiar with that software then it can quickly become overwhelming to try to port the information from Maya to another application.
Q: I don't have Maya Muscle in my version of Maya. Do I need a third party plug-in for this?
A. Maya Muscle has been included with Maya for many years now. However, you may need to enable it. Go to Window > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager and then enable the MayaMuscle.mll plug-in.
Q. What if I have questions while going through this learning path?
A. We have set up a community specifically as a place for you to ask technical questions. Our community is frequented by the Digital-Tutors instructors, staff members, moderators and other helpful members that can answer your questions as you learn Maya. You can get to the community by clicking on the "Connect" tab at the top of the site or by clicking here.
Q: What if the version of Maya in the tutorial is different than what I have? Can I still follow along?
A. Yes! While there are certainly new tools and features that get added with each new version of Maya, a majority of the core techniques taught are the same and can be transferred easily from version to version. Just keep in mind that due to file version differences it may not be possible to open project files that were created in a newer version of Maya if you're using an older version. Unfortunately there is nothing that we can do about this. Of course you can always post questions on our forums if you ever come across something that looks different in your version of Maya than in the tutorial.
Q. Where do I go after completing this learning path?
A. As artists, there are always new tips and techniques that can be learned. After completing this learning path we recommend taking a look at the Creative Development series here at Digital-Tutors where you can learn even more great tips and tricks that are often applicable to any 3D software from experienced artists who have stepped out of production to share their tips, tricks and techniques.