Seth Wilson
2 years ago
Last Updated
3 weeks ago
How are objects modeled and animated in 3D software? In this series of lessons students will use Autodesk's Maya to learn how to move past 3D primitives and begin creating 3D models of increasing complexity, then animate and render them.

Realistic 3D animation is used in numerous industries, from medical imaging, product design and prototyping, television and film making. Films using Autodesk’s software has won numerous Academy Awards (http://news.autodesk.com/2012-02-16-14-Academy-Award-Nominated-Movies-One-Thing-in-Common).

In this fun and challenging series of lessons, students will learn how to make simple models using techniques such as box modeling to replicate objects. They will then move onto creating shapes using revolve and extrusion methods. Students will learn how to use vector art origins for complex extrusions and replicate items like the inner workings of a hard drive or a guitar. Students will then move onto learning how to create simple animations using keyframes. Finally students will replicate a solar system using hierarchy's in animation. This project will build on previous experience in 3D from my lesson "3D Origins: The Cornell Box and Beyond". It can also be a great starting point for new users. Easy to follow guides and videos will help students on their path to 3D mastery. Autodesk's Maya is free for educators, set your lab up with this powerhouse software package beforehand. This software can be challenging to use (it is very complex) but there are many resources online in video and written format.

Lesson 1: Evolving past 3D primitives
Lesson 2: 3D shape creation with NURBS
Lesson 3: Motion in 3D
Lesson 4: Create the Solar System

This project is brought to you by Seth Wilson (CTE Instructor, Santa Cruz High School) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Team Lead Joshua Bradley.
Industries / Pathways
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment Arts, Media, and Entertainment
K-12 Subjects
  • Visual Arts & Performing Arts
Grade Levels
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Lesson 1 of 4: Evolving Past 3D Primitives

Lesson 2 of 4: 3D Shape Creation With NURBS

Lesson 3 of 4: Motion in 3D

Lesson 4 of 4: Create The Solar System