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In Maya 2009 New Features, George Maestri demonstrates several breakthrough updates in the latest version of this 3D modeling, rendering, and animation tool. He explores the upgrades to the interface and covers soft selection and other modeling tools. George then delves into more complex new features, including the Asset Manager for organizing objects and nodes within a scene; animation layering to blend, merge, group, reorder, override, and add to preceding layers; Maya Muscle, for creating lifelike skin motion; and nParticles, a new particle system. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now let's go one step further and we will show you how to sculpt custom muscle shapes. Now, I have the same file open, Arm_02.mb, and this is a muscle and this muscle actually has a Muscle Spline Deformer applied. Now remember, there are two different types of Deformers: there is a Stretch and the Spline Deformer. And we have a Spline Deformer on this particular muscle and this is what we need in order to customize the shapes of this.
So what I am going to do is I am just going to work with the first 16 frames. We are just going to go ahead and work with this muscle bulge. But in fact, I am going to turn off that Geometry layer so we can just see the muscle itself. Now, if we select this muscle, it should be called Muscle Bicep, we can go into Simple Muscles and just go into something called Custom Muscle Shapes. What this does is it allows us to sculpt a shape for each of the major points in the deformation.
So for example, if I go to frame 16, I can sculpt a custom bulge. Now, I do that by hitting this Prep for Sculpt button and essentially all that does is it gives me my control vertices and allows me to just move them around. Now, this is just modeling, so all I am doing here is selecting some CVs, moving them around. I can scale them. I can pretty much do whatever I want in terms of just sculpting out this shape.
So if I want more of kind of a cartoony Popeye bulge, I can do that and whatever shape I sculpt in I can lock that shape in when I hit this Create New button. So I can just go, this is my bulge shape and just go OK. So now that's locked in. So now I have this bulge shape. Now, when I go down to this stretch shape I want to reshape this. So let's go ahead and make sure this is still selected and let's again hit Prep for Sculpt and now I am going to go ahead and just flatten this out. If I want I can select all the vertices I want and sculpt this muscle pretty much however I want.
Again, once I have sculpted that shape I can go Create New and just give it another name. Now once I have done that, you can see how this works in. So you can actually blend this in or out by using this Blend here. You can see how this particular shape blends out and then it goes into that stretch.
So as you can see you can create very customized shapes for the muscles at any position that they are stretched.
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