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Mark Adams

Thanks aplenty go to the founders of Alias Research, who gave me the opportunity I sought to take the big turn away from the engineering-oriented use of CAD and toward the creative side of this business. Thanks also go to the people of the old Wavefront, who spurred on the competition that led to the feature-rich products we now have before us. Now that these old rivals have become one company, users such as myself can enjoy the fabulous range of tools and creative possibilities embodied in Maya.

The years I spent working for Alias were filled with people who deserve public appreciation for all the help they freely gave—particularly Kevin Tureski, John Gibson, and Milan Novacek. The other talented applications engineers I worked with also shared their secrets freely—thanks especially go to Stanley Liu, Phil Moy, Damir Frkovic, and Brad Redmond.

I can't even imagine where I'd be right now if not for Damir Frkovic, who called me back in 1994 and wondered if, just maybe, I'd be interested in working for Pixar. Now, Detroit was a nice enough place (and my sports allegiances are forever based there), but when I look out my window at the San Francisco skyline and see all the talented people walking by my office door, I remember that this entire phase of my life started with that phone call.

Of course, I'm deeply indebted to many of the people here at Pixar. In particular, I owe much to Eben Ostby and Eliot Smyrl for their continuing technical help over several films and several years. Thanks also are due to Deirdre Warin, Kelly Peters, and Cindy Cosenzo for their ability to manage production details with aplomb and for helping me keep my sanity when things got insanely busy.

I'm not sure I'd have ever weaned myself from Alias AutoStudio had it not been for the gracious support and copious Maya knowledge of many other Pixar people. Chief among these were Bryan Boyd, Bruce Buckley, and Martin Costello. Extra thanks go to Josh Reiss, who had the patience and knowledge to listen to all my Maya gripes and show me how to fix them and understand “the Maya way,” even as I pined for the AutoStudio way.

Special thanks go to John Lassiter, who showed us all the magic that was possible with computer animation; to Ed Catmull, for helping found this wonderful company; and to Steve Jobs, who believed in the magic and made sure that the lights stayed on when Pixar was not yet a household name.

I'd also like to go way back and thank Kathleen Hanna, Patricia Ferrick, Jean Jorgenson, and Allen Gilbert for the fun and enthusiasm that made my early years at Intergraph so enjoyable. As challenging as a career in computer graphics can be, people like these showed me that it can be even more enjoyable.

To Linda Bump, Victoria Elzey, and Audrey Doyle, thanks so much for your continuing support and patience as we've tried to shoehorn writing this book into our lives. Rookie authors must be awfully aggravating, but you've each been tremendous, hardly complaining a bit as you've bent over backward to keep this project moving.

Finally, thanks to Max Sims, for approaching me about this project and graciously tolerating all the difficulties I made for him as we collaborated on it from afar. Thanks also go to Erick Miller, Daniel Roizman, and Scott Clark for all of their contributions and hard work.

Erick Miller

To my mom (Anna) and Jim for all of the most valuable advice, wisdom, support, and lessons in life. To my father (Steve), Carol, Gramma, Grampa, and all of my family for their love, advice and support over the years. To Max Sims, Chris and Ziela Simms, Linda Bump, Audrey Doyle, and the other great editors, authors, and contributors to this book; Daniel Naranjo, Paul Thuriot, Manfred Reif and the LuuLuu/Alvanon crew, Darin Grant and all the amazingly talented people at Digital Domain, Steve Mauceri, Tim Coleman, Nathan Vogel, AAC and Mesmer. Finally, to all of the people who have ever helped me personally or professionally, and most especially, to all the readers of this book: I would like to give my deepest thanks, dedications and goodwill.

Max Sims

I want to thank all the current and past employees of Alias Research and Wavefront Technologies for creating such an unfathomably deep software package. It has been a pleasure and honor to have worked with you or used the fruits of your labor.

I especially want to thank the crew at the Alias|Wavefront San Francisco office. This includes Jim Lorenz, for selling me my trusty Indigo 2 so many years ago; Heather Hughes, for supporting the SF Bay Users Group beyond my wildest dreams; and Pete Billington, for his technical support and industry insight.

Back at Alias|Wavefront corporate: Thanks to Donna Teggart, Heather Kernahan, Darlyn Dimayuga, David Lau, Shelley Morden, Laryssa Struk, and Dwayne Poot, and Renukah Maharaj. Also, to Steve Spencely for designing the best UIs on the planet, Kevin Tureski for giving credit where credit is due, Dave Wharry for delivering the goods to the users group, Peter Mehstaeubler for that meeting in Santa Clara, Bill Buxton for that walk in Seattle, and all the past presidents of Alias|Wavefront—particularly Penny Wilson, for being such a good softball player; Doug Walker, for instilling faith and a future to Alias|Wavefront; and Dennis Payne, Brian McLure, and Kristen Pearce at Snader and Associates, for their generous support. Mark Sylvester, we miss you.

At New Riders, I want to thank Linda Bump for finding me and convincing me to do this. Thanks for working with my hectic schedule and the tough love. Stephanie Wall for staking so much for three harried writers.

I also want to thank Audrey Doyle, for such polished edits and talents as a good grammarian; Victoria Elzey, for guiding us neophytes through this; and Maria Raposo at ATI, Chris Seitz at Nvidia, Connie Siu at AMD, Adam Schnitzer at Lucas Arts, and Paul Thuriot at Tippet.

To all my students and colleagues over the years at the Academy of Art and Cogswell Polytechnical College, who have vitalized me and taught me in so many ways.

To all my former employees over the years, especially Bruce, Erick, Debbie, Matt S., Matt J., Mike K., Alex C., Paul T., and Sven J.

Thank you, Dave Cole, Dan Brick, Hideki Masuda, Kevin Cain, Ronn Brown, William Renteria, Josh Hartl, and Bill Barranco.

I need to also acknowledge every librarian and bibliophile I have ever met. With a special wink to Bruce G. Dahms at The Cogswell Library. I wouldn't know that I don't know without all of you, and I would have a much smaller residence without all these damn books. It feels good to put a book out.

Lest I forget two other great librarians, Gretchen Goode and Lillian Heatherton at the Academy of Art—thanks for the “Shots.”

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