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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.
When you start applying textures to an object, you'll often need to control how those textures are placed. There is a number of different ways to control text replacement in Maya. So let me show you some of the simplest ones first. I'm going to start with NURBS based surfaces. So the best way to look at this is to start with the plane, and we'll just show you very simple tools just to how to control placement of a texture on a NURB surface. So, first thing I want to do is put a material on there.
In this case, I'm just going to use a lambert, and then let's go ahead and put an actual texture into the Color channel. So, I'm going to select a File and because I'm in Chapter 8, I'm going to be in my Chapter 8 > sourceimages. We're going to find our lovely donut picture here. Okay, and then we're going to hit this number 6 key to shade that, and let's make sure we're also in High Quality Rendering. This will actually help a lot with viewing this. So, by default, Maya takes the corners of your image and pins it to the corners of the NURBS surface.
Very simple, it's almost a one-to-one mapping. So, no matter how much I change the size of that NURBS surface, let's say I go back to my original makeNurbPlane here, and I add in patches. I make it wider. I make it bigger, whatever. It's always going to map one-to-one to that. Now, we can change this by going into the mapping type. So I'm going to go into my Color channel and then go down into my texture. And notice there's actually two here.
There is one for the actual file. The other one is called place2dTexture. So I can either get to it by hitting this tab or if I go down one more input, I'll find it. Now let me show you how this works in the Hypershade very quickly. I have my lambert here, my lambert2. Let's go ahead and graph that. So, if I double-click on the actual lambert itself, you can see I can go down to the file and then if I click here I go down one more.
So basically, what I'm doing is I'm going backwards, backwards to the actual place 2dTexture, which is where I'm at right now. Now, this allows me to control how the texture is placed on that NURBS surface. By default, again, it's a one-to-one relationship. So this is one and this is one. So, if I brought this down, let's say, to 0.75 by 0.75, you'd see that well, it only gives you a fraction of this and the rest is just the default color of the texture.
So we start here at the bottom- right and then we go up 0.75 by 0.75. If I want, I can also rotate that frame or I can translate the frame. So let's say I make it 0.25 and so on. So I can actually slide it left and right, shrink it up and down, and rotate it. I also can add in Repeats. So, if I want to repeat it more than once, I can do that. Now this is repeating within that frame.
So, it's repeating within the 0.75. So, if I want to repeat it twice over the whole thing, I can do it that way as well. And then with the translation of 0, there we go. So, this is how many times it's tiling within this frame. So, if you have an image and you want like a texture of a fabric or something, and it's a little bit too coarse, you can just tighten it up right here. And again, you can rotate and do all sorts of stuff. Now probably the cooler way to do this or the more interesting way to do this is to use what's called interactive placement.
Now before I do that, I'm actually going to bring my Repeats back up to 1 so we have a full solid image to work with. And then all I have to do is hit this Interactive Placement button. And what it does is it lights up. It gives me this big red frame around my image. Now, I can manipulate this by using my middle-click. So if I middle-click on one side, notice how that changes. I can scale that. So, middle-click, middle-click on the top, middle-click on the bottom, and middle-click in the middle.
I can move this around, or if I'm at the sides, that's how I can rotate. Notice how as I do this, these numbers are actually all changing here. So as I move this, my translation is changing. If I scale it up, my coverage is changing, and so on. And all this comes back up when I render, so you can see how this is actually affected. Now this mapping is actually in the texture itself. So, when I go into my Hypershade window, I can actually graph this and you can see that this texturing is within the actual material itself.
So if I created any other surface, even a polygonal surface, this would apply. So all I have to do is now is go into my Hypershade, select this plane, assign to selection, and we'll have the exact same effect. So, basically, what's happening here is we're changing the way that this maps within the material. This is great for setting global parameters. There are other ways to actually map on a per object basis, but typically, when you start off texturing, you want to make sure that your material itself is at the right scale and the right number of repeats and so on and so forth.
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