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Once you've drawn your initial product design, it's time to take it to a 3D program for modeling. Veejay Gahir takes the initial sketch of a Formula 1 steering wheel from the first part of this series and shows you how to model and render a fully realized version in Maya. He shows how to import the sketch, use box and freeform modeling techniques to create the basic shape, and add details like buttons, dials, and decals. Finally, Veejay shows how to add texture and lights and render out the final view of your model.
This course uses an F1 wheel as an example project, but the techniques can be applied to any other automotive or consumer product. For more information, watch the first part of this series, Sketching an F1 Wheel in SketchBook.
In this video, I'm going to show you how to add a bevel to the body solid that we created in the previous video. In chapter two, if you open up scene file F1 bevel. Let's take a look at the layer structure on the right hand side. At the very top, we've got Body_Chanfer. And this is going to be the end result of this particular video. And you'll notice on this body chamfer we have a protrusion, at the mid point here, which we didn't have with our solid. So let's add that very quickly. Let's hold that body chamfer, and open up body solid, which was the end result of our last video.
I'm going to right click on there, select face, holding the Shift down, I'm going to select both of these two faces, and let's just go straight to the Extrude command. We'll extrude just a small portion like this. I go to the top view, and let's add our reference image. The reason for this extrusion is that I wanted to have some sort of Protrusion that ends up inside of this red portion of the handle. So, I'm just going to select these vertex points and then just roughly correct it like so.
Again, this is a constant process of tweaking and adjusting these vertex points and they don't have to be perfect at this stage. Okay, we're done with that, now we're going to hide the reference image. Let's go back to our perspective view, right-click, select edge, double-click on an edge, and Maya will track through the part and look for adjacent edges. And in this case, it's selected all of these edges along there, we're going to hold the shift down, double click any of these edges. And if it stops at a point and it doesnt know whether to go this direction or this direction, we just going to help by choosing a direction and double clicking.
So lets continue on this by so, now we're going to flip it underneath to the other side and do the same thing Let's just check that we have everything selected,and now we're going to go up to Edit Mesh, and we're going to go to the Bevel tool. Let's take a look at the options, right now, we're just going to leave all the options exactly as they are because we can change those in the bevel node once we've created the bevel. Let's go and create that bevel, and you'll notice it creates the bevel, but we also have some slight problems.
We have these small triangles that appear. Now, we can correct those very easily. Let's go to object mode, and select our part. Ctrl+a to open up the attribute editor. Now let's navigate to the bevel node, which is this one here, and at the very top, let's have a look at some of the options. We can adjust the offset, so we increase that bevel, or decrease it. We're going to leave it at 0.5 for now, we can add segments in there. But, right now, we're going to have just one segment, but let's look at how we can eliminate some of these triangles.
So at the very bottom here, under clean up, we have something called merge tolerance, so let's focus on one triangle here. As I increase this merge tolerance value, just watch the triangle, and it'll come to a point where it just snaps and disappears, like so. So this value here is greater than the distance between the two vertex points, and then it gets swallowed, all merged together. Now there is a danger in using this command, cause if I carry on increasing it too far, you'll notice that it starts to swallow up additional parts within the model and it completely destroys the shape.
There is another solution to this, so let's go back to this corner. We're going to go to the edit mesh, Merge Vertex Tour, open up the Options, let's reset the tour and use Target Vertex as our option. So I'm just going to pick one of the vertex points, drag it over, and then release, and it merges. The other option that we have under Edit Mesh > Merge Vertex Tour is center. In this case as I drag one vertex point to another, it puts a green indicator, which is the midpoint, and that will be the convergence point for both of those vertices, and I like the result better.
So let's go through very quickly and just merge these vertex points. Merging of vertex points again will ensure that we're remaining in a mode where we're creating just quads. I queue to quit the command, object mode, select the object and I go back into my top view like this, and I'm going to go into vertex mode again And let's just window over these vertex points and w to move and let's just quickly tidy up these points like so. And what I'm looking for is a nice parallel relationship between the outside profile and the first lege of the bevel.
We can also shade it, wire frame unshaded and also x-ray to help us decipher which points to move to which location, and that looks pretty good for now. Again, we can go back and tweak it later. Now, one last thing we need to do, if you notice, at the very end here, we've actually end up with engons. So, if I select this face, that's an engon, it's more than four sides. So, we need to split this to make it into a quad. So, let's go back to our Edit mesh, Interactive Split Tool and check our options. Reset those. I'm just going to pick a point from here, down to here, Y to continue.
There we go. So that's how you add a bevel, and that's how you correct any issues with triangles, and then just check that we have quads at the ends, and we are ready to move on to the next step.
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