This is, at its heart, a Maya book geared towards giving you at-home animation creators the skills you need to make your dream fi lm. In reality though, a 3D production has dozens and sometimes hundreds of artists all working in concert to create an animated piece. Even short fi lms in a very large studio environment will be touched by artists numbered in triple digits.

Because the process is so collaborative and multi-faceted, my fi rst task is to break down the steps involved in creating a piece of animation so that you can have an overview of the tasks ahead. You should also use this chapter to gauge where your strengths and weaknesses lie; if there is anything that you are sure you will have diffi culty with, look to our example fi lms to see where they might have cut corners to make the production possible.