Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started
Viewers: in countries Watching now:
In Maya 2011 Essential Training, George Maestri demonstrates the tools and feature set in Maya, as well as the skills necessary to model, texture, animate, and render projects with this deep and robust piece of 3D animation software from Autodesk. This course takes an in-depth tour of Maya's interface, including navigating and manipulating objects in 3D and customizing the workspace. The course also covers object creation and modeling basics, shading and texturing, surface mapping techniques, character rigging, and lastly, rendering and final output. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now let's go ahead and put some of our knowledge to use and start by modeling the body of a simple character. Now we're going to model that dog character that we've been playing with, and I've actually got a drawing of him already up here. We should have our project set to Chap_ 2 in order to pick up all of the image planes here, and basically what I have is I have two planes, and onto those planes I've mapped a sketch of the dog. Now in order to see this, you want to make sure that you have Hardware Texturing turned on, or you can also hit the number 6 on your keyboard.
Now let's go ahead and just start working with the body itself, and I'm just going to model his torso and his legs in this first part. Now you can see that we need to start with some sort of primitive. In this case, I'm actually going to start with a box. Now in order to model accurately, I need to go into one of the Orthographic Viewports, so I'm going to go ahead and hit Spacebar, put my mouse over the front view, and let's go ahead and start there. So I'm going to go ahead and select the box, and then I'm going to take this box and kind of roughly position it around where his torso area is.
And now I need to go into another view to set the height. So let's go ahead into our side view and make sure that the height is about the same to what we have for his body. And now I'm actually going to go into that side view and move the box so that it pretty much surrounds his body. Now again, this isn't going to be perfect. We are going to have a lot of tweaking here, and then I'm going to go back into the front view and make sure that this is centered. So under Translate X I'm just going to type in 0 to make sure that's centered, and then I want to add some subdivisions here.
So I'm going to scroll down until I see my INPUT polyCube, and for Width I'm going to type in 3. In fact, let's go into our perspective here. For Height, I'm going to type in again 3 and for Depth, this can be about 5. So what I'm doing here is I'm just adding in enough detail to give me some room to actually start sculpting and shaping the surface. Now when you start working like this, you really need to only add enough detail to get the effect that you want.
Because remember, all I have to do is hit 3, and I can subdivide that surface to get an actual smooth surface. So we're trying to get this surface blocked out but not without too much detail, because more detail means more stuff that we have to animate. So I want to keep this as simple as possible. Now first thing I want to do is start working on the legs. Now in this case, sometimes this image plane may get in the way. Now one way to get around that is to just work in XRay mode, so you can kind of see through everything.
Another way is to simply hide that layer every once in a while. Now I have actually the image planes set up on a layer called Ref, and all I have to do is hit this Visibility button here, and I can just toggle those on and off, and that actually will make it a little bit easier. So I'm going to start off by making the legs of the character, so I'm going to actually go underneath this box and look for this face and this face. So I'm going to right-click, go into Face components, select this face, hold down the Shift key and select again.
Now we're going to go ahead and extrude the character's legs. So I'm going to go Edit Mesh > Extrude. I'm going to grab this blue arrow and pull it down. In fact, I'm going to pull all the way down to the ground, which is that kind of dark line here, and we're actually going to pull it down to right about there or so. In fact, if we turn on our reference, I want to pull it down right about where the top of the shoe starts. And now let's go ahead and do another Extrude and pull it down again until it hits the ground.
Now what I've done here is I've actually created some additional geometry. You can look here from the front. I've created enough room to pull out the front of his foot. Let's go ahead and select those faces. Actually I've got two legs here, so I'm going to select this face and again Shift+Select this face, and again ,I'm going to do Extrude. I'm going to Extrude that foot to right about here or so, and again we want to try and get this curve.
So one thing I can do is I can go back into Vertex mode and start pulling these up and then go back into Face mode and reselect these and then go Extrude again, and then maybe one more. Now that I have this, I can start shaping that foot a little bit more.
Now in order to actually see, this we may have to go into XRay mode so you can kind of see how this works, and then select these Vertices and start sculpting. So I'm really just pushing and pulling these around to match my drawing. Okay, so I'm not going to do this all too much. We're really just going to be roughing this in. Now one thing you can do is also is as you start to work with this, you can hit the 2 or the 3 button to see exactly how this is smoothing.
So if I hit the number 2 button, you can see how I've got my feet, but they are way too skinny on the left and right side. So one thing I can do with that is I can again go back into Face mode, select the outside of the feet and again, do another Extrude. You can see now I'm extruding his feet out a little bit, and I can squash it down, and then from the front, I can again adjust these, so again, I'm going to go into Vertex mode, select these and move them down.
You kind of get where I'm going with this, adding enough geometry to make my character and checking how it smoothes and then matching that to my drawing. So you can see I've got kind of that foot roughed out a little bit. So let's go ahead and work a little bit more on the character's upper torso and body and see if we can get that into shape as well. Let's go and turn off this reference here. The first thing I notice is that it's still kind of boxy. I really want it to be a little bit more round, viewed from the top.
So let's go back into our top view. I'm going to hit F to Frame All, and then I'm going to go ahead and select the vertices in the corners of this box. You can see what I have selected here. And then I'm going to scale. But if I just scale from the middle, notice how it also scales going up and down this way, and I don't really want to do that. So what I want to do is scale just in the Z direction and then again in the X, and what that does is it kind of smoothes it out and makes it a little bit more cylindrical.
Then I can also select these vertices in the middle and just translate those up - oops I selected a vertices on the side there you can see how I made a little mistake there, so let's go ahead and make this - In fact, probably the easier way to do this is just select this one face and pull that up, and now what I've got is I'm kind of getting a little bit of a shoulder here. And now once I have this I can basically go back in and match it up to the reference and just work with it from one view or the other.
So, for example, here I want to make sure that this matches the beltline of the character. So again, I'm just going to start playing with these vertices, and really all I'm going to do is just pull vertices around. And again, here with his rear end, I'm going to go ahead and kind of clip off this corner a little bit and again, all I'm doing is trying to match his geometry to the drawing.
It's simple as that. So these are some of the basics of how to model against a reference drawing. Now the better the reference drawing you have, the better your modeling will be. It's always good idea to have great reference when you model like this, and again I'm just using things like Scale and Rotate to move the vertices globally, and then I go in one at a time and I tweak it. And again, what I'm trying to do here is I'm trying to create loops of edges that are actually pretty much in line.
So you don't want geometry that's all over the place. You want things to be regular and smooth and to kind of match what you're doing. So now I've got this kind of blocked out from the side. Let's go back into the front and do it again. And again, I'm going to turn on XRay right here, so I can start playing with this. I'm going to go ahead and take this, and another way you can do this is by using Edge Loops. So if I go into Edge and I double-click on this edge, remember, it'll select the whole loop, and then I can go ahead and start scaling this.
And if I select this one I can double- click that, maybe scale it up a little bit because he is a little bit wider. Notice here's the curve, so he is actually a little bit wider here than I've got him, so a little bit wider. And again, remember I've already shaped him from front to back, so I'm really only working left to right here, so I don't want to just globally scale because then I'll get him out of proportion. Anyways I'm going to stop here, and as you can see, I've already got this body kind of blocked down, and you can see I've got some of the basic shape.
You can see I already have the character. It's already starting to look a little bit like the character. Now we will do more tweaking on this, but for right now, let's go ahead and just leave this, and we'll pick it up and refine it a little bit in the next couple of lessons.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Maya 2011 Essential Training.
Here are the FAQs that matched your search "":
Sorry, there are no matches for your search ""—to search again, type in another word or phrase and click search.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.