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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.
Many times when you're drawing a curve, you'll need to either add detail into an existing curve, or break curves apart, or even join them together. So let me show you some tips and tricks for how to refine the curves that you're working with. So let's just go ahead and create a simple CV Curve. I am going to kind of make this kind of an S shape, or something like that, and hit Enter. Let's just take a look at this. Take a look at some of these Edit Curve tools that allow us to refine the curve.
First one I'm going to show you is the Add Points tool. Now what this does is it allows you to extend your curves a little bit further. So, for example, if I drew this and I actually wanted to go a little bit further with that drawing, I can just use the Add Points tool. And what that does is it just basically picks up where I left off and allows me to add more points to an existing curve. Very, very simple. Now, if I wanted to refine within the curve rather than just extending the curve, I would have to insert what's called a Knot.
Let's show you the hull here. So when we take a look at these hulls, you'll notice that in between each of these, we can add in additional vertices. And that's what Insert Knot does. So what we need to do here is actually tell it where we're going to insert. So let's say I've got a pretty long stretch right here. Let's say I want to insert a Knot right around in this area. What I need to do is I, first of all, need to set a point for that action. So if I right-click over it, and I go into Curve Point, what that does isit allows me to move this red spot along the line wherever I want.
And so then I'll position that right about where I want to insert that Knot or Control Vertices and then just go Insert. Now, it doesn't look like much happened. But if we go into the Control vertices, you'll notice that it inserted a CV right at that point. Okay, so that's of a way to basically insert geometry, or insert Control Vertices into an existing curve. The other thing you may have to do is actually reverse the direction of a curve.
Now, curves do have direction. We have the initial point, and then we have this second point which shows up as a 'U' and that tells me that the curve starts here and ends over here. If I want, I can just select the curve itself, and then just hit Reverse Curve Direction. And really, not much happens to the curve, except now, my first Vertex is at the end, and everything else flows along accordingly. Now, the other two tools allow you to basically break apart curves and bring them back together.
They're called Attach and Detach. So let's just take this simple curve, and we'll detach it first and then re-attach it back together. We're going to start this the same way that we did with Insert Knot, which is to define a point along which we're going to cut the curves or detach them. So I need to right-click over this, go to Curve Point and determine that point where I want to break the curves apart. So let's say right here, and once I do that, once this curve point is set, then I can hit Detach Curves.
And when I do that, notice what happens. I now have two curves. So I have one, two curves. So basically what it did is it cut everything apart at that point. And now if I want to bring them back together, all I have to do is do is just select both of them and go Attach Curves. And what it will do is it will basically connect those curves together as if all the CVs were the same. So notice how here it doesn't quite -- it kind of interpolates and where it actually starts to interpolate is from that CV points.
So if I went into my Control Vertices, you'll notice that I have basically CV here. What it's done it's inserted a couple of CVs here. So these are some basic tools for refining curves. You can use these to customize your curves before you actually get into building surfaces from the curves.
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