Maya 2011 Essential Training
Illustration by Maria Reñdon

Stitching NURBS surfaces


Maya 2011 Essential Training

with George Maestri

Video: Stitching NURBS surfaces

There are times when you want to take multiple NURBS surfaces and kind of stick them together. Now one of the problems with NURBS is that you do only have square Patches to deal with, and a lot of times the topology of a character or model doesn't match that of square Patches. So in those cases, you'll need to use a tool called Stitch. Let me show you the basics of Stitch and some ways to use it. We're going to start off with a very simple object. We're going to start off with a plane.
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 34s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. A note on screen resolution
      1m 50s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of the Maya interface
      7m 42s
    2. Working with files and Maya projects
      2m 27s
    3. Navigating viewports
      5m 56s
    4. Reviewing the Viewport menus
      6m 28s
    5. Configuring safe frames and grids
      3m 21s
    6. Selecting objects
      4m 33s
    7. Using the Move tool
      3m 48s
    8. Rotating and scaling
      4m 31s
    9. Manipulating pivots
      3m 59s
    10. Understanding the Channel Box
      5m 36s
    11. Working with the Attribute Editor
      2m 28s
    12. Using the Hotbox
      2m 59s
    13. Working with marking menus
      3m 6s
    14. Customizing the interface
      3m 36s
  3. 59m 25s
    1. Creating polygonal objects
      6m 28s
    2. Working with polygonal components
      4m 42s
    3. Selecting polygonal components
      5m 44s
    4. Working with Soft Select
      7m 3s
    5. Using the Extrude tool
      6m 47s
    6. Keeping faces together
      2m 42s
    7. Extruding along curves
      3m 27s
    8. Using the Polygon Bevel tool
      4m 14s
    9. Smooth and subdivision surfaces
      7m 6s
    10. Blocking out a character body
      11m 12s
  4. 36m 6s
    1. Working with edge loops
      3m 27s
    2. Inserting and offsetting edge loops
      3m 38s
    3. Symmetrical modeling techniques
      5m 53s
    4. Combining objects
      3m 50s
    5. Using the Polygon Bridge tool
      2m 7s
    6. Connecting components and splitting polygons
      2m 48s
    7. Poking and wedging faces
      2m 49s
    8. Working with polygon booleans
      3m 17s
    9. Modeling with nonlinear deformers
      4m 54s
    10. Modeling with lattices
      3m 23s
  5. 1h 18m
    1. Introducing NURBS modeling
      5m 3s
    2. NURBS primitives
      5m 54s
    3. Using the NURBS curve tools
      5m 7s
    4. Creating Bézier curves
      1m 59s
    5. Creating text
      3m 51s
    6. Manipulating NURBS curves
      4m 13s
    7. Refining NURBS curves
      4m 16s
    8. Offsetting NURBS curves
      2m 31s
    9. Editing NURBS surfaces
      7m 3s
    10. Refining NURBS surfaces
      7m 22s
    11. Using NURBS Revolve
      7m 31s
    12. Using NURBS Loft
      4m 11s
    13. Using NURBS Extrude
      6m 0s
    14. Using NURBS Planar
      4m 47s
    15. Stitching NURBS surfaces
      8m 52s
  6. 35m 53s
    1. Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces
      5m 57s
    2. Creating curves on a surface
      3m 53s
    3. Projecting curves on surfaces
      7m 2s
    4. Trimming NURBS surfaces
      3m 42s
    5. Using the NURBS Fillet tool
      5m 31s
    6. Sculpting NURBS and polygonal surfaces
      5m 52s
    7. Converting NURBS to polygons
      3m 56s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Working with the Outliner
      4m 58s
    2. Grouping objects
      4m 2s
    3. Creating hierarchies
      4m 17s
    4. Duplicating objects
      4m 51s
    5. Understanding the Hypergraph
      3m 32s
    6. Working with Hypergraph connections
      2m 31s
    7. Hiding and showing objects
      2m 12s
    8. Creating layers
      4m 2s
    9. Working with selection masks
      2m 57s
  8. 40m 18s
    1. Overview of renderers
      3m 24s
    2. Understand the basics of materials
      6m 15s
    3. Creating and applying maps
      5m 13s
    4. Using bitmaps as texture
      2m 59s
    5. Working with the Hypershade window
      5m 12s
    6. Working with mental ray materials
      6m 57s
    7. Using displacement and bump mapping
      3m 14s
    8. Using the Ramp Shader
      2m 36s
    9. Using the 3D Paint tool
      4m 28s
  9. 30m 14s
    1. Texture-mapping NURBS surfaces
      5m 46s
    2. Projecting textures onto surfaces
      4m 0s
    3. Texture-mapping polygonal surfaces
      7m 0s
    4. Applying UV mapping
      8m 11s
    5. Using the UVW Editor
      5m 17s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Creating joints
      10m 2s
    2. Deforming a mesh using the Skin tool
      5m 2s
    3. Creating IK handles
      6m 48s
    4. Creating blend shapes
      5m 39s
    5. Rigging nonlinear deformers
      2m 36s
    6. Finalizing the character
      4m 45s
    7. Rigging the character to the scooter
      6m 24s
  11. 1h 5m
    1. Working with the Timeline
      4m 16s
    2. Creating and adjusting keys (keyframes)
      5m 4s
    3. Editing keys
      3m 13s
    4. Modifying keys in the Graph Editor
      5m 47s
    5. Modifying keys in the Dope Sheet
      2m 51s
    6. Creating breakdown keys
      2m 28s
    7. Animating objects along paths
      5m 54s
    8. Animation playback using Playblast
      3m 10s
    9. Animating with constraints
      6m 16s
    10. Creating animation cycles
      8m 25s
    11. Using set-driven keys
      6m 13s
    12. Adding sound to animations
      2m 24s
    13. Finishing the animation
      9m 45s
  12. 1h 2m
    1. Lights and lighting types in Maya
      7m 29s
    2. Adding depth-map shadows
      4m 13s
    3. Using Raytrace shadows
      3m 28s
    4. Understanding the basics of cameras
      7m 14s
    5. Adding depth of field
      6m 31s
    6. Adding Bokeh using mental ray
      4m 33s
    7. Using motion blur in Maya Software Renderer
      4m 10s
    8. Using motion blur in mental ray
      3m 5s
    9. Raytracing reflections and refractions
      4m 41s
    10. Interactive rendering with IPR
      3m 33s
    11. Lighting a scene
      8m 29s
    12. Batch rendering
      4m 53s
  13. 25s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Maya 2011 Essential Training
9h 8m Beginner Jun 01, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Getting familiar with the Maya interface
  • Organizing scenes
  • Creating hierarchies
  • NURBs modeling for solid objects
  • Adding color to models
  • Applying bitmap textures
  • Working with mental ray materials
  • Polygonal modeling for characters and organic objects
  • Deforming with the Skin tool
  • Setting up lights and cameras
  • Creating realistic effects such as depth of field
  • Working with the Timeline
  • Creating animation cycles
  • Batch rendering
  • Rendering with the mental ray engine
3D + Animation
George Maestri

Stitching NURBS surfaces

There are times when you want to take multiple NURBS surfaces and kind of stick them together. Now one of the problems with NURBS is that you do only have square Patches to deal with, and a lot of times the topology of a character or model doesn't match that of square Patches. So in those cases, you'll need to use a tool called Stitch. Let me show you the basics of Stitch and some ways to use it. We're going to start off with a very simple object. We're going to start off with a plane.

And I'm going to go ahead and give it a few Patches like maybe three in each direction, shade this -- and let's go ahead and turn off the grid here. And I'm going to duplicate it. I'm going to select it, hit Ctrl+D and position these two right here. There are times when we want to Stitch all or part of these two surfaces together. And we can do that by using one of three Stitch tools, so if we go into Stitch, you'll see we have three tools here: One is Stitch Surface Point, one is Stitch Edges and the third is called Global Stitch.

Let's go ahead and start with the most straightforward of these, and that's Stitch Edges. So all you have to do with Stitch Edges is just go ahead and select the tool, notice how my cursor changes. And all I have to do is select two edges. So one, two, and what happens is it snaps them together and sticks one to the other, and then it gives you this little zipper which allows you to control exactly how that stitch happens. And once this is done, all you have to do is hit Enter, and now I actually still have two separate planes, but they are locked into place.

So no matter how I move these planes, they are still locked together. So I'm going to go ahead and undo that. Now there is also another way to stitch, and that's using Stitch Surface Points. And this is actually a little bit more of a discrete method. You're actually stitching Control Vertex to Control Vertex. Now, let me show you how that works. All we have to do is select two sets of opposing CVs or Control Vertices, and then we can stitch those Surface Points together.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go Control Vertex over this one, and then right-click again, do Control Vertex over this one. So, now we have the CVs available on both separate surfaces. So I'm going to go ahead and Shift+ select the CVs that oppose each other, and then do Stitch Surface Points. Now, if I look at the Control Vertices of each, you'll notice what happens is that it comes along, and then it snapped these two together.

So let's do this one more time. Let's go ahead and select this one, and this one, and again, do Stitch Surface Points. Now what this is doing is it's just stitching this a point at a time, but again, the effect is the same. It actually stitches those together. So, if I went and I did a few more of these, let's say I did these ones here, did Stitch Surface Points, you can see how I can start to actually approximate what we have here with the Stitch Edge tool, which actually only took me one operation to do.

So, this is actually something that you probably not use nearly as often, because it really takes a lot more time, because you have to do this a point at a time. But it gives you a lot more control. So sometimes there are places where you'll just want to stitch just a little bit of a surface together, and that's where you'll use this. Now, the third one is called Global Stitch, and that's actually the easiest one to use. Now I've already set up a scene that's ready to go for Global Stitch, and it's called Stitch.mb. So let's go ahead and open that. Now what this is, it is just I've pulled this out of a NURBS model.

It's actually the eye of a character, and you can see this is the eye part, and then this is the brow, and that's kind of the top part of the cheek. A lot of times, with characters what we'll do is in order to get the complex topology of a face or body, we'll actually model it in multiple Patches, very similar to what you would do with polygonal modeling, but with Patches. But again, what we have here is we have separate Patches. So, I've got my cheek as a separate object, the eye is a separate object, and so when I move these around, they don't stick together, but Stitch can take care of that.

Now if I wanted to, I can go through and stitch all of these together using Stitch Edges, but probably the easiest way to do it is using Global Stitch. So all I have to do is select everything that I want, and this model has to be pretty close together, but if we notice, there is a little bit of a gap there. It's not exactly perfectly aligned. It's close, but not perfect. And so when I do Global Stitch, you can actually have a bit of a separation, so you can say what's the Maximum separation, Modification resistance all that sort of stuff.

So, these are controls as to how accurate do you want this to be. Now, I'm just going to leave this at the defaults and hit Global Stitch. Now, what's happened is it's gone through, and it's actually done Stitch Edges on all edges that are pretty close to each other. If you notice, it's gotten rid of that gap, and it's actually stitched everything together. So now when I select one of these surfaces, it actually sticks together. So this whole part of the character is actually now all flexible and stuck together.

Pretty cool! Okay, so let's take a quick look at how to use Stitch in modeling. And so let's go back to our Scooter. So I'm going to open up Scooter_06, and I've got one little part here that I want to use Stitch on. So let's go ahead and see how we can use that on our Scooter. Let me turn off the Reference here. What I did was I used loft to actually create this front kick panel here on the Scooter. Now what I want to do now is create the front part of that Scooter.

Let me go ahead and hide this geometry here. And you can see what I have here are the original curves that I used to create that loft. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and select some of these curves. Now, first thing I want to do is actually create the start of this surface, of the front part of that Scooter. So, I'm going to just select these middle four curves, and I'm going to do an Edit Curves > Offset. So I'm going to do an Offset Curve.

And for distance, I'm actually going to do it like about a -0.4 or -0.5, somewhere in that range. Let me go ahead and turn on the Scooter here. Now what I've done is I've only duplicated the middle four curves and offset them. The edge curves here, the ones that define the edges I haven't duplicated. Because here, let me show you a little trick here. So what I'm going to do here is I'm going to select the edges, the curves that define the edge of that kick plate, and then I am going to select the ones in the middle and actually do a loft.

So what I'm going to do is this one, this, this, this, this. So I've selected them in order from here to here, and notice how I selected the outside ones. So now when I do a Surface > Loft, it actually creates that panel. And because I use the same curve for this right and left edge, those actually are pretty much the same. But I still have to deal with the top and the underside. These two little holes, I need to deal with those.

Well, the easiest way to deal with those is to use Stitch. So I'm going to use my Stitch Edges tools right here. So, I'm going to select both of these. I'm going to go Edit NURBS > Stitch > Stitch Edges. Now, I'm going to select that kick plate first, the inner one, and then select the outer one. Notice how that snaps and stitches, beautiful, great. So now let's go ahead to the underneath part of it. And again, let's select this surface, and this surface. Recent Commands > Stitch Edges, select the kick plate first, and then the front part and there we go, beautiful.

So now I've got basically the shell of my Scooter. So I've got this kick plate, and the front plate, and now I've got something that looks a little bit more like a Scooter. So, as you can see, Stitch is a great way to stick together edges and actually align things very precisely, and very, very quickly.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Maya 2011 Essential Training .

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Q: The Chapter 2 exercise file dog_reference.mb appears blank when opened in Maya. I can't see the dog image. What do I do?
A: Make sure you are working with the most current version of the exercise files for this course from the site. Try downloading the files again. If the image still doesn't appear, make sure the project folder is set to the matching (Chap02) folder in the exercise files.
Also check to make sure you have "hardware texturing" enabled under the viewport's Shading menu.
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