Maya 2009 New Features
Illustration by John Hersey

Using Muscle Builder to sculpt deformable muscles


From:

Maya 2009 New Features

with George Maestri

Video: Using Muscle Builder to sculpt deformable muscles

Now I am going to show you the second way to create muscles and this one is actually a little bit more controllable action. I like this one better. If your setting step up from scratch, I probably recommend you do this one and this is actually sculpting muscles. This is actually called Muscle Builder, is the technical name. So what we can do is just load that up under Simple Muscles we can go Muscle Builder and what this does is that it gives us a whole new menu, but it works pretty much the same as the Muscle Creator in that we have to give an Attach Object and then set number of Spans and all these other Parameters.

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Watch the Online Video Course Maya 2009 New Features
1h 40m Intermediate Dec 11, 2008

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In Maya 2009 New Features, George Maestri demonstrates several breakthrough updates in the latest version of this 3D modeling, rendering, and animation tool. He explores the upgrades to the interface and covers soft selection and other modeling tools. George then delves into more complex new features, including the Asset Manager for organizing objects and nodes within a scene; animation layering to blend, merge, group, reorder, override, and add to preceding layers; Maya Muscle, for creating lifelike skin motion; and nParticles, a new particle system. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Working with the new interface
  • Organizing assets
  • Creating muscles
  • Sculpting muscle shapes
  • Working with nParticles
  • Creating emitters
  • Animating with layers
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
George Maestri

Using Muscle Builder to sculpt deformable muscles

Now I am going to show you the second way to create muscles and this one is actually a little bit more controllable action. I like this one better. If your setting step up from scratch, I probably recommend you do this one and this is actually sculpting muscles. This is actually called Muscle Builder, is the technical name. So what we can do is just load that up under Simple Muscles we can go Muscle Builder and what this does is that it gives us a whole new menu, but it works pretty much the same as the Muscle Creator in that we have to give an Attach Object and then set number of Spans and all these other Parameters.

In fact, I am going to load up my Outliner here so we can see what we have got and so I am going to select Joint 1 here and make that Attach Object1. Select Joint 2 ,make it a Attach Object 2. Now what I am going to do is just update that Muscle. So let's go ahead and go Build/Update and what it does it creates a little muscle there. You can see it, kinda of, and then what we can do is start affecting the parameters of that ,uscle. So I can, for example, affect the attach point here, how far away in X I am actually affecting a muscle, a start point here and then I could do the same for the attach point at the elbow. So I can actually make it go a little bit more. In fact, you can actually see how this is going to deform. Nice. So what that you want to do here is just get this attach in just about where you want. If I am going to turn off Geometry I am going here to this layer and turn that off, so we see how this works. So you can see how that creates the basic muscle. Now we still haven't finished the muscle; we are just updating what we have got.

In fact if we want to, I can add in more Spans, more segments, that sort of stuff, I can actually add in. So more spans would be more detailed in that muscle. You can see here I am adding in more or less detail here. So all of these are kind of temporary until we do this finalize operation, but before we finalize let's go through the Cross Section Editor. Those are actually two little mini- viewports that allows you to select these cross sections and actually move them.

In fact if we match them up with the Geometry we can actually move them, we can even move them here in this viewport or in one of these viewports, so I can select any one of these and I can actually move them to actually match my skin and even more than that I can actually go through and reshape these. So for example this one here, this small one say here at the beginning, I can actually right click over that and go on to Control Vertex and literally re-sculpt that muscle.

So I can actually make it bulge out a little bit more if I want. I could take this little one here, again just right click over it, go into Control Vertex mode and I can actually take-- let's go ahead and turn off this Geometry here. So you can see I can actually take and reshape all of these outlines. So you can actually fine-tune this muscle so it exactly fits into this skin that you are working with. Now you can spend lot of time tweaking this, but once you have got this all set up, we can go to the finalize operation and his gives us a number of controls we want and then whether it's a Muscle Spline deformer or a Muscle Stretch. We are going to use Spline deformer because it's going to give us more power later on. So all I am going to do is leave it at these settings and just go Convert to Muscle and then it's going to ask for a name and it give us some warning here so I am just going to call it Muscle bicep and go OK. So now I have got this muscle pretty much set up.

Now again all I have to do is keep that muscle selected, Shift-select my skin and then I could add this into the deformation. So I am just going to go Muscle > Muscle Objects > Connect Selected , Muscle Object, which connects it to the skin and then we have to reset our deformation again by going into Weighting > Apply Default Weights, we'll just leave that at Sticky and now this muscle deforms to that mesh. So let's go ahead and show you how to further refine these muscles in the next lesson.

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