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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.
As you're editing NURBS surfaces, there's got to be points where you'll need to either insert or delete detail from a surface. So let me show you some tools that can help you with that. The first thing we need to do is, of course, we need to start with a surface here. So let's go ahead and just, again, start with our Sphere and turn off the Grid here. When we're adding or subtracting detail or cutting things in half, we need to define a point where that happens. Now, when we edited NURBS Curves, we inserted what was called a Curve Point.
Well, we don't have that on NURBS surfaces, but we do have something almost identical. It's called an Isoparm. So what you do is you right-click over your object, and from the Marking menus, you select Isoparm. Then, you left-click somewhere in the window to drag out an Isoparm. Now, we can drag out either one in the U direction or the V direction, just depending. We can make an Isoparm that goes this way or this way. Now, once you have that Isoparm selected, you can actually perform actions at that point.
So, let's say we wanted to add some more detail in here. All we have to do is make sure that that Isoparm is selected. Then we can go Edit NURBS > Insert Isoparms. What this does is it's going to insert another ring of CVs, right there. So, now when I go to edit it, you can see now I've got a whole new hull with a bunch of CVs in there. So, we can do this for either direction. So let's go back to Isoparm mode here, and let's go ahead and insert one this way.
So again, I'm just going to go ahead and repeat that operation by going Recent Commands > InsertIsoparms, and there it is again. So, it's a great way to add in additional detail where you need it. You just set the point using Isoparms and then do Insert Isoparms. Isoparms can also be used to cut surfaces. So, let's go ahead and do that. So, I'm going to go ahead and right-click over this. Go Isoparm, and let's go ahead and cut this sphere in a little bit less than half.
So I'm going to bring it right to about there. So, instead of inserting Isoparms, I'm going to do what's called Detach Surfaces, very similar to Detach Curves. So, when we detach a surface, what happens? It makes one, two different surfaces. So, now I've got a surface that's basically cut in half. Kind of cool! Now, this is a great way, if you want to start with a sphere and make like a hemisphere or something like that, it's a really great way to do something like that.
Once I have two surfaces, I can also connect them back together by doing Attach Surfaces. They have to line up. Once they do, you actually create a third surface that basically lines up. Now, I cut it right there, so the new surface has an extra Isoparm in there, where I cut it. So, those are some very basic ways to refine, add detail, cut surfaces, and manipulate your NURBS surfaces a little bit more completely.
So, let's go ahead and use this in a real-world situation. So, I'm going to go ahead and open up a scene. I'm going to open up Scooter_01.mb, which is basically where we left off with that last scooter. We have our fender here. So let's go ahead and add in some tires and a few other things. So, first of all, I'm going to create a tire. Now, a tire is basically a torus that's kind of been reshaped, because a torus is actually round. We actually have kind of a flat slide on the tire.
So I'm going to start in my Side View. So we're going to go ahead and do a Create > NURBS Primitives > Torus. I'm going to click as close as I can to the center of that wheel, and drag it up until it hits the ground. Now, once I drag it, it's going to ask me again to drag the section radius, which is basically the diameter of that torus, but I'm actually pretty close right here, so I'm not going to do that. So, now that I have this torus, you can see, well, this looks pretty close to a tire. But if I look at it from the front there, it's actually more of a balloon tire.
Most tires are actually kind of flat along the bottom to give more traction. So, let's go ahead and do a little trick to make that flatter. I'm going to do that by inserting an Isoparm. So, I'm going to go ahead and right- click over this, select Isoparm, and then kind of right about here, I'm going to set my Isoparm, and then just go Edit NURBS > Insert Isoparms. So, now I have some additional detail that I can use to flatten out that tire to make it little bit more square.
Now, I'm going to do that one more time on the other side, right about there. Again, I can use my Spacebar and just do Recent Commands > InsertIsoparms. So, now I've got the detail I need in order to make that tire a little bit more square, but I have to select those rings. So, I can actually do that through hulls. So I can select that hull and Shift+Select the other hull. So, what I'm doing is I'm selecting this one, and this one, and leaving the center one alone. All I have to do now is scale those up a little bit, and maybe even pull them part.
You can see now, I've got that tire a little bit flatter, and a little bit more like a tire. So, now we go back into Object mode, and now I've got a tire that looks a little bit more like a tire. So, the next thing we can do is let's go ahead and cut a surface to make our headlight. So I'm actually going to go into my Front View, because what I'm going to do is create a sphere, a NURBS sphere here. I'm going to make it about the same size as that headlight. Now, this headlight is actually a little bit oval, so I'm going to go ahead and scale it a little bit up like this, and just make sure that I'm completely centered.
In fact, if I want to, I can type 0 into my Translate, to center that. Then, all I have to do is position it from the side. So I'm going to go ahead and position it this way. But also, if you notice, this headlight is a little bit flattened. So, I'm going to go ahead and position my center here, and just flatten that just a little bit. So now, I've got something that's about the right size. So now, let's go ahead and cut this in half to make the actual headlight. So again, I'm going to go into Isoparm, select the ring that I want right about there, then all we have to do is do Edit NURBS > Detach Surfaces, and it's been cut in half.
So I select the back part, delete it, and there we go. Now I have my headlight, and the tire. If I want, I could actually take that tire, and let's go into the Side View here. I can take that tire, hit Ctrl+D for Duplicate, and duplicate that tire, because they are going to be identical. So there we go! So now we've got some more parts for our scooter. We also know a little bit more about how to refine NURBS surfaces.
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