Maya 2011 Essential Training
Illustration by Maria Reñdon

Editing NURBS surfaces


Maya 2011 Essential Training

with George Maestri

Video: Editing NURBS surfaces

There are a number of different ways to edit and reshape a surface within Maya, so let's go ahead and take a look at some of those. First of all, we'll need a surface. So let's go ahead and create a NURBS sphere. I'm going to shade that by hitting 5 and let's go ahead and just turn off the grid. Probably, the easiest way to reshape a surface is just to pull the control vertices, or the CVs, around. So all I'm going to do is right-click over this to pull up my Marking menu, hit Control Vertex, and there they are.
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 34s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. A note on screen resolution
      1m 50s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of the Maya interface
      7m 42s
    2. Working with files and Maya projects
      2m 27s
    3. Navigating viewports
      5m 56s
    4. Reviewing the Viewport menus
      6m 28s
    5. Configuring safe frames and grids
      3m 21s
    6. Selecting objects
      4m 33s
    7. Using the Move tool
      3m 48s
    8. Rotating and scaling
      4m 31s
    9. Manipulating pivots
      3m 59s
    10. Understanding the Channel Box
      5m 36s
    11. Working with the Attribute Editor
      2m 28s
    12. Using the Hotbox
      2m 59s
    13. Working with marking menus
      3m 6s
    14. Customizing the interface
      3m 36s
  3. 59m 25s
    1. Creating polygonal objects
      6m 28s
    2. Working with polygonal components
      4m 42s
    3. Selecting polygonal components
      5m 44s
    4. Working with Soft Select
      7m 3s
    5. Using the Extrude tool
      6m 47s
    6. Keeping faces together
      2m 42s
    7. Extruding along curves
      3m 27s
    8. Using the Polygon Bevel tool
      4m 14s
    9. Smooth and subdivision surfaces
      7m 6s
    10. Blocking out a character body
      11m 12s
  4. 36m 6s
    1. Working with edge loops
      3m 27s
    2. Inserting and offsetting edge loops
      3m 38s
    3. Symmetrical modeling techniques
      5m 53s
    4. Combining objects
      3m 50s
    5. Using the Polygon Bridge tool
      2m 7s
    6. Connecting components and splitting polygons
      2m 48s
    7. Poking and wedging faces
      2m 49s
    8. Working with polygon booleans
      3m 17s
    9. Modeling with nonlinear deformers
      4m 54s
    10. Modeling with lattices
      3m 23s
  5. 1h 18m
    1. Introducing NURBS modeling
      5m 3s
    2. NURBS primitives
      5m 54s
    3. Using the NURBS curve tools
      5m 7s
    4. Creating Bézier curves
      1m 59s
    5. Creating text
      3m 51s
    6. Manipulating NURBS curves
      4m 13s
    7. Refining NURBS curves
      4m 16s
    8. Offsetting NURBS curves
      2m 31s
    9. Editing NURBS surfaces
      7m 3s
    10. Refining NURBS surfaces
      7m 22s
    11. Using NURBS Revolve
      7m 31s
    12. Using NURBS Loft
      4m 11s
    13. Using NURBS Extrude
      6m 0s
    14. Using NURBS Planar
      4m 47s
    15. Stitching NURBS surfaces
      8m 52s
  6. 35m 53s
    1. Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces
      5m 57s
    2. Creating curves on a surface
      3m 53s
    3. Projecting curves on surfaces
      7m 2s
    4. Trimming NURBS surfaces
      3m 42s
    5. Using the NURBS Fillet tool
      5m 31s
    6. Sculpting NURBS and polygonal surfaces
      5m 52s
    7. Converting NURBS to polygons
      3m 56s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Working with the Outliner
      4m 58s
    2. Grouping objects
      4m 2s
    3. Creating hierarchies
      4m 17s
    4. Duplicating objects
      4m 51s
    5. Understanding the Hypergraph
      3m 32s
    6. Working with Hypergraph connections
      2m 31s
    7. Hiding and showing objects
      2m 12s
    8. Creating layers
      4m 2s
    9. Working with selection masks
      2m 57s
  8. 40m 18s
    1. Overview of renderers
      3m 24s
    2. Understand the basics of materials
      6m 15s
    3. Creating and applying maps
      5m 13s
    4. Using bitmaps as texture
      2m 59s
    5. Working with the Hypershade window
      5m 12s
    6. Working with mental ray materials
      6m 57s
    7. Using displacement and bump mapping
      3m 14s
    8. Using the Ramp Shader
      2m 36s
    9. Using the 3D Paint tool
      4m 28s
  9. 30m 14s
    1. Texture-mapping NURBS surfaces
      5m 46s
    2. Projecting textures onto surfaces
      4m 0s
    3. Texture-mapping polygonal surfaces
      7m 0s
    4. Applying UV mapping
      8m 11s
    5. Using the UVW Editor
      5m 17s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Creating joints
      10m 2s
    2. Deforming a mesh using the Skin tool
      5m 2s
    3. Creating IK handles
      6m 48s
    4. Creating blend shapes
      5m 39s
    5. Rigging nonlinear deformers
      2m 36s
    6. Finalizing the character
      4m 45s
    7. Rigging the character to the scooter
      6m 24s
  11. 1h 5m
    1. Working with the Timeline
      4m 16s
    2. Creating and adjusting keys (keyframes)
      5m 4s
    3. Editing keys
      3m 13s
    4. Modifying keys in the Graph Editor
      5m 47s
    5. Modifying keys in the Dope Sheet
      2m 51s
    6. Creating breakdown keys
      2m 28s
    7. Animating objects along paths
      5m 54s
    8. Animation playback using Playblast
      3m 10s
    9. Animating with constraints
      6m 16s
    10. Creating animation cycles
      8m 25s
    11. Using set-driven keys
      6m 13s
    12. Adding sound to animations
      2m 24s
    13. Finishing the animation
      9m 45s
  12. 1h 2m
    1. Lights and lighting types in Maya
      7m 29s
    2. Adding depth-map shadows
      4m 13s
    3. Using Raytrace shadows
      3m 28s
    4. Understanding the basics of cameras
      7m 14s
    5. Adding depth of field
      6m 31s
    6. Adding Bokeh using mental ray
      4m 33s
    7. Using motion blur in Maya Software Renderer
      4m 10s
    8. Using motion blur in mental ray
      3m 5s
    9. Raytracing reflections and refractions
      4m 41s
    10. Interactive rendering with IPR
      3m 33s
    11. Lighting a scene
      8m 29s
    12. Batch rendering
      4m 53s
  13. 25s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Maya 2011 Essential Training
9h 8m Beginner Jun 01, 2010

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.

Topics include:
  • Getting familiar with the Maya interface
  • Organizing scenes
  • Creating hierarchies
  • NURBs modeling for solid objects
  • Adding color to models
  • Applying bitmap textures
  • Working with mental ray materials
  • Polygonal modeling for characters and organic objects
  • Deforming with the Skin tool
  • Setting up lights and cameras
  • Creating realistic effects such as depth of field
  • Working with the Timeline
  • Creating animation cycles
  • Batch rendering
  • Rendering with the mental ray engine
3D + Animation
George Maestri

Editing NURBS surfaces

There are a number of different ways to edit and reshape a surface within Maya, so let's go ahead and take a look at some of those. First of all, we'll need a surface. So let's go ahead and create a NURBS sphere. I'm going to shade that by hitting 5 and let's go ahead and just turn off the grid. Probably, the easiest way to reshape a surface is just to pull the control vertices, or the CVs, around. So all I'm going to do is right-click over this to pull up my Marking menu, hit Control Vertex, and there they are.

All I have to do is just select them. Hit W to move, and I can move them. I can grab a bunch of them. I can rotate them, scale them. I can do basically whatever I want. Now, this is just one of several different ways to reshape the surface. Now, if you're working with Control Vertices, one nice way to select them is to use the Arrow keys. Now, this is very similar to how you would use them on NURBS curves. You can just select an individual or a group of CVs, and then you could just use your Arrow keys to walk around and pick different ones.

So, this might be an easier way to pick CVs. You can pick one that's readily available and then walk your way down into one, or something like that. So that's one way of picking multiple CVs. Another way is to edit with hulls instead of CVs. We can get to this just by, again, right-clicking, pulling up our Marking menu and selecting Hull. Now, you'll see this kind of looks a little bit like a polygonal mesh around our NURBS surface, and in some ways, hulls kind of represent edge loops. So if I click on the Hull, notice how it selects the whole ring of CVs all the way around.

So, I can just select that hull and move it around, so if I wanted to, for example, do this or this. So this is a really great way to very quickly select either the latitude or the longitude lines of a surface. So, I can click on a vertical one here, and you can see how I can select either the U or V direction of that surface. I'm going to jump back out to Object mode here and just click on this, and there's another tool, very similar to what we have with NURBS curves, that's called the Surface Editing tool.

So if I go into Edit NURBS in my Surfaces menu, all the way down, almost to the bottom, there is an option here called Surface Editing tool. Select that, and it brings up a tool that's very similar to the Curve Editing tool we just looked at. What this does is this allows me to move around on the surface and edit it. So, for example, if I grab that box, I can actually pull or push the surface. This little button here moves it around, so I could actually go anywhere I want on that surface.

Then I can grab that box and pull and push it. This one, this longer one is kind of more my tangent. So if I grab the very end of this, you can see how I can squish or stretch it. So I can make a pinch if I want, or I can expand it. This box here allows me to actually move that tangent. So this makes it kind of a little bit like a Bezier curve. I can also move that left or right. So, if you look at the object here, we can actually go back in Object mode.

You can see how that's actually affected the surface. The final one is a tool that allows me to open and close surfaces. Again, this is very similar to opening and closing a curve. So, if I go into my makeNurbSphere here -- let's go ahead and just take that sweep and kind of make it more of an open surface here. So if I want to, I could actually have Maya close the surface for me. So, I go into Object mode here.

I go into Edit NURBS, and we just have Open/Close Surfaces. This is a little different than dialing it closed through the sweep. It actually kind of, again, interpolates one end of the curve to another to create that cap. We can, again, open that as well. So, those are some basic tools for editing and reshaping NURBS surfaces, and you can use these when you're fine- tuning your surfaces and your models.

So now that we understand how to edit NURBS surfaces, let's go ahead and put some of that to use. So I'm going to go ahead and open a scene. That's called Scooter_Reference. Now, what this is is just a reference for that scooter that we've been playing with. So let's go ahead and use some NURBS editing tools to make some parts for this scooter. So, let's go ahead and start off with this front fender here for the scooter. So, I've got this reference set up, so let's go ahead and model against this reference. We're going to go into my side viewport, and we're just going to go ahead and create a NURBS sphere, and I'm going to position it somewhere towards the center of that wheel.

I kind of want to drag it so it's about the same size as that fender. Well, of course, we have a sphere here, and the fender is really just a half a sphere, if you really think about it. So let's go ahead down to our makeNurbSphere input in our Channel box, and let's go ahead and just kind of cut this in half. So, I'm going to turn my Start Sweep up to 180, and that kind of cuts that in half. Then let's just right-click over this and go Control Vertex. Now, all we have to do is just start reshaping.

In fact, I really want to rotate this a little bit first, so I'm going to go ahead and select this in Object mode and rotate it, so it's about the right angle to what I have here. Then I'm going to go into Control Vertex. Now just grab, I'm going to just box- select some of these and just start moving them around. So you can see I can very easily model this against my reference and create the shape I want. Now, down here, where it comes to a point, you kind of want to pull that out, and then you want to get those bottom ones and just pull them again, so we have a point, and then just modify that.

So, as you can see, we've got a pretty good shape. But the problem is we've only reshaped it from one side. So, I need to actually go into another viewport here, because what I've got is I've got a very wide sphere. So I've got it. It's shaped very nicely from this direction, but not from this direction. So, in this case, we have to jump into our front viewport and just hit R for scale and scale that down so it's just about right. There we go! Pretty simple! So, now we've got a basic fender for our scooter.

We're going to go ahead and keep working on this same project and start building as we learn new modeling tools.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Maya 2011 Essential Training .

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Q: The Chapter 2 exercise file dog_reference.mb appears blank when opened in Maya. I can't see the dog image. What do I do?
A: Make sure you are working with the most current version of the exercise files for this course from the site. Try downloading the files again. If the image still doesn't appear, make sure the project folder is set to the matching (Chap02) folder in the exercise files.
Also check to make sure you have "hardware texturing" enabled under the viewport's Shading menu.
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