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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 many times in Maya where you want to duplicate objects. Now, we've done a little bit of duplication up until this point. But let's go through this a little bit more thoroughly. Now, if I select an object, like for example this house, I can just very simply duplicate it. So, we've already used the Duplicate command. So, either you hit Duplicate or Ctrl+D, and I can turn one house into two. So, for example, now I have two houses. That's really just a very simple command.
Now, another way to duplicate is to do what's called Duplicate with Transform. Now, this is actually kind of nice, because if you repeat just what I did, which is Ctrl+D, and then do a bit of a transform, all you have to do is do Shift+D and it will keep repeating that. A great way to like layout a street of houses, for example. A great easy way to do it. What it does is it remembers the last transform you did after the duplication, or basically everything that has been transformed after the duplication.
Then as soon as you hit Shift+D it just repeats it. Pretty cool! Now, another way to do this is to do what's called Duplicate Special. We've actually used this a little bit when we were modeling the character body. But let's go through this again. Now, we've got a couple of things that we can do with this. Under Duplicate Special, we can take this object, and we can just copy it, and we can make any number of copies we want. Let's say we wanted say 10 copies, and we wanted to translate them in z 100 units apart.
If you go Duplicate Special, boom, does it. Very simple. Now, another way to do this is to do it with what's called an instance. Now, what an instance does is it basically creates an object that is referenced to the original. So, if I create 10 houses that are instanced, I can't edit my first house. Now, notice how I've edited that and I can change all of them. This is really great for let's say you had a bunch of telephone poles and you really didn't know exactly what height those crossbars are on the telephone poles.
Well, you could still Duplicate Special. Go back to the first one, and you can rearrange all of them and make them all the same. Another way to use Duplicate Special is not just with Translation, but also with Rotation. Let's me show you a little trick here. Now, I have got this scene here. Basically, I want to create a little planet populated with houses with a road down in the middle. Ultimately, we are going to make our character pop on the scooter and drive down that street. But I need to create some houses on this street.
So, first thing I want to do is actually be able to position this house where I want it. So, probably the best thing to do is to center the pivot of this house to the center of the earth. So, let's go ahead and do that. Let me go ahead and zoom out, hit Insert. I am going to move this pivot down. I am going to zoom in. I want to make sure that that is centered. So, I am going to hit Insert again. So, now once I have this pretty much centered to the planet, now when I rotate it, it's actually almost the same as Translation, because I can rotate this all the way around, and it will always stick to that planet, because really instead of translating, we are kind of using more of a rotation.
So, all I want to do is make sure I position that and there we go. Now, I want to go ahead and rotate all of these around that planet. So, how many of these do I need? I am going to go into Duplicate Special. Let's go ahead and just make 10 of these go around the earth here. Now, I've already got one, so I only need 9 additional ones. Then I am not going to translate it, so I want to make sure all these are 0. But I want to rotate it, and I want to rotate this around the red axis or the X axis.
So, 36 degrees between each one and just do Duplicate Special. So, now I've got a little planet with some houses on it. What's really cool is I can go into my outline, and we can play with some hierarchies here. We can take all of our houses, and middle-click and drag them onto the planet. So, now I can rotate it round X. In fact, let's go ahead and get our camera, pretty much aligned here. So, I've got my perspective view aligned. So, all I have to do is take X, middle- click and drag, and you can see how I can make these houses come over the hill, which is kind of that effect that we wanted to get, that kind of almost Fleischer type of effect of the houses moving by, which is a great effect. So, very simple.
Duplicate allows you to duplicate objects, and Duplicate Special is really cool, because it allows you to very precisely control how many objects you have as well as their placement.
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