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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.
Now, when you're working with components, there are times when you are going to have to select very specific parts of a model in order to be able to manipulate it the way that you want. So Maya has a number of different types of ways to select parts of a model. I am going to start off by creating just a very basic sphere here. I am going to hit 5 to shade it, so we can see what we are working on. Then I am going to right-click over it, and go into Vertex mode. Now typically, you can just rubber-band select.
Let's say I want to select the top of this sphere. I could basically position it so I can see it and rubber-band select it, and make sure that I got it all selected, but look. I have got parts of it that aren't. So if I wanted to, I can just hold down the Shift key and Shift+Select to turn on and off the vertices that weren't selected properly, and then once I had that, I could actually move them up and down, or do whatever I need to do with those. I could actually scale those if we wanted to flatten out the top of that or something like that.
This is one way of selecting is basically to rubber-band select. When you rubber-band select, you are just getting a rectangle. There are times when you don't want a rectangle, or you want to do what's called a Lasso Select. So this is very handy with modeling, so you could actually just click and drag, and just drag whatever it is you want to select, and there you go. So Lasso tools can also work very well for selecting just discrete parts of a model.
Now, one of the things that actually can be a real problem with selecting like this is that if you Shift+Select, a lot of times what you will do is you'll Shift+Select parts of the model, but you'll deselect parts of the model, but you actually reselect other parts of the model. So sometimes you have to be very careful in how you Shift+Select. Another way to select is by using Paint Select. Now, this actually uses what are called the Artisan Paint tools, and this is going to be our first introduction to it.
So there's a couple of keystrokes we need to learn. So let's go ahead and click on this. In fact, if I double-click on this, my Brush tools come up. Now if you notice here, let me go and zoom in a little bit here. Notice how this little circle is floating above my mouse, and it's turned into a paintbrush, and what this is is really just a brush, and all I have to do is left-click and drag just by brushing over the vertices, it kind of sticks to the surface, and I can just brush in all the vertices that I want to select.
Now if I want to make my brush bigger or smaller, all I have to do is hold down the B, B for Brush key, and just left- click and drag, and I can make my Brush either smaller or bigger. So if I have a bigger brush, I am going to be selecting more vertices. If I have a smaller brush, it's going to be a little bit more precise. So all you have to do is just Paint Select. Now if you want, you can also, by using this Tool palette, Paint Unselect. Again, I am not holding down anything. It's not like I am Shift+Unselecting.
I am just Paint Unselecting. Now, this is sometimes a little bit better than using like a Shift+Lasso tool because you are actually being very precise about what you're not selecting, rather than deselecting, that sort of thing. There we have some buttons to Unselect or Select everything. Let's say I wanted to select everything and just deselect these few. I could do that. Now, there are some other options here as to what type of brush we have, and also there is some additional stuff here, such as Stylus Pressure, and Stroke, which actually apply a little bit more to other types of tools which we will get to.
Now, another way to select is by using edges. So let's go ahead and just deselect everything. There is also a Deselect here on the Edit menu, so we just do Deselect. And I am going to go ahead and right- click over here and go into Edge mode and just again hit my Q key just to go into Regular Select mode. So if I go into Regular Select mode and select an Edge, well I can select as many edges as I want. But a lot of times with a polygonal model, particularly like the sphere, you're going to want to select either the latitude or the longitude lines, and these are known as Edge Loops. And these can be very important when you start modeling polygonal objects because they can really define the contours of your object.
So if I position my mouse over one of these and double-click, you can see I can actually select that Edge Loop. Now, if I hit my Left and Right arrow, you can see how I can move that Edge Loop selection up or down. Now if I hit my Up and Down arrow, you can see how I can actually select the other Edge Loops, these kinds of short Edge Loops, or if I want, I can double-click on each of the vertical ones to select those as well.
But also notice how in this sphere, it doesn't quite go all the way around. That's because of the way this is constructed. So these particular lines will go all the way around, but the longitude lines won't. So these are basically some strategies for selecting individual components or groups of components within a polygonal object. Now, each one will depend upon your individual situation. So get to know all of these different tools. When you're in a situation where you need to select something very specifically, you'll know which tool will work best for that situation.
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