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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.
Now as you get deeper and deeper into polygonal modeling, there are places where you're going to want to add detail to a model. Probably the best way to add detail is by using an Extrude. It's probably the most common way to start adding detail to models. So we're going to start off by creating a simple box. I want a little bit of detail on this box. So I'm going to go into my Channel Box, into my Inputs and for a Width, Height and Depth, I'm going to type in 3.
Let's go ahead and shade that so we can see what we're doing. So let's go ahead and play with the Extrude tool. Now the Extrude tool is found under the Polygons menu. So let's make sure we have that selected and under that we have Edit Mesh, and you'll find a tool here called Extrude. Now, before I use this tool I need to select a component to extrude. This works on faces, edges, and vertices, but most often it's actually used on faces. So let's go ahead and start with that.
I'm going to right-click over this cube. I'm going to go ahead and select this face on the top. I'm going to go Edit Mesh, and Extrude. Now, what it does is it brings up this little gizmo here, and this is our Extrude tool. So all I need to do is grab this arrow and pull it up, and you can see how I'm actually extruding new detail into this model. Now, this little gizmo that we have actually allows me to do a number of things. We've got these little boxes here, and those are very similar to our Scale tool.
In fact, they are a Scale tool. Then also I can select that box in the middle to do a global scale. I can select the arrows to move this left, right, up, down, back-and-forth, and so on. So once I have this done, I have additional detail in my model. Now, if I go back into Object mode and select my model, let's go ahead and go into our Channel Box and scroll down a little bit. Now, we have our original polyCube, but on top of that you'll notice I have what's called an Extrude face.
What this is is this is what's called a Node, and what this node does is it actually does the Extrude. So what we have got is we've got two objects here, or two nodes. We've got one that creates the cube, and one that does the Extrude. Now, this is kind of a history that we can play with. So let's go into our Attribute Editor, and let's take a little bit of a deeper look in this. You'll notice we have our CubeShape, but we also have one called ExtrudeFace. This actually gives us some control over how that Extrude happens.
So, for example, I translated that, so you could actually change the translation of this. You can change the scale. You can also change the number of divisions. So I can actually give it more or less divisions. So I can actually add detail right here. So this is a great way to actually change something after the fact. Now, let's go ahead and play a little bit more with this Extrude tool. I'm going to go back to my Channel Box here to give some more room. I'm going to right-click over and select Face.
So let's go ahead and select this face here. So we don't have to do one face. In fact, we can select multiple faces. So let's go ahead and select all of these faces here. Let's go ahead and do Extrude again. Now, I'm going to actually use my HotBox. I'm holding down my Space key, and I'm just going to do PolyExtrude, which is basically the last command I had. Now, if I want, I could actually push this in, and create a hole, or again pull this out. So you can see how this actually also works for multiple faces.
You can also use this to create holes. So let's go ahead and use, just select one face here, do PolyExtrude, and you can see how I can actually create holes as well. So what I've done is I've taken this basic cube, and now I've added additional detail, and you can see how this can be the basis of how to sculpt. Now, we've just been working with faces, but you can also work with edges and vertices. So I'm actually going to select this and delete it, and let's just go ahead and create a simple plane, and I'm going to move this above the grid so we can actually see what we're doing.
Again, I'm going to go into my Channel Box, and I'm going to add a little bit of detail to this plane so we have some stuff to work with. Now, one of the nice things about Extrude is that it does work on edges and faces. So let's go ahead and show you how it works on edges. I'm just going to select one edge here, and I'm going to do Edit Mesh > Extrude. Let's go ahead and extrude that. Notice what happens is it actually is just extruding the edge. If I were to select the face and extrude that, it's actually going to add a lot more detail.
But when you extrude only the edge, it's really just creating an additional face. It's kind of creating a plane, because really, what are you doing? You're actually extruding a 2D line into a 3D space, rather than extruding a plane, which actually has more dimensions. So that's why you get actual kind of four-sided geometry here by extruding the plane, and we're actually extruding an edge. Let's go ahead and select some edges here. When we actually extrude those, we're really just getting additional faces.
So this is a great way to kind of model like a shell-like object, or something like that. That will be a great way to do that. In addition to all of these, we can also extrude vertices. Now this is actually a lot more simple, and as soon as I extrude one, you'll see what happens here. All I have to do is just hit Extrude, and all it does is it kind of subdivides it and makes that little pyramid here. So that's basically what an extruded vertice looks like. There is not really as much control as you would have with an edge or a face.
Each one of these actually creates another node. So we started with a PolyPlane. We extruded an edge, a face, some more edges, and a vertex. So you can see how we have this whole history just sitting here. If we go into our Attribute Editor, we can start playing with any of these. So if I wanted to add some divisions here, I can do that just by selecting any one of these nodes and manipulating it. Kind of cool, huh? So those are the basics of Extrude. You can see how Extrude can be used to add geometry and start really sculpting a basic primitive into something that's a little bit more complex and a little bit more interesting.
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