Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Symmetrical modeling techniques

From: Maya 2011 Essential Training

Video: Symmetrical modeling techniques

There are many times when you want to model something that's symmetrical. You know a car, for example, is symmetrical, characters are symmetrical. There are a lot of things that have a symmetry to them. Now learning how to model things symmetrically will make it much easier to create things that are balanced. So there are number of tools that we can use to model symmetrically. The first one is just Reflection. So, for example, if I take this model. In fact, I am going to hit 1 here just so we can go out to the raw model itself.

Symmetrical modeling techniques

There are many times when you want to model something that's symmetrical. You know a car, for example, is symmetrical, characters are symmetrical. There are a lot of things that have a symmetry to them. Now learning how to model things symmetrically will make it much easier to create things that are balanced. So there are number of tools that we can use to model symmetrically. The first one is just Reflection. So, for example, if I take this model. In fact, I am going to hit 1 here just so we can go out to the raw model itself.

And let's say I take a Vertex, and I want to let's say reshape this character's beltline or something like that. Now if I move this on one side, I need to have it also move on the other side. Well, one way to do it is to make sure I select everything exactly precisely and instead of move, I scale things, but that can get really complex very quickly. Another way is to use the Reflection tools. Now we kind of covered this a little bit before, but let me show it to you again. So, for example, if I select a part of the model, and let's say I wanted to move it.

All I have to do is select the Move tool and either double-click here or click on the Move tool settings. You will notice that in here I have, towards the bottom, something called Reflection Settings. So all I have to do is turn this on and then tell it around what axis to reflect. In this case, we are reflecting along the X axis, which is this red X. So as long as this is on X I should be okay. So anything I select on this side now gets selected on the other side. So now as I model and reshape this, everything is reflected.

Now the one problem with this is that it only works for manipulating geometry. So, for example, if I wanted to move a face, I could easily move a face and have that reflected. But if I wanted to add geometry, such as add an edge loop or Extrude a face, then it won't. So, for example, if I select all of the faces on the inside of one foot, and I do an Extrude, it doesn't reflect on the other foot.

So I am going to go ahead and hit Ctrl+Z twice to undo this. And know in order to actually have this completely symmetrical, including adding geometry, then that's using a tool called Duplicate Special. I am going to go back in Object mode and select my object. So let me show you very quickly how to duplicate objects, and then I'll show you the trick. Under Edit, we have a tool called Duplicate. If you hit Ctrl+D, you can just duplicate an object and you can actually make copies of it. Very simple. It's almost like copy-and-paste, so all I have to do is select an object, Ctrl+D, and we have an object.

But the real cool one is called Duplicate Special, which is Ctrl+Shift+D. Now in order to do this I need to actually cut my model in half first. So select our model, and I am going to go into Face mode. And I'm just going to select the faces on the right side of my model. In fact, I've got Reflection still turned on. Let me turn that off here. So I've got the faces on just one side of the model selected, and now all I have to do is hit the Delete key, and I've cut my model in half.

Well now I have half a model, but I still need to model that symmetrically. Well this is where Duplicate Special comes in. I am going to go into Edit > Duplicate Special, and let's go into the Options. Instead of making a copy, which actually just copies the object, I am going to make what's called an Instance. Now what an Instance is, it's a copy that still points back to the original. So any changes to the original are reflected on the copy. So this is really cool if you want to edit one thing, and it affects a number of other things.

It's really kind of a cool tool for that. But also what we want to do is we want to make sure that this is mirrored. So if I just Duplicate Special with the Instance and nothing else, let's go ahead and do that. Now I have got two copies of the same object. And what the Instance does is it allows one change to affect the other. Okay. Well we are kind of halfway there. That's pretty cool. So now as I model this, it's actually affecting the copy, pretty cool. But what I really need to do is have this flipped over.

So one thing I could do is I can actually mirror this by scaling it. I could scale this say -1 and that would flip it around. And that's a great way of doing it, but that's actually a two-step process. I can actually do this in one step by selecting the object, going back into Duplicate Special, selecting Instance. And then for Scale, I am going to do -1 around my reflected axis, which in this case is my X axis. And that actually copies it and flips it and also creates an Instance.

So now anything I do to one side affects the other. So now when I go back into my foot and I select these faces, I am just going to Shift+Select these and I Extrude them, they now Extrude on the other side as well. And then when I scale these down and move it, everything now models symmetrically. So if I were to just pick some vertices here and move them, you can see that it's doing what Reflection is doing, but it's also allowing me to add geometry.

So in this case, for the character's knee let's say I wanted to add in some edge loops so that his actual knee can bend. Well, then all I have to do is go into Insert Edge Loop tool. Click on that, and I can add them in. And notice how it adds in on the other side as well. So once I have this, I can just work on one side of my character, or whatever else I am modeling, and the other side will follow along. This is a great tool for doing any sort of symmetrical modeling.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Maya 2011 Essential Training
Maya 2011 Essential Training

115 video lessons · 26247 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 34s
    2. Using the exercise files
      26s
    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
      25s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
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

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 2011 Essential Training.

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?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

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 preferencesfrom 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.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

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.