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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.
Now as you start working, there is got to come a point where you're going to want to add in some edge loops. And there are a number of tools in Maya that allow you to create new loops of edges. We are going to be working with this basic character that we started with in the last chapter. And I am going to show you some of the Edge Loop tools, which would be Insert and Offset Edge Loop. So let's go ahead and bring this character up. In fact, I am going to go ahead and turn on the Reference here in the Layers Box, so we can see that.
And in fact, I am going to go into my Side View. So I am going to hit the Spacebar, jump out to my Fore View and then highlight that and jump back in using the Spacebar. So let's take a look at how some of these tools work. Probably the most common one is called Insert Edge Loop. So when I select Insert Edge Loop, notice how my cursor changes, and it says to Click-drag on edges. Well, I have two directions to create edge loops. I can create it horizontally or vertically. In this case, I kind of want to add in some edge loops to define maybe the outline of this character's belt.
So in order to add a horizontal loop of edges, I need to click on a vertical edge. And in order to create a vertical group of edge loops, I need to click on a horizontal edge. So let's go ahead and click on this vertical edge. And you can see how I can slide this up and down. And all I have to do is position that pretty close to where that beltline is and then just let go, and I have some additional geometry. And now I have some stuff that I can use to model that character. Now if I wanted to create a vertical group of edges I could do that as well.
In fact, let's go into the Front View of this character. In fact, I am going to turn off Reference so we can see this. And let's say I wanted to create a line straight down the middle of the character. Well then all I have to do is just click on any one of these rings, and I can create a edge loop that's vertical. Insert Edge Loop really just inserts one loop. Now there is another one called the Offset Edge Loop tool. And what this does is it actually takes one of these horizontal or vertical loops and adds what's called an Offset.
Basically what it does is it kind of brackets that edge loop with a new pair of edges. Okay. Well I really don't want to do that on this particular character. But let's go ahead down to the belt area, and let's say I wanted to add something in here, say I wanted to add a little bit of detail here, add in the loop and then another one right about here. So now I have a little bit of extra detail in which to model that belt. And then all I have to do is just go into my Side View here, just double-click on that and maybe Shift+double-click on this, and all I have to do now is expand these, and now I'm starting to get the belt.
In fact, let's take a look at this Reference here. And now I've got enough geometry in here to create the belt. Now if I really want to see how this works when it's smooth, I can just hit number 3 button or the number 2 button to kind of see how that's deforming. Now one thing I could do with Edge Loops is I can double-click on this one here, and if you slide it down, that crease gets a little bit tighter, and that's kind of what I want. So as you can see, Insert and Offset Edge Loop can really help to sculpt and define your character.
The typical process is you rough out your geometry, and then you add Edge Loops at very precise places to further refine the geometry of your model.
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