Every few years, another new game console or computer system is released that is more powerful than its predecessors. With this increase in power comes better graphics capabilities. This lifts the game artists' restrictions, giving them freedom to add more detail to their geometry. But it also adds pressure to create yet more detailed and visually stunning characters, not only on paper but also in the game engine.
As the emphasis on graphics grows, so does the size of the development team needed to create a single game. Back in the early 1980s, a team comprised a single programmer who would no doubt create his or her own graphicsall that was needed were simple shapes formed from a few pixels on screen. Today's gamers demand much more from their games and, as a result, team sizes can run into the hundreds.
With teams becoming so large, good organization is very important, and smaller subteams usually are formed to cover specific areas. On the art side, you will often have three primary teams: characters, environment, and animation. Possibly another, smaller team would cover the front endthe main startup menu, the onscreen display, and so on.
If you desire to join a character team, this book is just for you. As you work your way through each chapter, you will learn the processes of generating an in-game character, from concept to modeling, optimization, texturing, rigging, and finally animating. Along the way you'll be introduced to the Maya interface and its many tools.