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In Modeling a Character in Maya, join author Ryan Kittleson for a thorough demonstration on how to create a professional, realistic 3D character from scratch in Maya 2011. The course illustrates how key concepts and tools such as Soft Select and polygon extrusions apply to character modeling, and provides a simple step-by-step approach to building character anatomy, including the torso, limbs, hands, face, and hair. Also included are tutorials on modeling clothing and shoes, and refining character features to reach the final product. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Maya 2011 Essential Training
Well I hope you are excited because we are almost finished with this model. There is just a few more finishing steps we need to do to clean it up so that nothing gets in the way for anyone else who might want to use this model. The first thing I am going to do is go through and name everything. You want everything in your scene to have a name that makes sense. So let me get in closer on this and just select any object. We can see over here in the Channel Box, this object is named polySurface 34. It's not a very appealing name. I want to double-click on this and name it something that makes sense.
Now if you are working on a team, there might be a naming convention that you have to follow. If you are working by yourself, just name it something that makes sense to you. Okay. I am not going to go through and name everything. That might take too much time but I want to go through and name everything and get used to a naming convention, naming things in a way that make sense. The next thing we want to do is delete the history and freeze the transformations. As a refresher, deleting history tells Maya to forget all the steps that went into creating an object and just remember the way the object looks now. So I can select everything in the scene and go up to Edit, and Delete by Type > History.
So now Maya has just forgotten all the steps that went into making everything. Also what we want to do is go into Modify and Freeze Transformations. You might have noticed over here when we did that, all of these numbers reset to neutral value. If I undo it, you can see that there is all these translates and rotates. I am going to redo the Freeze Transformations and we can see everything is reset to zero. So now Maya thinks that everything is in the neutral original location. Now you might notice that our character has only one shoe on and only one eyebrow.
Let's take care of that. I am going to zoom in on the boot and we are going to duplicate this boot over. Duplicate is Ctrl+D on a PC or Command+ D on a Mac, and so you see we've got a second boot here created. Now one way to put it over to the other side is to go into the Scale mode. So we have got the pivot point for this object in the middle and actually this works out perfectly for this because when we are scaling this, you can see it gets bigger or smaller but if we push it to the other side, the boot goes over and snaps into place.
Now we can see in the Channel Box, it went over -1.029. Let's just make this around -1 so we know that it's exactly in the right place. Also what we want to do is go up to the eyebrow and do the same thing. So we see that the eyebrow's pivot point is actually in the center of the objects, not in the center of the world. Let's move that so that when we scale the object over it goes into the correct place. I want to go into the Top view, and switch the Move tool, and I want to hold down the D key, that allows us to move the pivot point, and at the same time, I'm going to hold down X. That lets us snap to grid.
So when we move this, we can see the pivot point is now snapping to the grid. Let's make sure it's right in the center and release the mouse. I am going back to the Perspective view. Let's duplicate the eyebrow, go into Scale mode, and just scale it over. And I want to type in -1 in the Channel Box to make sure we have got it exact. So feel free to do the same thing with the eyeball. Make sure the pivot point is in the center of the world, duplicate it, and scale it over. Make sure it's scaled -1. Okay, there's just two more things to do.
We want to delete the image planes and we want to clean up the outliner. So we have got these image planes back here and we are done modeling. So we don't need to see them and no one else needs to see them either. Let's open up the Hypershade. If we go into Rendering Editors, under the Window menu, we can open Hypershade. And there is a lot going on here. We can ignore it all and just go right to the Utilities tab and this is going to show us whatever image planes are in our scene. We are just going to select these and delete them.
The last thing to do is clean up the outliner. So back into the Window menu, we want to pick Outliner, and you want to go through here and see if there's anything in the Outliner that doesn't actually exist in the scene. So let me zoom out a little bit. Sometimes when you're creating and you're modeling, there's things that get created and then you might end up deleting them but there is a kind of ghost left behind. And it will show up in the in the Outliner. So I am just going to go through all of these different things and just make sure that they all exist in the scene somewhere.
Okay. So everything actually exists. That's good. If you click on something and it shows you like a pivot point out here and there's nothing there, then you can just go ahead and delete in your Outliner. It's not going to cause any problems. So this finishing work is important, not only to make your model look its best but it keeps your colleagues happy because everything is all neat and tidy for them so when they continue to work on it, there's nothing that's going to get in their way.
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