Maya 2009 Essential Training
Illustration by Maria ReƱdon

Modeling a robot pt. 1: The body


From:

Maya 2009 Essential Training

with George Maestri

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Video: Modeling a robot pt. 1: The body

So now that we have our templates set up, let's go ahead and start modeling and this is my robot. Now with this template, the first thing I want to do is set it so I don't accidentally select it. I can do this in one of two ways, the first is I can set a selection mask and just right click here and turn off NURBS Surfaces. That way I don't accidentally select it. But eventually I will be adding a few little NURBS Surfaces on this model so that's not going to work for my whole process.
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  1. 5m 16s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. Using the exercise files
      37s
    3. Starting Maya 2009
      38s
    4. Working on a Mac
      1m 4s
    5. The importance of a three-button mouse
      26s
    6. Graphics card recommendation
      1m 6s
  2. 30m 11s
    1. Understanding the Maya interface
      6m 34s
    2. Working with files and Maya projects
      3m 35s
    3. Navigating viewports
      12m 24s
    4. Using the Hotbox
      3m 15s
    5. Working with marking menus
      4m 23s
  3. 1h 9m
    1. Selecting objects
      4m 59s
    2. Using the Move tool
      7m 26s
    3. Rotating and scaling
      3m 31s
    4. Manipulating pivots
      3m 24s
    5. Understanding the Channel Box
      8m 18s
    6. Working with the Attribute editor
      3m 51s
    7. Understanding the Outliner
      5m 21s
    8. Creating hierarchies
      6m 29s
    9. Understanding the Hypergraph
      6m 12s
    10. Grouping objects
      7m 56s
    11. Hiding and showing objects
      3m 39s
    12. Creating layers
      4m 34s
    13. Working with selection masks
      4m 9s
  4. 1h 17m
    1. Polygonal primitives
      10m 10s
    2. Polygonal components
      4m 39s
    3. Using Soft Select and Paint Select
      5m 47s
    4. Subdivision surface workflow using subdiv proxy
      5m 12s
    5. Subdivision surface workflow using mental ray
      3m 46s
    6. Using the Extrude tool
      3m 53s
    7. Keeping faces together
      4m 13s
    8. Working with edge loops
      4m 22s
    9. Inserting and offseting edge loops
      3m 53s
    10. Using the Slide Edge tool
      1m 40s
    11. Cutting faces and splitting polygons
      2m 58s
    12. Poking and wedging faces
      2m 54s
    13. Using the Polygon Bevel tool
      3m 6s
    14. Using the Polygon Chamfer tool
      1m 8s
    15. Using the Polygon Bridge tool
      2m 43s
    16. Working with polygon booleans
      3m 25s
    17. Combining objects
      2m 42s
    18. Merging vertices and edges
      4m 28s
    19. Using the Crease tool
      2m 8s
    20. Working with object history
      4m 29s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Introducing NURBS modeling
      1m 32s
    2. NURBS primitives
      6m 42s
    3. Using the NURBS curve tools
      4m 45s
    4. Creating text curves
      3m 14s
    5. Manipulating NURBS curves
      3m 52s
    6. Refining NURBS curves
      3m 47s
    7. Using cut curves and fillets
      1m 27s
    8. Offsetting and extending curves
      2m 28s
    9. Manipulating NURBS surfaces
      3m 29s
    10. Using NURBS Revolve
      5m 32s
    11. Using NURBS Loft
      4m 7s
    12. Using NURBS Extrude
      4m 57s
    13. Using NURBS Planar
      4m 11s
    14. Editing and refining NURBS surfaces
      3m 31s
    15. Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces
      4m 35s
    16. Opening and closing surfaces
      3m 36s
  6. 1h 19m
    1. Creating curves on a surface
      2m 54s
    2. Projecting curves on surfaces
      2m 48s
    3. Trimming NURBS surfaces
      4m 24s
    4. Using the NURBS Fillet tool
      4m 28s
    5. Stitching NURBS surfaces
      5m 38s
    6. Sculpting on NURBS and polygonal surfaces
      5m 22s
    7. Modeling with nonlinear deformers
      3m 36s
    8. Modeling with lattices
      3m 0s
    9. Converting NURBS to polygons
      4m 36s
    10. Modeling templates with image planes and NURBS planes
      7m 19s
    11. Modeling a robot pt. 1: The body
      4m 51s
    12. Modeling a robot pt. 2: Arms, legs, and feet
      7m 41s
    13. Modeling a robot pt. 3: The face
      6m 37s
    14. Modeling a robot pt. 4: The chest
      9m 3s
    15. Modeling a robot pt. 5: The final details
      7m 27s
  7. 1h 0m
    1. Understand the basics of materials
      8m 19s
    2. Creating and applying maps
      4m 4s
    3. Using bitmaps as texture
      4m 31s
    4. Working with the Hypershade window
      5m 15s
    5. Working with the Multilister
      2m 8s
    6. Texture-mapping NURBS surfaces
      4m 38s
    7. Projecting textures
      3m 23s
    8. Texture-mapping polygonal surfaces
      4m 59s
    9. Applying UV mapping
      5m 10s
    10. Live action integration with Use Background
      3m 2s
    11. Using displacement and bump mapping
      5m 16s
    12. Using the Ramp Shader
      4m 49s
    13. Using the 3D paint tools
      4m 42s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Understanding render settings
      5m 47s
    2. Understanding the basics of lights and lighting types
      9m 24s
    3. Adding depth map shadows
      6m 7s
    4. Using Raytrace shadows
      4m 5s
    5. Understanding the basics of cameras
      6m 53s
    6. Adding depth of field
      4m 38s
    7. Using Motion Blur
      4m 44s
    8. Raytracing reflections and refractions
      6m 36s
    9. Interactive rendering with IPR
      3m 59s
    10. Batch rendering
      5m 1s
    11. Lighting a scene: The robot
      13m 33s
  9. 43m 38s
    1. Introducing mental ray
      3m 47s
    2. Creating mental ray materials
      5m 42s
    3. Working with mental ray lights
      6m 1s
    4. Depth of field in mental ray
      4m 54s
    5. Motion blur in mental ray
      3m 39s
    6. Creating global illumination in mental ray
      7m 10s
    7. Using Final Gather to enhance global illumination
      7m 31s
    8. Rendering transparent materials with caustics
      4m 54s
  10. 39m 33s
    1. Introducing Paint Effects
      5m 31s
    2. Creating brushes
      9m 24s
    3. Applying brushes to existing strokes
      2m 48s
    4. Sharing brushes
      3m 19s
    5. Saving brushes
      4m 21s
    6. Painting in the Paint Effects window
      6m 31s
    7. Paint Effects in practice
      7m 39s
  11. 1h 1m
    1. The basics of animation
      4m 20s
    2. Creating and adjusting keys (keyframes)
      6m 31s
    3. Modifying keys in the Graph editor
      6m 41s
    4. Modifying keys in the Dope Sheet
      3m 17s
    5. Creating breakdown keys
      2m 11s
    6. Animating objects along paths
      8m 2s
    7. Ghosting and motion paths
      3m 35s
    8. Animation playback using Playblast
      3m 3s
    9. Animating with constraints
      6m 40s
    10. Creating animation cycles
      7m 1s
    11. Using set-driven keys
      6m 53s
    12. Adding sound to animations
      3m 2s
  12. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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Watch the Online Video Course Maya 2009 Essential Training
10h 0m Beginner Dec 09, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Maya 2009 Essential Training is designed to provide a strong foundation in this 3D modeling, rendering, and animation tool. George Maestri covers everything from the basics of the interface to bringing models to life with complex animation. He explores object manipulation, NURBS, UV editing, paint effects, and mental ray rendering. George demonstrates Maya's full functionality by building a robot from scratch. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Learning the interface
  • Manipulating objects
  • Modeling polygonal objects
  • Understanding NURBS
  • Using paint effects
  • Creating and placing realistic textures
  • Using mental ray for photorealistic rendering
  • Animating objects and characters
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
George Maestri

Modeling a robot pt. 1: The body

So now that we have our templates set up, let's go ahead and start modeling and this is my robot. Now with this template, the first thing I want to do is set it so I don't accidentally select it. I can do this in one of two ways, the first is I can set a selection mask and just right click here and turn off NURBS Surfaces. That way I don't accidentally select it. But eventually I will be adding a few little NURBS Surfaces on this model so that's not going to work for my whole process.

So I am going to actually go and turn that back on. I am right clicking here. But actually I have to set up on a layer. So if I want to, I can click on this button here and if I click on R, that means it's just reference and I can't select it but I can see it. So now I can model over this and not worry about accidentally selecting my template and moving it. Now let's go ahead and take a look at this from the front view. I am going to turn on shading and I am going to turn on hardware texturing and let's go ahead and zoom in a little bit. Now one thing I am noticing is that this is actually not centered, here is the central line of my scene and that's really off to the side of the nose of this character.

So I am actually going to turn off R here, select my NURBS Surfaces and move them so that they are pretty much centered. I want to build my robot around the center line of the scene because that will make you a lot easier to build. So once I do that, I can deselect and then just go ahead and switch that back to R. Now that we have this, we can actually start building the robot. Now I am going to start with his body and that's basically going to be a box or cube and I am going to build most of him out of polygons. Some of this is going to be NURBS but most of it will be polygons.

So all I have to do is go to polygons and select cube. But the key here is that I really want to see what I am drawing. So I am going to do one more step, before I do that, I am going to turn on X-Ray for this and then just select my cube, drag it until it's the size of the body of the robot. Now I still need to drag to set the height. So I am going to hit my Spacebar, go into my perspective view and then drag this out. I don't really know exactly how deep this is because I am actually dragging this out in a perspective view and also this starts at zero and his back is actually behind zero.

So I am just estimating it and then I am going to go ahead and position it. In fact the best way to position this is in the side view and we are still going to turn on Smooth Shade, Hardware Texturing and then I am going to turn on X-Ray and let's go ahead and position that. Now he is a little bit thin, so I can go into my polyCube here and I am just going to center this in the drawing and then I am just going to go ahead and adjust my height until that's about the right size. Okay, now we still have a little bit more to go on this body because we do have these curved and beveled edges.

The easiest way to do that is to simply bevel the edges. So I am going to right click above the box, select the edge and then I am just going to select all the edges in my model. In fact, I am going to turn on X-Ray here as well so we can match it to the model. And then just go into my Polygons menu, Edit Mesh > Bevel. Now that bevel is set at 45 degrees but I have got my controls right here. So first thing I am going to do is add a few segments, maybe three, maybe four. And then I am going to select my Offset and again I am middle clicking and dragging, so that I get around this, it's about the same as what I have in the drawing. So I am just going to estimate that but that looks pretty good.

Now we can do the same for the character's head. So I am going back into my front view, I am going to draw another cube right there. It's just slightly below the body so that it interpenetrates just a hair. I am just going to the side view here, drag this forward and I am estimating. This is almost the exact same procedure. Hey! Look, I was pretty close. Now with this I actually want to bevel just the top and front edges but I don't want to bevel the bottom. I don't want to bevel that edge that's against the top of the body. So I am simply going to right click above here, select just the ones above here, Mesh > Bevel. And then again, I am just going to add three Segments and affect the Offset here so that it's about right.

So let's go ahead and turn on Normal Shading here. So now I have the body and the head.

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