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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.
Anyone involved in motion graphics will probably want to create Text within Maya. Maya actually has some very nice text-creation tools. Let's go into Create, and you'll see we have what's called Text. So if we actually hit the tTool options here, this will us some options our text. Now, we can actually type in whatever type of text we want here. So this is actually the text itself. And then for the font, if we click this little triangle, it brings up a very nice Select Font window.
And you can actually go through and view these font-by-font. So if I wanted to I could increase the size of my font so I can actually see it, and then if I want, I can just step through some of these. I'm actually using my arrow keys, so I can actually just step through these, and we can see exactly which ones we like. So, for example, if this is the particular font I want, I could actually do Bold, Bold Italic, really whatever. And also we have what's called a writing system. So if you want to use different types of characters you can. So once we do this, we can click OK, and this is my Font.
Now, once I've selected my text and my font, I can select what type of output I want. Now, we've been working with curves, so we can actually output to curves, but we also can output to what are called Trim surfaces, Polygonal surfaces and Bevels. So let's go through each of these, so I can show you all the different options. So now I've typed in my text, chosen my font, and we're going to output this as Curves. So let's go ahead and do Create. And so now we've got this output as Curves. If I do this again, Create > Text, this time I'm going to output it as what's called a Trim.
Now, what this does is it creates a NURB surface and uses Curves to actually trim that out. So basically it creates kind of like a piece of paper, or a label, or something that's been kind of cut out of a flat image here. Now, we'll get into these types surfaces a little bit later, just know that they're there. And let's go ahead and go Create > Text again, and this time I am going to output it as Poly. Now, when I click on that, notice we have a ton if options that come up. Well, one is what type of output do we want? Do we want it to output as triangles, quads? What type of tessellation, which means how do you want the surface to be constructed, and also we can give the height and width of the Font as well.
So let's go ahead and just leave those at the defaults. And when you click that out, you can see now, I've got an actual polygonal surface, because this is actually a polygon. So I can actually go through and edit vertices and faces and so on. I'm going to go ahead and delete this, and let's just do one more. And the last one is called Bevel, and this actually will Bevel the corners of this. So we actually want to say how deep do you want it? How much do want the text extrudeed, and do you want to create Caps at the start and end, and what type of Bevel do you want? Do you want concave, convex? All sorts of ones.
I'm just going to leave this at the default, so we can kind of see what we have here. And what this does is it actually creates an actual surface, and it bevels the edges however we want. And this is actually kind of nice for like the 3D text effects and that sort of stuff that you want. Those are actually several different ways to create text within Maya. One of the tricks I like to use is I just create a single letter and output it as a Curve, because sometimes a letter is actually very close to a shape that I want.
So, for example, if I want kind of an oval shape, I might output a Times Roman O, and that way I have a very nice, round shape that I can use to extrude into something else. So these are some of the basic text tools. So knock yourself out.
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