Maya 2009 New Features
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting up a muscle system


From:

Maya 2009 New Features

with George Maestri

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Setting up a muscle system

Let's go ahead and start with Maya Muscle by setting up a very basic Skeleton Deformation System and this will be similar to what we would do with the skin deformer with joints. Now, this is the starting point for Maya Muscle is to basically create the skeleton, create the basic deformation and then you add in the muscles. So I am starting here with a file called Arm_00.mb. If we take a look at it, this is very simple setup. It's just a polygonal arm or portion of an arm and then three joints and I have some animation on those joints so we can bulge the bicep here. Now, we are going to get to that in a bit, but first of all let's just go ahead and set this up.
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Maya 2009 New Features
1h 40m Intermediate Dec 11, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Working with the new interface
  • Organizing assets
  • Creating muscles
  • Sculpting muscle shapes
  • Working with nParticles
  • Creating emitters
  • Animating with layers
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
George Maestri

Setting up a muscle system

Let's go ahead and start with Maya Muscle by setting up a very basic Skeleton Deformation System and this will be similar to what we would do with the skin deformer with joints. Now, this is the starting point for Maya Muscle is to basically create the skeleton, create the basic deformation and then you add in the muscles. So I am starting here with a file called Arm_00.mb. If we take a look at it, this is very simple setup. It's just a polygonal arm or portion of an arm and then three joints and I have some animation on those joints so we can bulge the bicep here. Now, we are going to get to that in a bit, but first of all let's just go ahead and set this up.

Now, Maya Muscle has its own set of menus. But it doesn't load by default, so let's go ahead and make sure we have it loaded. So we are going to go to the Windows > Settings/Preferences > Plug- in Manager and just scroll down until you get to the MayaMuscle, which is right around here. And just make sure that it's loaded. And if you want, you can turn on Auto load so it loads every time you'll load Maya, but MayaMuscle is the plug-in that you need to make sure you have that loaded. And once you have that loaded, this menu will show up. So, let's go ahead and take a look at some of these options here.

Now, what we are going to do is we are going to take these joints in this object here and we are going to convert them into what are called Capsules and capsules are essentially the same as rigid objects or the same as the skeletal bones that you have in a character and so let's just go ahead and do that. So I am going to go into my Outliner, I am going to move that over here so you can see it and then I am just going to expand out. We've got 1, 2, 3 joints. I am just going to select all three joints and then under Muscles / Bones, I am going to go Convert Surface to Muscle / Bone. Now, I am converting a joint to a muscle/bone, but you actually can convert a polygonal surface or a NURB surface to a muscle or bone as well, so if you wanted to you could actually sculpted out a real skeleton and use that, but we are just going to use these joints.

So when I do this it's going to ask me which axis aims down the arm length. Now, because I use the standard Maya Drawing tools, the default axis for these joints is the X-axis. Now, when I do that you can see some stuff shows up here. In fact, let's go ahead and shade this. L et me go ahead and X-Ray shade this and may be even turn on Wireframe on Shaded, so let's take a look at what's been created in the Outliner.

Each one of these joints now has a shape attached to it. Now it just a polygonal shape, so these shapes can be use to deform the mesh. So we have to do a couple of things. First we have to make the mesh able to accept the muscles and then we need to add in the deformation. So we are going to start by selecting this mesh here, it's called Cylinder1 and under Muscle, we are going to go Skin Setup and this is the skin of our character, we are just going to Apply Muscle Systems Skin Deformer. Now, what this does is it sets it up to accept deformation from muscles. So when I apply that, it's going to do some stuff and then it's applied. So now, if I looked at it, for example, in the Channel Box, you would see I have a MuscleSystem Deformer right here.

Now, once this is set up with the deformer I can now add in my muscle, in fact I am going to tear this off so we can see this. So all I have to do now is just go Connect Selected Muscle Objects, but of course, before I connect them I have to select them. So I am just going to go ahead and select everything, my joints and my joint shapes and then I am going to Ctrl-Select that pCylinder1 last and then I am going to connect all those as Muscle Objects. So what that does now is it connects the muscles to the skin, but if I scrub this you can see it's still not deforming. I have to do one more step. I have to add in my Weighting. So all I can do here is go Apply Default Weights.

Now, when I do this it brings up a little menu and I have a number of different ways of deforming it. These are actually just presets for how to do the weighting. You can do Jiggle, Relax, you can do Sliding skin or Sticky skin or really any type of skin you want, there is a lot of different defaults. I am just going to select this Sticky, which is my basic default here and then you can also select a Smoothing value and I am just going to leave everything at the defaults and then just go Apply Default Weights. When I do that, it does a bunch of stuff and it will do a few collections and then I get my deformation.

So this is the first step for doing this. Now, we can add in our muscles. So let's go through this one more time. We create our joints and then what we do is Convert the Surfaces to muscles or bones, then we select our Skin, Apply the Skin Deformer, add in the selected Muscle Objects and then Apply Default Weights and now once we've done that, we have our deformation, so there we go. Okay, so now let's move on to adding in muscles and doing some more sophisticated work.

There are currently no FAQs about Maya 2009 New Features.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Maya 2009 New Features.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.