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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.
Many times when you model with polygons, you model things separately. You'll model one part over here, and another part over here. There are times when you'll need to stick them together as one object. You can do that by using a function called Combine. Let me show you the basics of how that works. Let's go ahead and just make two very simple spheres. So I have Sphere1 and Sphere2. In fact, I am going to shade these. Let me go ahead and turn off the Grid, so we have a little bit better view of this.
So I actually have two separate objects. You can see here we have two separate names. I have Sphere1 and Sphere2. If I Shift+Select them, I still have two separate objects. So you can see one is green and one is white, which means that the green one is selected last. Now if I wanted to combine these into one polygonal object, I can do that using what's called Combine. So all I have to do is go Mesh > Combine, and watch what happens. It's now one object. Now it's renamed it polySurface1, but now when I select one, it selects both.
Even though they look like separate objects, Maya treats them as one polygonal object. For example, if I move vertices in these or whatever, I can actually model these together. Well, let's say you did this, and you kind of wanted to undo it. Well, there is also another complementary tool for this, and that's called Separate. So if you bring something in, and it's combined, you can just separate it. Now this is actually something that you probably see a lot with models that you buy online, or something like that you bring them in, and they'll be all stuck together, and you may want to take the hat off the character, or something like that, and you can use Separate usually to do that.
So now these are separate objects. Now let me show you a little bit more of a practical use for this. Let's go back to the character that we were modeling. So I'm going to go ahead and open up Dog_Rough03. That's his name, Rough. Here I have my symmetrical modeling that I was working with in my last movie, but there's got a couple of time where we have to kind of stick him back together. So I still have just, like with the spheres, I have two separate objects. They're two shelves. So the easiest way to stick them back together is to use Combine.
So let's go ahead and do Mesh > Combine. But when I do that, notice how I still have this scene, and I still have two open edges that need to be stuck together as well. Now I can actually stick these together using a couple of different tools. Under Edit Mesh, in fact, I'm going to tear this off here. We have what's called the Merge Edge and the Merge Vertex tool. Let me show you how the Merge Vertex tool works first. All you do is you go into Vertex mode here. Let's go ahead and zoom in, so we can see one of these.
You just go to Merge Vertex. What it does is when you go over a vertex, in fact, let's zoom in really closer you can see this, you can see that as my mouse gets over that vertex, it highlights. So all I have to do is left-click, and then drag it to the vertex I want to merge it to. So if I do this, bam! Those are merged. I can just do this throughout. If I want to, I can jus,t work my way around, and kind of basically zip him up. Now another way to do it is to use the Merge Edge tool.
You select your first border edge. What a border edge is kind of like the open face. So it's like the top of the bowl, or in this case, the edge of this shell. Then, you select the second border edge, and then you hit Enter, and then it should zip him up. Now we can do this multiple times, in two different ways. We ca either use Merge Vertex, or we can Merge Edge. So we can select Edge, Edge, Enter, and go on from there. So either way works fine. So go ahead and work your way around this character and stitch him back together.
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