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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 is going to be incidences where you won't want to draw directly onto a NURBS surface. You want to draw your curve outside of the surface and then place it onto a NURBS surface. And we do this by projecting curves onto a surface. So let me show you how this works. I have got my scooter here, and actually, let's go into my Side View. And I am going to go into my layers here, and I am going to hit V on Reference, and then also let's go ahead and hit R, make sure that that is just Reference.
So we are going to make sure that these are set to V and R for that Reference layer. And what I want to do is actually draw -- there some vent holes here. Let's go ahead and turn on XRay. If we zoom in here, there is actually some vent holes in this fender. So this particular fender here is supposed to have a couple of little slots in there to vent the heat from the engine. So if I wanted to, I could actually make this live and then try and draw that curve on the surface.
But one of the things you'll see is that as I draw, the curvature of this surface is actually going to affect how I draw. So I am not going to be able to get perfectly straight lines. See how that's kind of getting all gloopy there? And so that's really not what I want. So I am going to go ahead and do this in a different way. So I'm going to actually draw the curve I want and then just project that onto the surface, and this will actually be a lot more accurate. So I am going to go ahead and start by creating a circle.
I am just going to go ahead and create a circle here. And now I am going to position it over where I want to go. In fact, I am going to go ahead and pull this forward a little bit, so that it's actually in front of that surface, so I can kind of see that. And I am going to start off by just doing some scaling. I am going to scale this so that it's pretty close to that shape, and move it into place right here. And then I am going to just use my Control Vertices here and do my final shaping.
So I am going to make this, kind of like this, so I am basically moving these vertices so that they are almost vertical and then placing this here. And then I am going to scale these down just a little bit. So that's pretty close to the vent shape that I want. Let me go ahead and put that in Object mode here, and let's go ahead and position that the way that I want. Okay, so now that I have got this pretty much positioned, you can see that when this is actually placed onto this surface, it's going to be very close.
So in order to do this, I need to do what's called a Projection. So I need to kind of throw it on to the surface. The big key here is picking the direction that I project the curve onto the surface. So in this case, I drew this in my Side View, so that's really the direction I want to do the projection as well. So I am going to keep that curve selected, Shift+Select that fender. Let's make sure that it's selected, okay. And make sure my Side View is Full Screen here.
And then I just do Edit NURBS > Project Curve on Surface. And let's take a look at what some of the options are here. There's really not many. One is Project Along the Active view, which is what we were doing, and that's a default. The other is Project Along Surface normal. And what that does is it makes the closest point on the surface to the curve the direction of the projection. And that may or may not work, but I know it's going to work for Active view. So let's go ahead and do Project. Now what this does is it actually has taken this curve, and it's projected it onto the fender.
So now I have a place to do an action. We'll actually cut the hole a little bit later. And if you notice actually this curve is live, so if I affect, or deform this originating curve, it's going to affect the curve underneath. So in order to break that connection, I need to delete History. So I am going to do Delete by Type > History, and now that's disconnected. But I have the shape of the hole here, so what I can do is just move this down, and let's do the same thing.
Edit NURBS > Project Curve on Surface. Select this, delete History. Select my originating curve. Move it down one more time. Select this, Project. Select my surface, Edit > Delete by Type > History. So now using that one curve I have actually, I have created three curves on surface, and those will be used to create that vent hole. Now there is another way to project a curve around surface, and that's by projecting through your Active view.
So I am actually going to turn off Reference here, so we can this. And I have got the end of this headlight shell, and I haven't actually attached it to this handlebar. So in order to see this, I need to actually be an XRay mode, so let's go ahead into XRay. And I am actually going to turn on Wireframe on Shaded, so we have a little bit better way to look at this. And now one of the things you could do is you can actually project through the Active view. So if I am projecting this way, then I actually will be able to project this fairly precisely through this tube.
But notice how the outside edge of this headlight opening is not quite the same as the handlebar. So I'm actually going to over-project that. So I can do one or two things. Probably the easiest way to do it is to actually duplicate this curve. So I am going to go Edit > Duplicate, take this curve and just squash it down. And then so now I've got that curve ready to go onto that handlebar.
Now I want to make sure that this curve is within the boundaries of that handlebar. Select both of them, Project Curve on Surface. So now -- turn off -- I've got this curve and this curve on surface. Let's go ahead and Delete History on the handlebar. Let's select this curve and these two curves. So what I'm doing is I am selecting the end of the headlight and the curve on the handlebar, and then we could do a Loft, and now I've got a connection between those two.
So now I have got my connection between my headlight shell and the handlebar. So those are some ways to use projected curves on a surface, and ways to take existing curves and attach them to other surfaces to create new geometry.
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