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Subdivision surface workflow using subdiv proxy

From: Maya 2009 Essential Training

Video: Subdivision surface workflow using subdiv proxy

Now one of the more popular workflows when you are working with polygonal objects is to use what are called Subdivisions Surfaces. Now we have got a little bit of a taste of this, just by the way we can view polygonal objects in the viewport. So, for example, I am working with this head and if I just hit the 1, 2, or 3 keys, we can actually see how this surface subdivides. So 1 shows you the actual polygonal model of this character's head. 2 shows you the subdivision surface with the polygonal cage above the head. So actually this is the model here, the model is actually the cage and we can just affect that, and it affects the surface underneath or we can hit the 3 button and that just shows us the mesh by itself. So, for example, if I selected the vertices of his nose, I could obviously reshape this and if I selected the vertices of the head, notice how when I select this vertex it actually goes off of the head.

Subdivision surface workflow using subdiv proxy

Now one of the more popular workflows when you are working with polygonal objects is to use what are called Subdivisions Surfaces. Now we have got a little bit of a taste of this, just by the way we can view polygonal objects in the viewport. So, for example, I am working with this head and if I just hit the 1, 2, or 3 keys, we can actually see how this surface subdivides. So 1 shows you the actual polygonal model of this character's head. 2 shows you the subdivision surface with the polygonal cage above the head. So actually this is the model here, the model is actually the cage and we can just affect that, and it affects the surface underneath or we can hit the 3 button and that just shows us the mesh by itself. So, for example, if I selected the vertices of his nose, I could obviously reshape this and if I selected the vertices of the head, notice how when I select this vertex it actually goes off of the head.

So if I hit the number 2, you can see that that's because the actual vertex that I am manipulating is on the cage, which is actually a little bit off of that head. So, for example with all of these vertices, you can see how those work as well. So all of these display stuff is all fun and dandy but the real key for this is that you want to be able to animate this Low Res version because that makes it a lot simpler to manipulate and render and it's going to be lot faster if you work with the Low Poly version in Maya.

But you want to render a Higher Res version. So when you actually get to the point when you are rendering the scene, you want the renderer to see this one. So in Maya there are actually two different workflows for using subdivision surfaces. So let's go over the first one. Now this is probably the more standard one, the one that a lot of people who are familiar with Maya have used for a long time and that's called Subdiv Proxy. So how this works is on the Polygons menu, we have what's called a Proxy and we have Subdiv Proxy and Remove Subdiv Proxy, all of that but the one that's most important is this one called Subdiv Proxy. Now what I can do is I could just hit this or there is actually a hot key here, Ctrl+~ and when I do that, what it does is actually creates two objects. In fact, if I go into my Outliner here, you can see here I have got my head, which is my original model, and then I have got a copy of that which is the smoothed version.

Now if I render this, you see it actually renders both. So what I have to do, in this case, is actually go through and either hide this, so I can actually just go Display > Hide that particular object, and then it will render smooth. Or I can set stuff up in layers, there are all sorts of ways to hide this before you render or what you can do is you can also go into the Attributes Editor for this particular object and you can go into your Render stats it just turn off all the rendering queues for that and so you can actually still see it in your viewport, you don't' have to hide it but when you render, it just shows up as invisible.

Now the more important thing about this is that the head and the proxy of the head are connected using this modifier here called polishSmoothProxy. Now I can see it here in the Channel Box or if I go into my Attribute Editor, I can find a little note here that says polishSmoothProxy as well. And what this does is this allows me to set the number of division level, so how much is it smoothed? So do I smooth it once, twice and now you got to be careful, you don't want to really dial this up too much because every time you go up a level, you quadruple the number of polygons.

So, for example, if I go to 0, that's one big polygon, if I go to 1, it divides it into 4 and then it divides that 4 by 4 and you get 16, where I originally had one and then you go up one more, you get 64. So you could see how you can very easily get a lot of polygons and something like this will be almost impossible to manipulate in real time if you are doing something like facial animation but when you go to render, it looks really smooth.

So the key for this number of division levels is to set a number that basically renders smooth. So I am looking here at this edge and I can see that that looks pretty smooth. If I go down to say level 1, you will see I still have a little bit of jagginess. So you can just basically go by my rule of thumb, which is if it looks good, it is good. So I just turn this up until it looks good. So that's generally how I work with this sort of stuff. Now there are additional tools that Maya has for managing these. So I just wanted to show you how Subdiv Proxy works for those times when you do want to do organic modeling for subdivision surfaces.

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This video is part of

Image for Maya 2009 Essential Training
Maya 2009 Essential Training

127 video lessons · 13581 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 16s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. Using the exercise files
      37s
    3. Starting Maya 2009
      38s
    4. Working on a Mac
      1m 4s
    5. The importance of a three-button mouse
      26s
    6. Graphics card recommendation
      1m 6s
  2. 30m 11s
    1. Understanding the Maya interface
      6m 34s
    2. Working with files and Maya projects
      3m 35s
    3. Navigating viewports
      12m 24s
    4. Using the Hotbox
      3m 15s
    5. Working with marking menus
      4m 23s
  3. 1h 9m
    1. Selecting objects
      4m 59s
    2. Using the Move tool
      7m 25s
    3. Rotating and scaling
      3m 31s
    4. Manipulating pivots
      3m 24s
    5. Understanding the Channel Box
      8m 18s
    6. Working with the Attribute editor
      3m 51s
    7. Understanding the Outliner
      5m 21s
    8. Creating hierarchies
      6m 29s
    9. Understanding the Hypergraph
      6m 12s
    10. Grouping objects
      7m 55s
    11. Hiding and showing objects
      3m 39s
    12. Creating layers
      4m 34s
    13. Working with selection masks
      4m 9s
  4. 1h 17m
    1. Polygonal primitives
      10m 10s
    2. Polygonal components
      4m 39s
    3. Using Soft Select and Paint Select
      5m 47s
    4. Subdivision surface workflow using subdiv proxy
      5m 12s
    5. Subdivision surface workflow using mental ray
      3m 46s
    6. Using the Extrude tool
      3m 52s
    7. Keeping faces together
      4m 13s
    8. Working with edge loops
      4m 22s
    9. Inserting and offseting edge loops
      3m 53s
    10. Using the Slide Edge tool
      1m 40s
    11. Cutting faces and splitting polygons
      2m 58s
    12. Poking and wedging faces
      2m 54s
    13. Using the Polygon Bevel tool
      3m 6s
    14. Using the Polygon Chamfer tool
      1m 8s
    15. Using the Polygon Bridge tool
      2m 43s
    16. Working with polygon booleans
      3m 25s
    17. Combining objects
      2m 42s
    18. Merging vertices and edges
      4m 28s
    19. Using the Crease tool
      2m 8s
    20. Working with object history
      4m 29s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Introducing NURBS modeling
      1m 32s
    2. NURBS primitives
      6m 41s
    3. Using the NURBS curve tools
      4m 45s
    4. Creating text curves
      3m 14s
    5. Manipulating NURBS curves
      3m 52s
    6. Refining NURBS curves
      3m 47s
    7. Using cut curves and fillets
      1m 27s
    8. Offsetting and extending curves
      2m 29s
    9. Manipulating NURBS surfaces
      3m 36s
    10. Using NURBS Revolve
      5m 32s
    11. Using NURBS Loft
      4m 6s
    12. Using NURBS Extrude
      4m 57s
    13. Using NURBS Planar
      4m 11s
    14. Editing and refining NURBS surfaces
      3m 31s
    15. Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces
      4m 35s
    16. Opening and closing surfaces
      3m 36s
  6. 1h 19m
    1. Creating curves on a surface
      2m 54s
    2. Projecting curves on surfaces
      2m 48s
    3. Trimming NURBS surfaces
      4m 24s
    4. Using the NURBS Fillet tool
      4m 28s
    5. Stitching NURBS surfaces
      5m 38s
    6. Sculpting on NURBS and polygonal surfaces
      5m 22s
    7. Modeling with nonlinear deformers
      3m 36s
    8. Modeling with lattices
      3m 0s
    9. Converting NURBS to polygons
      4m 36s
    10. Modeling templates with image planes and NURBS planes
      7m 19s
    11. Modeling a robot pt. 1: The body
      4m 51s
    12. Modeling a robot pt. 2: Arms, legs, and feet
      7m 41s
    13. Modeling a robot pt. 3: The face
      6m 37s
    14. Modeling a robot pt. 4: The chest
      9m 3s
    15. Modeling a robot pt. 5: The final details
      7m 27s
  7. 1h 0m
    1. Understand the basics of materials
      8m 19s
    2. Creating and applying maps
      4m 3s
    3. Using bitmaps as texture
      4m 31s
    4. Working with the Hypershade window
      5m 15s
    5. Working with the Multilister
      2m 8s
    6. Texture-mapping NURBS surfaces
      4m 38s
    7. Projecting textures
      3m 23s
    8. Texture-mapping polygonal surfaces
      4m 59s
    9. Applying UV mapping
      5m 10s
    10. Live action integration with Use Background
      3m 2s
    11. Using displacement and bump mapping
      5m 16s
    12. Using the Ramp Shader
      4m 49s
    13. Using the 3D paint tools
      4m 41s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Understanding render settings
      5m 47s
    2. Understanding the basics of lights and lighting types
      9m 24s
    3. Adding depth map shadows
      6m 7s
    4. Using Raytrace shadows
      4m 5s
    5. Understanding the basics of cameras
      6m 53s
    6. Adding depth of field
      4m 38s
    7. Using Motion Blur
      4m 44s
    8. Raytracing reflections and refractions
      6m 36s
    9. Interactive rendering with IPR
      3m 59s
    10. Batch rendering
      5m 1s
    11. Lighting a scene: The robot
      13m 33s
  9. 43m 38s
    1. Introducing mental ray
      3m 47s
    2. Creating mental ray materials
      5m 42s
    3. Working with mental ray lights
      6m 1s
    4. Depth of field in mental ray
      4m 54s
    5. Motion blur in mental ray
      3m 39s
    6. Creating global illumination in mental ray
      7m 10s
    7. Using Final Gather to enhance global illumination
      7m 31s
    8. Rendering transparent materials with caustics
      4m 54s
  10. 39m 32s
    1. Introducing Paint Effects
      5m 31s
    2. Creating brushes
      9m 24s
    3. Applying brushes to existing strokes
      2m 48s
    4. Sharing brushes
      3m 19s
    5. Saving brushes
      4m 21s
    6. Painting in the Paint Effects window
      6m 31s
    7. Paint Effects in practice
      7m 38s
  11. 1h 1m
    1. The basics of animation
      4m 20s
    2. Creating and adjusting keys (keyframes)
      6m 31s
    3. Modifying keys in the Graph editor
      6m 41s
    4. Modifying keys in the Dope Sheet
      3m 17s
    5. Creating breakdown keys
      2m 11s
    6. Animating objects along paths
      8m 2s
    7. Ghosting and motion paths
      3m 35s
    8. Animation playback using Playblast
      3m 3s
    9. Animating with constraints
      6m 40s
    10. Creating animation cycles
      7m 1s
    11. Using set-driven keys
      6m 54s
    12. Adding sound to animations
      3m 2s
  12. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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