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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.
Maya has several tools that allow you to map a texture directly to an object. For this exercise, let's go ahead and actually open up our Scooter. Now, as you can see, I've done most of the textures on this Scooter, and they are actually very simple. We have the car paint texture, and then a little bit of a leather texture, and then the rest is pretty much just rubber for that wheels that sort of thing. But the one texture that we don't have on this is the headlight. Now, the reason we don't have this is because I want to use an actual image for the headlight.
So let's go ahead and map that on. I'm going to go ahead and select the headlight, and assign a Phong E material, which is probably the most similar to glass. And then in the texture field here, I'm going to go ahead and select File. And then under Image there is actually an image of a headlight that I want to use. So we've got this kind of very simple image that we're going to use. I'm going to hit Open. Now, when I take a look at this-- if we look at this image, you notice how the grain of the headlight is basically horizontal and vertical.
What I've got here is kind of more of a radial texture. In fact, let's go ahead and turn on High Quality Rendering so we can see that a little bit better. And you can see how what it's doing is it's actually spinning it around another. Now this section in artifact of the way that the default texturing works which is to basically map the corners of the image to the corners of the NURBS surface, and so I have a corner here, a corner in the center, then it goes all the way around and then these two corners are pinned together. That's how you make that sphere. We need to map this differently.
So how we're going to do this. Let's just go ahead very quickly and just create another material. I'm going to do Phong E again and then in Color, I'm going to select this and then under 2D Textures, under File, instead of just clicking, I'm going to right-click over this. And by default, it says just create texture which is what we just did. But what we want to do this time is Create as projection. So again, I'm right-clicking over the node. Create as projection. Let go.
Now this actually shows up a little bit differently. If you notice here, it created a little object down here at the bottom, which is my Texture Mapper. But before we get into that we need to load the image into the texture here. So I'm going to go ahead into Image Name > Headlight. Open. Okay? And actually even with the default that looks pretty close. If you look here we're getting a little bit of a mapping error, but it's actually a lot better. Now this mapping is accomplished by a separate object in the scene and this allows us to interactively place that texture.
So all I have to do is grab that object and just move it in the scene, or I want to be a little bit more precise, what I can do is go into the Attribute Editor and move up one output connection, and that allows me to manipulate the actual projection itself. And there is this very handy button here it says Fit to Bounding Box. When I do that, it basically fits that texture to the outside of that headlight. And if I want, I can still grab the corners of this and adjust it and do whatever I want, but actually probably the best way to do this is just to fit that to the bounding box, and I should have it.
Now if you notice that actually is a lot better placement of that texture and it's really placing it in the way that we want. So, if I do a quick render of this, you can see how this looks. So that looks much, much better. So, when you want to actually precisely place textures in a scene, what you need to do is as you apply that render node, right-click over it and go Apply as Projection, and that allows you to adjust it as a projected texture rather than mapping it directly to the surface.
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