Maya 2011 Essential Training
Illustration by Maria Reñdon

Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces


Maya 2011 Essential Training

with George Maestri

Video: Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces

When working with NURBS surfaces, there will be times when you'll need to tie surfaces together. And probably one of the best techniques for helping to do this is to be able to extract curves from a NURBS surface and use those to build other surfaces. So let me show you what I'm talking about here. Let's go ahead and just create a simple, simple sphere and shade that. I'm going to turn off the Grid. Okay, so what I want to do is be able to extract a curve from this NURBS surface.
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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

Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces

When working with NURBS surfaces, there will be times when you'll need to tie surfaces together. And probably one of the best techniques for helping to do this is to be able to extract curves from a NURBS surface and use those to build other surfaces. So let me show you what I'm talking about here. Let's go ahead and just create a simple, simple sphere and shade that. I'm going to turn off the Grid. Okay, so what I want to do is be able to extract a curve from this NURBS surface.

So in order to do that, I need to define a point on the surface from which to extract that curve. So I can do that by right- clicking over it and going into Isoparm. which is what we use to detach the surfaces and also add in new rows of Control Vertices. So all I'm going to do is just set an Isoparm point here, and then I'm going to go into my Surfaces menu and under Edit Curves, I'm going to select Duplicate Surface Curves.

And what this will do is it'll create a curve at the Isoparm point I defined. So now that I have this curve, I have a curve that's actually locked to that surface. So if I, for example, were to deform this surface, History will enable that curve to basically kind of be stuck to that surface. But it is a separate curve. It's not a curve on a surface, which is a different thing. What I can do is then I can actually take that curve and Duplicate it, and just use that to create another surface.

So, for example, if I selected this curve and this curve, and its surface is loft, I could actually have a loft that intersects perfectly with this sphere. So let's go ahead and do a more practical application of this. First thing I'm going to do is go ahead and set my project to my Desktop, Chap_05, and then I'm going to go ahead and open a scene. And we have a scene out here called Scooter_08, and that's our scooter.

So what we can do is we can extract curves on a surface to build part of, for example, this headlight. So this headlight, all I have is the front part of a headlight bulb. But we also have a little ring around that headlight, and we also have the body of this kind of headlight casing. So we can extract a curve from the headlight to build the casing and also build that little ring. So I'm just going to go ahead and zoom in here. In fact, I'm going to turn off my Reference right now. So I'm going to go over to my Channel box and under layers, just hit that the V and then just select this headlight.

Right-click over it, Isoparm, and then just go all the way to the end there. And select that Isoparm at the very end. Edit Curves > Duplicate Surface Curves. So now I have a curve, here I have the surface, and then I have the curve. Now sometimes it's going to be a little hard to select just the curve and not the surface. So what I'm going to do is up here I'm going to turn off my Select Mask for Surface objects, which means I can no longer select surfaces, but I can select curves, because curves is still turned on.

So now that I have this curve, this curve exactly matches the outline of that headlight. So I can just make a copy of that. So just do Duplicate and also do Center Pivot, and then move this out. In fact, I'm going to need my Reference here. So I'm going to actually go into my Side View and turn on Reference. And I'm just going to position this, maybe scale it down just a little bit so it kind of matches the outline of this.

And then I'm going to duplicate it again, which is Ctrl+D and then move it again, and I'm just going to do little bit of a rotate and a scale to get this about where I want it, a little bit more scale here. So now that I have this, I can select one, two, three curves, do Surfaces > Loft. So now I've lofted out the front part of this housing. Now the back part's can be constructed a little bit differently. We'll get to that in a bit.

But I can also use this exact same curve to create the ring around the headlight. So all I need to do is Create and Extrude. But remember, Extrude uses two curves. So I need to create another one. So I'm going to go in to Create > NURBS Primitives > Circle. I'll just create a small circle right around here. But I want that circle to be little bit squashed. I want this to have a little bit more of an oval outline. So I'm going to select that circle, select the curve that I extracted from the headlight and then just do Surfaces > Extrude.

Now, this doesn't look quite right, but we can fix that. So let's go into our Attribute Editor for this. And let's change some of our parameters here. So this is where some of these parameters can come in handy. First thing I'm going to do is change my Component Pivot, and then I want to make sure I do Fixed Path. So when I have these two in place, it will snap to the outline. Now, it just depends on what your situation is as to which one of these will work. But for this particular situation, it will be Component Pivot and Fixed Path.

So now I'm going to go back to my Layer Editor and turn off my reference. So you could see I've got the start of that headlight casing as well as the chrome ring that goes around the headlight itself. So those are some the applications of extracting surface curves, and as you can see, it's a great way to select parts of a surface and extract it, so you can build additional surfaces that match.

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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