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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.
There are times when you'll need to create geometry that doesn't follow the standard edged loop paradigm, times when you'll have to actually kind of draw out your polygons on a surface. There is a couple of tools in Maya that allow you to do this. Let's go ahead and start by creating a plane, shading it, and I'm going to go ahead and move that above the grid so we can see it. I'm also going to give myself some details. So I'm going to give myself about five or six subdivisions in each direction. Now let's go ahead and take a look at the Edit Mesh menu.
I'm going to tear this off, so we can actually have this right over here. There are two tools that we can use, that can really help us to define geometry very precisely. One is called the Split Polygon tool. The other one is called Connect Components. Let me show you how each of these works. First of all, the Split Polygon tool allows you to basically cut polygons in hallf, or cut faces in half. So when I select this, it says click to drag on first edge. So I'm going to drag on this edge and release.
So I'm left-clicking, dragging, releasing. Left-click, drag, release, and then I can just keep selecting edges. In fact, it'll give me a straight line to line up to if I want to, or I can go to other edges. Then, when I'm done, press Enter. Now I've got edges along with my polygons. It allows me to basically just cut through my polygons like a knife. So if I wanted to add in a little bit of detail somewhere, like a crease or something like that, I can just draw it in.
Now with Maya 2011, there is actually a new way of doing this. That's called Connect Components. This is actually a little bit more versatile. Let me show you how this one works. Now with this one, you can actually select any type of component. So I can just Shift+Select a bunch of edges, and select Connect Components. Once I do that, it'll go ahead and split those edges in half and just connect them, a lot simpler. Now another way of doing it is by connecting other types of components. So, for example, I could select a number of different faces, and just do Connect Components as well, or I can do it with Vertices faces, really ay combination of components.
In fact, if I wanted to, I could right- click and go into what's called Multi mode, select some faces, select a vertics, select an edge, and then another edge, and then let's connect all of those. That's what it does. So again, both of these tools, Split Polygon and Connect Components allow us to further refine the surface of a mesh by adding in geometry in very, very specific places.
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