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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.
The NURBS Extrude command is also a very handy way to create NURBS surfaces. What it does is it takes a profile, or a shape, and it extrudes it along a path, much like how you'd maybe extrude a piece of metal into a channel, or something like that. So, let's go ahead and create an Extrude. Now, in order to do this, we need two curves. We need one. That's the Path, and the other, that's the Outline. So let's start with the Path. We're going to go ahead and create a CV Curve, and I'm going to draw a curve that looks a little bit like a question mark.
So I'm just going to go ahead and create something that looks a little bit like that, hit Enter, and this is my Path. Now, I also need an outline, or a shape, to extrude along this path. So, I'm going to go into my Front Viewport, and I'm going to do Create > NURBS Primitives, and let's just create a little circle. Let me go ahead and drag that. So, now I have a circle, and a path, but I want to go ahead and position this circle pretty close to the end of that path.
So that kind of starts right about there. I'm going to go ahead and position that right around the same place. So, now what I have to do is select my Outline, select my Path, and then Extrude. So, go to Surfaces > Extrude. Now, what this does is it actually takes that curve, that outline, and sweeps it along the path. In fact, you can take a look at that right there. Let's go back into Wireframe mode here.
Take a look at this. You can see that this path, and this outline don't quite match up. Well, we have a number of options in the tool to help facilitate that. Now, we can get to these, either beforehand by selecting the Curve tools, but we're not going to do that. We're actually going to just adjust them afterwards, and we can do that through the Attribute Editor or the Channel Box. So, let's go into the Attribute Editor, make sure that Surface is selected, and then go into the extrude node.
Now, here we have all of the options we want. We have our Profile Curve. We have our Path Curve. We have the Type of Extrude. Now, typically, we're wanting to do Tube, but we can also do Distance or Flat. You can see how those work, but we really want Tube. One of the other ones is where do we want to start this extrude? Do we want to start at the closest end point of the path, which means, at the bottom of this question mark? Do we want to do it at the Component Pivot? You can see how we have slight changes, which is at the -- or do we want to do it at the center of the bounding box of the profile, which is very similar.
I usually keep it to closest end point of the path. Now, the most important one is do we want to use the Profile Normal, which actually will snap it very close? Another one is called Fixed Path, which will make sure that the path itself is fixed. Typically, I find that Fixed Path is probably the closest way to get this as close as possible to that path. Now, in addition, we've got some additional parameters here. One is Rotation. You can actually rotate that, to give a kind of the twisty effect, or we can also scale this.
So, if you wanted that to go to a point at the very end, you can just scale that down to 0 at the end, or scale it up if you want. So, those are some of the basics of how to create an extrude. So let's go ahead and use that to create some more stuff for our motorcycle. So, I'm going to go ahead and do File > Open Scene, and let's do Scooter_04. Now, if you recall, the seat of this, actually has a little bit of piping around it. So, let's go ahead and use an Extrude, and this top curve here to create the piping.
In fact, I've got this actually arranged here so that I can actually turn off the Surfaces, so we can just see the Curves. So let's go ahead and do that. I'm going to go ahead and select this curve. This will be our profile. In fact, I'm going to turn off Reference as well. So, what I'm doing here is I'm hitting this V key to turn off the Surfaces, and to turn off the Reference here. Another way to do it would be to actually just under Show, just turn off Surfaces. But if I did that, I wouldn't be able to see the results of my Extrude. So I don't really want to do that.
Let's go into the Side View here. Again, we're going to zoom in. Again, for the piping around the seat, again, we're going to need a circle. So, let's do Create > NURBS Primitives > Circle, and make a tiny, little circle. Let's try and get it as close as possible to that outline. So that's going to be about the size of my piping, and then let's go in here, and make sure that we've got that there. Yes. Now, because this curve was centered, it's very easy. This is all pretty much lined up the way we want. So, I'm going to go ahead and select my Outline, Path Second, Surfaces > Extrude.
That pretty much worked. So, let's go ahead and turn on our Surfaces here. You could see that, yeah, I've got my piping. But you know what? That piping is actually a little bit too big. So, I'm actually going to go to my circle here. I can actually go down to makeNurbCircle here, and just bump down my Radius. Instead of .152, I'm going to make it .1. That should work. So now I have this surface. If I want, I could actually do that Extrude again, but another way to do it is just to take this surface itself, duplicate it, center the pivot, and just move that second surface down.
So I have the piping along the bottom as well. That should work pretty closely, yeah. So there we go! So now I've got the piping of my seat of my scooter. So, as you can see, Extrude is a great way to sweep an outline along a path to create a NURBS surface.
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