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Maya 2011 New Features
Illustration by John Hersey

Soft selecting objects


From:

Maya 2011 New Features

with George Maestri

Video: Soft selecting objects

Another new feature in Maya 2011 are some changes to Soft Select. Now, I have a file here called SoftSelect.ma and that's open. Let me show you what's in this file. We have actually two layers. We have a layer which has a sphere and a plane and another one which has some bowling pins. So, let's go-ahead and bring up layer two which has the sphere on the plane, and I want to refresh your memory on how Soft Select works.

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Maya 2011 New Features
1h 22m Intermediate May 13, 2010

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Author George Maestri explores the significant and robust feature set in Maya 2011 that add functionality for its 3D workflows in Maya 2011 New Features. This course covers the addition of Bezier curves for NURBS modelers, the Connect Component and Spin Edge tools in the polygonal modeling mode, and rigging tools for character animation. Enhancements to rendering and special effects are also reviewed. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Choosing colors with the Color Picker
  • Using the new Shelf Editor
  • Adjusting skin weights with color feedback with Paint Skin Weights
  • Connecting characters to skeletons with Interactive Skin Bind
  • Making object-level soft selections
  • Constraining objects to polys
  • Using the camera sequencer
  • Exploring the Hypershade window improvements
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
George Maestri

Soft selecting objects

Another new feature in Maya 2011 are some changes to Soft Select. Now, I have a file here called SoftSelect.ma and that's open. Let me show you what's in this file. We have actually two layers. We have a layer which has a sphere and a plane and another one which has some bowling pins. So, let's go-ahead and bring up layer two which has the sphere on the plane, and I want to refresh your memory on how Soft Select works.

So Soft Select really is just a way to organically model within Maya. So for example, if I were to just model this sphere, I could right-click over it and select Vertex and that will give me access to all the vertices. And if I wanted to, I could just move those around. But as you can see, this is a very harsh way to model. It's not really organic. I'm just kind of pulling very specific vertices. So, if undo that and actually turn on Soft Select, if I double-click on the Move tool you could see how we have actually a soft selection rollout here.

And if I turn on soft Selection, you can see that what it does is actually that whole sphere lights up. But if I dial this number down, you can see how the Falloff, which is indicated in red, only affects part of the model. So, for example, if I dial it down to somewhere around between four and five, you can see how I can now organically shape this model. Now, this has been in Maya for quite a while and you're probably familiar with this. So, let me show you another feature of Soft Select that you may not know about, and it's in the Falloff mode pulldown.

So, typically this defaults to Volume, but if we pull this down and go to Global, what happens is, is that the Falloff actually falls off on to other objects. So now instead of just manipulating the sphere, the actual sphere of influence of the Soft Select actually falls off onto to the plane. So, when I move this vertices what it does is actually sculpts the plane as well and if I wanted to, again, I could bring this up or down, and again, manipulate this plane however I want as I am manipulating the sphere.

Now, this has already been in Maya for a while and you may or may not know about it. Now, the new feature is the one below it and it's called Object mode. So, let me show you how this works. I'm actually going to keep it in Global mode. We're going to go ahead and unselect that sphere and actually turn on the layer that has the bowling pins. So, let's make that our active layer. So if I select this lead pin in the array of bowling pins, you'll see I already have Global Falloff mode, and if I move that pin, you can see how the bowling pins deform.

And this pretty what we were doing before with Global Falloff. Now this is actually a deformation, but the new feature allows us to actually just change the objects themselves. Notice, when I select Object Falloff mode, the vertices disappears and when I move the pin, the other pins follow and they retain their shape. This really isn't a modeling tool; it's more like an Arranging tool because what it does is it allows you to arrange objects in the scene, but use Falloff.

So for example, if I increase this Falloff Radius, you can see how I can move most of the pins. I could actually arrange the pins in the opposite direction, move them up or down. If I selected another pin, again, the Falloff would work for that pin. Or if I select multiple pins and so on. So you can see how this tool can be very, very handy for arranging objects in the scene. Let's say you have a bunch of trees or may be some telephone poles or something like that, you can use Object Falloff to globally change objects without changing their shape.

So I'm sure you can envision how this can affect your work and make things a lot easier when organizing scenes.

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