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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.
There are times when you'll need to take a curve and create an offset, so you can actually create kind of like a thickness to an object. One good example would be in the scooter, the shell or the basic body of that scooter was actually created with these curves that are shown along the front. But in order to give this body a little bit of thickness, we also needed to create some additional curves for the other side. In other words, we're creating two surfaces here. One of those surfaces also needs to have additional thickness.
So we can actually create that using what's called the Offset tool. So actually, I'm going to go ahead and just show you, this is very, very simple. I'm actually going to delete most of these curves. Let's just pick one of these curves. So, what we can do is we can take this and offset it so that it mirrors the original curve. All we have to do is select Edit Curves > Offset and Offset Curve. Now there's another option here called Offset Curve On Surface, which pretty much does the same thing, but we're actually just using normal curves here.
So, let's go ahead and use Offset Curve. What it does is it creates a copy of the curve and offsets it by a specific amount. We can change that either by working with the Tool settings, which is in here, or we can select the curve after it's been offset, and go into either the Channel Editor or the Attribute Editor and find the offset value. Then what we can do is we can then dial in the distance. Let's say we want this to be a negative distance, and then also what sort of Density and Tolerance, that sort of thing.
But the most important one is this actual Distance. Once we have that distance dialed in, then we can work with the curve. If we leave History turned on, affecting one curve will keep the other one completely together, which is kind of cool. So then, when we actually do this and multiply it by the number of curves it takes to actually build that scooter body, we have something like this. So, the initial curve, plus the offset curve gives us the thickness that we need to create that body.
Now this can be used in all sorts of other ways. This is just one example, but as you can see, Offset Curve is a great way to create thicknesses or borders using curves.
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