Maya/Photoshop/After Effects CS5 3/21

AutoDesk’s MAYA

We enjoyed Friday morning examining Maya, a 3D software developed by AutoDesk, to animate simulated objects. Maya is one of many programs used by studios like Pixar and Disney.

On Maya’s platform we created a rock, upon which a table cloth was draped. The cloth flowed, puckered, slipped off like real fabric. Then we tore the cloth as it hit the rock then fell to the floor.

The rock soon turned into a ball that bounced into a patch of growing grass. The ball became an egg.  Soon the egg was hiding in blades of grass, that turned into wet hair dried by a gentle breeze under a warm sun.

Instructor Dan also gave us a Maya demo directing light in a forest, on a figure (casting shadows), and adjusted various types of lens flairs.

So many tools that seem intuitive and user-friendly.

AutoDesk is giving away their line of software FREE for the next 3 years to students and educators. If interested, log on to and sign up for your free copy. At their website you’ll find additional free 3D and Engineering software like AutoCAD, Stetchbook, Mudbox, Smoke. (Also follow them on Facebook and YouTUBE.)

Within the next quarter we’re hoping ABC Adult School will acquire a site license so AutoDesk software can be taught at this location.


  • Another look at Layers as they are enhanced with Effects.
  • Adding multiple Effects.
  • Sharing Effects.
  • Clipping together layers with Effects and how they affect subsequent layers.
  • Grouping Effects.
  • Adding new Effects to the palette.
  • Examining existing effects, opening them into the palette.
  • Saving and sharing Effects to the program and to an external drive.
  • Masking to add Photos and Text to Effects.

Examining how layers and effects transfer to Flash, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, After Effects.


  • Importing Layers with Photoshop’s Effects into After Effects.
  • Examining footage, composition, composition with retained layers.
  • Examining them in Project’s window and Timeline.

Butterfly. Animating an object found in a still photo.

  • Masking in Photoshop.
  • Importing into After Effects.
  • Animating wings with keyframes.
  • Scaling, positioning with keyframes to simulate flight.
  • Adding to existing composition.

Rendering files for output to various formats – FLV, MOV, AVI, etc.

Music. Adding music to the completed project.


We’re editing the movie clips for our PSA about the merits of ABC Adult School. Instructor, Abby, has pitched the project to school administrators and principles at city hall. Looks like we’re a go.

Two more weeks of class. Project will be completed in the next quarter.


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