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Manipulating NURBS curves

From: Maya 2011 Essential Training

Video: Manipulating NURBS curves

Maya has a number of tools that you can use to manipulate curves once they're drawn. So let's take a look at some of those. Let's go ahead and just create a very simple curve. I'm going to use the CV Curve tool, and I'm going to lay out a couple points here to create a Curve. So now if I want to manipulate this curve, I could very easily just move the Control Vertices around. So if I want to, I can just right-click over the Curve and select Control Vertex. As you can see, all the vertices come up.

Manipulating NURBS curves

Maya has a number of tools that you can use to manipulate curves once they're drawn. So let's take a look at some of those. Let's go ahead and just create a very simple curve. I'm going to use the CV Curve tool, and I'm going to lay out a couple points here to create a Curve. So now if I want to manipulate this curve, I could very easily just move the Control Vertices around. So if I want to, I can just right-click over the Curve and select Control Vertex. As you can see, all the vertices come up.

And I can move those, and I can also move those in multiple directions. If you want the curve to go above or below the drawing plane, you can certainly do that. Because you're working with a curve, the CVs on that curve are basically in order. So we have our first vertex. We have our second vertex, and then everyone after that is in order. So another way to very quickly select vertices is just to use your arrow keys. So if you go up, down, left and right, you can just very easily step through any of the vertices.

This can really save you, if you've got something that's really tight. So you can actually just select an available vertex, so just walk your way down to the one that you really need. Now, you can actually get into more sophisticated editing using what's called the Curve Editing tool. Now that's found under Edit Curves in the Surfaces menu, and we go into the Curve Editing tool. Now, watch what happens. This little manipulator comes up. Now, what this has is it has a number of different handles, and each handle does a specific thing.

So if I go to the middle handle, this kind of blue box here, I can actually move the vertex. So this is almost the same as just moving the Control Vertex by selecting Move. But the nice thing about this is that I can grab this little handle to the other side of it, and I can just run this down the track. So I can actually go in between. Let's say I'm between these two Control Vertices, and then I can just move that. So I can actually pick any part of the curve and manipulate it and be able to actually -- if I want this of the curve to actually be on that grid point, I can actually move it there, which is kind of nice.

Now, another handle here affects the curvature. So if I go to this one that's kind of in front of it, it's almost like a Bezier Curve. So this allows me to squish and squash the curve itself, and then if I grab that box, again its very similar to a Bezier handle for a NURBS curved surface. Now, these other ones are actually just snapping points, these little blue and red dots. What they do is they just snap that tangent to the curve point. So if I wanted this handle to be exactly on the blue axis, which is the Z axis, I could just snap that to it.

That's another way to manipulate NURBS curves. Now the final way is actually kind of more of a way to add details. So I'm going to go ahead and hit W to go back into Move mode, and then right-click over this to go back into Object mode here. Now, we've been working with NURBS curves that have been open on both the ends, but there is a way to actually close that curve. So if you wanted, for example, a circle, or some sort of closed topology, you can just go into Edit Curves and go Open /Close Curves, and what that will do is that will add in the detail it needs to actually close that curve.

And then, all you have to do is just manipulate the vertices. If you have a closed curve and you want to open it, again go into Object mode and then just go Open/Close Curves. So basically, it just toggles it. Now, what it will do is it will actually close that curve and open it at that first vertex. So that vertex is actually very important, because when I open the curve, it's actually going to basically break the hull between the last vertex and the first one. So those are some basic ways to manipulate NURBS Curves.

And go ahead and practice with these tools and be able to use them to precisely place and manipulate your curves.

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This video is part of

Image for Maya 2011 Essential Training
Maya 2011 Essential Training

115 video lessons · 26184 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 34s
    2. Using the exercise files
      26s
    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
      25s

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