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Hi there. I just started reading this thread. While I'm happy to see that you have a lot of ambition in creating your own custom figure, you're going to have your work cut out for you. Here are some concerns I have right off the top.
-Do you have any art training? Like do you draw/paint/sculpt/ regularly?
These are very important skills to have when transitioning into 3D. When I was at school a lot of younger student bitched having to take life drawing and color theory course before moving into 3D modeling. But those essential skills help train your eye and give you a pretty grasps of composition, lighting, and figure work.
-As Epoch said in his post. its going to take you several years to fully understand and learn Maya and any professional level 3D packaging system. I've been using DAZ3D for over 6 years now and I'm still learning new things that I can do with it.
-Try some basic modeling in free programs like sketchup, sculptris (by the makers of Zbrush). Those are great entry tools into 3D modeling and its a good way to get your feet wet.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. It never hurts to have a second set of eyes look over your work and progress. You may even consider taking a course or two at a local community college. That way you have an instructor that can help you grasps the fundamentals of working in 3D.
Hope that helps!
Sorry, for not contributing much to this thread, but there is some damn good advice here. Some of it might seem harsh, but its better to set some realistic expectations at the beginning.
You are putting the cart way before the horse. So much so, that the cart might as well not even be on the same planet. Not even the same galaxy.
No one ever starts with organic modeling. Ever. Never. The skillset you need to create an organic model (where to put the edge loops, how the topology should flow, how to unwrap UVs, they types of textures you'll need to create, etc.) are first learned doing simpler, hard surface polygonal modeling.
Your first project is simply way too ambitious for a person who has zero knowledge of 3D modeling. You don't even have a solid foundation of the Maya interface or 3D terminology. Do you know the difference between polygonal and NURBS modeling? Can you explain the difference between diffuse, specular, bump, normal, and displacement maps? Do you know what subsurface scattering is? How about fresnel? Do you understand refraction and can you explain caustics? Do you know what subdivision is? How about the difference in forward and inverse kinematics?
In my opinion, you should start at square one and forget about even trying to model anything organic for at least a year, ESPECIALLY anything human. First step is to get training in using the Maya interface. Maya is more complicated than flying a fighter jet. I'm not kidding. There are professionals who have been using Maya for decades and have only used 10% of the software's capability. It can do anything. The interface has submenu after submenu and has a very steep learning curve.
So you're going to want to start with a training that explains the interface; one that talks about each of the shelves, what each menu section is used for, what the hotkeys are (which you will need to memorize), etc. Then, once you understand the interface, you can start learning each of the tools. You should start with tutorials teaching you how to manipulate the included polygonal primitives (skip NURBS modeling altogether - there's no use for it in this field) first, then move on to modeling VERY simple objects: a pencil, a soda can, a book, etc. Basically, objects that are only slightly different from basic primitives (sphere, cylinder, cube, etc.).
At this stage you will be learning how to use Maya's toolset to manipulate existing geometry and will be building a solid foundation on best practices. This step is crucial, because Maya is so robust, there will always be an infinite number of ways to model something. A pro modeler will be someone who can model something very quickly with perfect topology - and that comes with practice and learning your toolset. You should expect to spend a few months at this stage and completely mastering the Maya toolset.
Then move on to more complicated hard surface objects and more complicated approaches to modeling (symmetrical modeling, tesselation, etc.). At this point, you should be pretty quick at modeling, and will want to branch out and learn how to UV map, unwrap UVs, and using Maya's hypershade to texture objects you create.
From there, you should have a solid foundation and can take the plunge into organic modeling. However, if you're looking to create an actual human that can move, you're going to also have to learn how to rig/skin as well as animate. And this will take a very long time as well.
Good luck. Like you said, Maya has a lot of tutorials available. In fact, Autodesk's own Maya tutorials are quite extensive. You can always start with them, but I recommend getting the Introduction to Maya DVD training from Gnomon school. It is awesome and will teach you everything I said above in one DVD (minus the advanced stuff, obviously, as this is an 'introduction' DVD).
Hmmm thanks for the input. Realy appreciate it and yes my friend uses maya for his job.
I guess i will start with DAZ or poser as they are more beginner friendly.
I have both poser and maya asi wanted to try them out first before actually buying a package.
So i will install poser and downl i ad and install daz and give them a try.
I know this will take time snd i had no illusion thst after a few months i could make something like gilfriends4ever. I will start by making a prety lady then maybe a few more and maybe i will delve in animation but first things first.
Step 1 making a prety lady
Step 2 a different pose
This will take enough time and skill to achieve.
You can use DAZ or Poser and export the models via FBX format, once in Maya they will still need work, mostly with what ever render engine you use to tweak and/or create textures. But it sure beats starting form ground zero. They will even have rigs (still need work once in maya also)
Using DAZ or poser as a bridge to get already made stuff will gives you a wealth of characters, hair, clothing, props etc… to use ready to go.
Doing that and rendering still images is not too hard, getting textures right is probably your biggest hurdle and thats more working with nodes in a render engine unless you need to make some textures. But again the FBX export will get that stuff over into Maya as a base line to work with
Learning the rendering engine is a huge part of workflow, so whatever tool you choose figure out if your going to use the native render engine MetalRay for Maya or get a plug in like V-Ray or Octane, your materiel / texture look and feel will be dictated by it.
I would (If you go Maya) learn DAZ enough to get content in, pose then export a scene via FBX, then import FBX format into Maya - then your real work begins but you would have something to play with
Poser is nice, I use it but I think DAZ is a better long term option for using higher resolution modes/content and exporting to other apps (Maya C4D etc...)
I would also learn Zbrush as it can be used in every 3D application and its pretty important IMO for fixing models bad bends or making customer morphs.
Last thought, it takes time unless your already in a work position doing something like this its goign to take you 12-18 months and tons of time to get solid results but with that said if you invest the time and learn you will get good results. Like other said Modeling, texturing, animation etc... are all skills that could land you a real job doing this. Begin a jack of all trades is what a lot of us do and for me anyway the learning never ends.
If you have the time and truly commit to it, learning Maya and rendering in that platform will payoff later but it is a huge commitment. As other say learning the basics of 3D with DAZ or Poser is cheaper and easier and you can get great results.
i bet your friend never did 3d stuff by himself and just heard of maya because its well known?
i would neverever start with this one, too difficult for the beginning
Yes from scratch. Going to load reference picture and work from there.
Want to do it just as a hobby.
A friend recommended it as its so widely known and use there are a lot of tutorials and stuff for it.
Hi Mescalino, welcome.
Your goal is to make a redhead female…do you mean to model her from scratch? Reason I'm curious is why exactly you have chosen Maya (all high end packages have plenty of tutorials and once you understand 3D you won't be limited to only tutorials from a single package...do you intend learning this software for a professional job? Learning Maya, without any previous 3D modeling/rigging/animation/texturing and rendering experience is going to require a LOT of patience and quite a bit of time before considering to get something useful out of it. Modeling / rigging / animation / texturing and rendering are disciplines in there own right and PS experience is very useful.
For now I would recommend Daz3d and Blender...both free. Wrap your head around that before considering spending the money on something like Maya.
Try to understand what a basic workflow looks like and what will be required from you to learn each aspect.
Search the forums and set time aside for reading. Here are some to get you started:
Look for threads from fredfred5150, who made amazing progress from when he started; hzr and a few others come to mind who are simply amazing at what they do. Read their threads for heaps of tips and tricks.