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Importing reference sketches

From: Game Character Creation in Maya

Video: Importing reference sketches

So, now I'll make some adjustments in Maya that will help me to model in the proper scale and proportion. Proper scaling of your Maya model helps smooth your workflow between Unity and Maya, giving you a model that fits with the rest of the assets in your Unity project without needing manual adjustment. Now, of course, once we get in to Unity, we can certainly adjust the scaling as we need to, but this is going to help it fit automatically with other assets that we might create for our game. So the very first thing I am going to do in Maya is to set the linear units to meters. Now meters are the default system unit in Unity, so modeling my Maya scene using meters makes sense.

Importing reference sketches

So, now I'll make some adjustments in Maya that will help me to model in the proper scale and proportion. Proper scaling of your Maya model helps smooth your workflow between Unity and Maya, giving you a model that fits with the rest of the assets in your Unity project without needing manual adjustment. Now, of course, once we get in to Unity, we can certainly adjust the scaling as we need to, but this is going to help it fit automatically with other assets that we might create for our game. So the very first thing I am going to do in Maya is to set the linear units to meters. Now meters are the default system unit in Unity, so modeling my Maya scene using meters makes sense.

To set the units, I'll go to Window > Settings/Preferences > Preferences > Settings and I will set the Working Units to meter. Then click Save. I will also make some adjustments to my grid. So under Display > Grid Options, I will set the Length and Width to 5. Grid lines every 1 unit, with 10 Subdivisions.

These settings will make the grid match up a little bit more closely to the proportions of our character, just make it easier to work off the grid. So I will click Apply and Close. Now I will go ahead and add some reference images of the character that we are going to model, and this will just give me a nice visual reference, as I go through the stages of modeling to work off of, so that I am not just making it up as I go along. So let's switch to Finder and in my Maya Project folder, under sourceimages, I have few different reference images for Doug the Bug.

Now you'll notice under the Pixel Dimensions here, all of these reference images are the same size. I have got open in Photoshop and we just take a little bit closer look. So each reference image is proportioned at two to three, the Width versus the Length, and that's going to make it nice and easy for us to set up consistent reference planes in Maya. So I will switch back to Maya. And I will go ahead and set up the reference plane for the Front viewport, so I am just going to switch to the Front viewport.

I just hit Spacebar there to switch into my four-panel view and I will hit Spacebar again with the mouse over the Front panel. So I am going to go ahead and create a Polygon Primitive and I want a Plane and I can just click and drag to create a plane perpendicular to the Front viewport. Now the important thing I want to do here is this polyPlane INPUT, I want to set the Width to 2 and the Height to 3.

So remember each of our reference images are scaled to be proportioned at 2 to 3. So that will make sure that they fit nicely on each reference plane and that they are all scaled consistently. The next step is to apply the reference image as a texture to this plane. So I am going to right mouse click over my plane, select Assign New Material. I will make a Lambert Shader and map the shader's Color attribute to a File node.

Then point the Image Name to the reference image for the front viewport. And I am just going to click Open. So now in my Front viewport, I will switch to Shaded mode and Textured and if I zoom in here I see I have my front viewport image on the plane but it's getting cut off and it looks like it's kind of stretched out a little bit horizontally. So one additional step I need to take is to select the plane, go up to Create UVs, and I want to do a Planar Mapping with options.

I want to Fit the projection to the Bounding box of the plane, and I want to Project from the Z axis, so Z is the perpendicular axis that's facing directly towards the reference plane, and I will just click Project and that should nicely fit the reference image to the plane. Okay, I will just right-click and select that and we can move it around a bit in the Channel Box. I don't want to translate it in the X direction and in the Y direction, I want to make sure that the bottom is lined up with the X axis.

So I should be able to set this to 1.5, because that's half of the overall height of the image. Okay, and I will switch back to Perspective view and just turn on Shading and Texturing and I will select, so I am just right-clicking, and with my Move tool, I will just move this back off of the grid. So that when I am in Perspective Mode working on my character in the center here, the reference image isn't in the way. So I am going to go ahead and create those reference images the same exact way for each view.

So I will do one for the side, one for the top, and there is actually one for the back as well. The only difference is going to be when I go to create that Planar Mapping. I will change the axis that I am projecting from depending on which viewport I am setting up the reference image for. And when it's done, should look something like this. So you can see I have these reference images sitting outside the grid and if I hit Spacebar to switch to any of the orthogonal views, they will be lined up and that will make it really easy to have a visual reference as I am modeling my character.

And of course, I can deviate from the reference images as I need to, but again it's a nice visual guideline. It's going to help me to maintain the correct scale and proportion of my model, especially in relation to other assets that will be in my game.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Game Character Creation in Maya
Game Character Creation in Maya

40 video lessons · 8836 viewers

Chris Reilly
Author

 
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      39s
    2. What you need to know before watching this course
      1m 9s
    3. Understanding game asset creation
      1m 21s
    4. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 25m 35s
    1. Setting up scene folders (Maya and Unity)
      3m 58s
    2. Optimizing geometry
      3m 14s
    3. Using symmetry
      4m 8s
    4. Extruding geometry
      4m 19s
    5. Sculpting geometry
      4m 1s
    6. Importing reference sketches
      5m 55s
  3. 37m 14s
    1. Modeling the head and nose
      5m 34s
    2. Creating the mouth
      4m 28s
    3. Crafting the eyes
      5m 11s
    4. Building the body and a wing
      10m 11s
    5. Forming the limbs
      8m 5s
    6. Adding finishing touches
      3m 45s
  4. 36m 11s
    1. UV mapping overview
      2m 43s
    2. UV mapping the body parts
      9m 18s
    3. UV mapping the face
      7m 40s
    4. UV mapping wrap-up
      3m 44s
    5. Mirroring
      4m 57s
    6. Texturing
      2m 46s
    7. Normal mapping
      5m 3s
  5. 46m 21s
    1. Setting up the skeleton
      5m 19s
    2. Building the spine
      3m 39s
    3. Finishing the skeleton
      4m 32s
    4. Rigging the legs and feet
      8m 35s
    5. Rigging the torso
      3m 49s
    6. Rigging the arms and hands
      3m 35s
    7. Rigging the face and head
      5m 9s
    8. Rigging wrap-up
      2m 27s
    9. Skin binding and weight painting
      5m 26s
    10. Animating in Maya
      3m 50s
  6. 29m 9s
    1. Exploring the Unity interface
      3m 3s
    2. Importing character and animations into Unity
      5m 50s
    3. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person character controller
      7m 14s
    4. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person camera controller
      4m 4s
    5. Making read/write animations using UnityScript Editor
      4m 8s
    6. Controlling scripts with animation events
      4m 50s
  7. 19s
    1. Additional resources
      19s

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