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LinkedIn Learning

Maya and After Effects: Product Visualization

via LinkedIn Learning


Render professional quality product shots in Maya. Learn about shading, lighting, rendering, and compositing for product visualization in Autodesk Maya and Adobe After Effects.

3D visualization is a crucial aspect of 21st-century product design, manufacturing, and marketing. Autodesk Maya is an ideal tool for bringing product designs to the screen and print media. The deep and powerful feature set of Maya provides almost limitless potential for effective and imaginative product visualization. This course illustrates a standard workflow for product viz, from importing a CAD model to rendering photorealistic imagery. Learn how to leverage the advanced tools of Maya and the Arnold renderer to bring product designs to life in the production phases of scene layout, materials, lighting, and rendering. See how to employ Adobe After Effects to composite and adjust render passes, giving you the ability to art-direct lighting without needing to re-render in 3D.


  • Welcome
  • What you need to know
  • Using the exercise files
1. Scene Layout
  • Setting preferences and interface options
  • Importing a CAD model
  • Cleaning up the model
  • Renaming objects
  • Building a hierarchy
  • Managing display layers
  • Modeling a background cyclorama profile curve
  • Extruding a cyclorama surface
  • Creating a camera
  • Setting aspect ratio and framing the shot
2. Materials
  • Image-based lighting with a Skydome map
  • Arnold settings for real-time rendering
  • Rendering on the GPU
  • Applying Arnold Standard Surface materials
  • Adjusting material parameters
  • Designing metallic materials
  • Assigning materials to shape nodes in a hierarchy
  • Art directing advanced material parameters
  • Projecting UV coordinates
  • Mapping with a file texture
  • Layering materials with aiLayerShader
  • Assigning materials to faces
3. Lighting
  • Flood lighting with Arnold area lights
  • Directing flood lighting
  • Studio lighting with a spot light
  • Attenuation over distance with the Decay filter
  • Accentuating object edges with rim lights
  • Excluding lights and shadows
  • Controlling visibility of light shading components
  • Setting up file output options for AOVs
  • Creating AOVs for render component passes
  • Creating light groups
  • Rendering components of light groups
4. Rendering and Compositing
  • Optimizing Arnold render settings for production
  • Choosing After Effects color management settings
  • Layering render components
  • Adjusting lighting in post-production
5. Special Effects and Animation
  • Creating an orthographic camera
  • Framing an isometric view
  • Rendering a technical illustration
  • Adjusting contours
  • Adding glow effects
  • Next steps

Taught by

Aaron F. Ross

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