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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.
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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