Knowledge & Career
Issue: Volume: 30 Issue: 8 (Aug 2007)

Knowledge & Career

Digital-Tutors Demystifies Maya Quadrupeds

Digital-Tutors (, a provider of video-based training solutions, has released two new titles for those looking to expand their knowledge of Autodesk Maya.

Rigging Quadrupeds in Maya provides six hours of project-based training and guides artists through rigging techniques and the principles of building solution-based rigs. Rigging is priced at $69.99 and includes details on constructing effective hierarchies, developing broken hierarchy systems, building rigs from reference skeletons, building an FK spline system, incorporating MEL for speed, custom shelves for tools, Characters Sets, Sub-Character Sets, set-driven keys, and IK solvers for proper limb functionality, among other highlights.

Animating Quadrupeds in Maya teaches artists time­saving animation techniques, the mechanics of quadrupeds, and principles for creating convincing quadruped animations. The training solution ($69.99) provides three hours of project-based training and is designed for both new and experienced animators and riggers. Highlights include referencing footage and images, mechanics of quadruped animation, quadruped anatomy for animators, ghosting, character sets, adding follow-through, translating cycles forward, proper timing and spacing using rhythm, and achieving believable weight.

WIF & GM sponsoring Latina Filmmakers Grant

Women In Film (WIF) and the General Motors Corporation (GM) are teaming up to sponsor the second-annual WIF/GM 2007 Opening Doors/Abriendo Puertas: The Acceleration Grant for Emerging Latina Filmmakers. The grant is a project of the WIF/GM Alliance, the goal of which is to support talented filmmakers from Latina/Hispanic communities and other under-represented groups.

The WIF/GM grant ( will be presented to five up-and-coming Latina filmmakers. The grant will provide recipients with a broad understanding of the business of filmmaking through a six-day mentoring program, headed by members of NYWIFT.

Selected participants will receive round-trip transportation to New York City and will be hosted by NYWIFT this October. The grant will begin with two days of meetings and seminars with leaders and executives in the film and television industries.

Telestream Bundles Class on Demand Title

Telestream is now bundling Class on Demand’s ( self-paced training title, Complete Training for Episode and Episode Pro with its Macintosh encoding Episode Pro product. The video is hosted by Class on Demand instructor Nate Caplin and covers both the fundamentals and advanced features of the Episode products.

According to Barbara DeHart, VP of Telestream Flip4Mac Products, the training tool “offers an in-depth look at Episode’s extensive compression settings, preset templates, and fine-tuning filters to ensure optimum output quality.”

The Episode Series comprises desktop media encoding applications for the Mac. The tool is designed for content repurposing and distribution to new media channels, including the Web, DVD, and portable devices such as Apple’s video-enabled iPod, Apple TV, Sony’s PlayStation Portable, and mobile phones. 

The video covers topics that include Episode windows layout, compression settings, video and audio preprocessing, pre-processing strategies, telecine and reverse telecine, and output format for iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, QuickTime, H.264, Flash, and Windows Media.
Existing Episode owners can purchase Complete Training for Episode and Episode Pro ($99) at a discounted rate.

Luxology Intros New Site License for Schools

Luxology LLC (, maker of 3D content creation software, has introduced a new educational site license program that allows schools and training institutions to implement the company’s Modo modeling, painting, and rendering software throughout a learning facility.

Available for an annual subscription fee of $4500, the flexible site-license program guarantees that schools always have the latest version of the application. The program also lets educational institutions deploy an unlimited number of licenses across both Macs and PCs.