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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.
One very common method for creating NURBS surfaces is the Loft. Lofting takes multiple curves and just stretches a surface over them. So we can actually create some very simple curves here. So let's just go ahead and create a CV curve. Let's go ahead and just draw out a simple curve, and hit Enter. If I want, I can just create a duplicate of this curve. In fact, let's go ahead and just do an Offset. We will make an Offset curve here, and go ahead and move that over a little bit, and maybe even duplicate that again.
We can just go ahead and hit Ctrl +D to duplicate that if we want. So now I have got three separate curves. In fact, I am going to move this curve up a little bit. And all we have to do to create a loft is to select the curves in order, so one, two, three. I am holding down my Shift key here, and then go into Surfaces > Loft. What that does, let's shade this, is it stretches a surface over the curves. So I have got basically the surface, but the surface is actually defined by the curve.
So, if I wanted to, I could actually go select the curve itself, and move it, and the surface will change. So if I can select that curve there, I can move it. You can also edit the curve. So, for example, I will right- click over this and go Control Vertex, it may be a little tricky because you don't want to select the surface, but you can go ahead and just reshape that curve, and it will reshape the surface. So this surface is actually tied to those curves. That is, it's tied to until you turn off History.
So much like we did when we were using the non-linear deformers, we can bake this surface in by just going Delete by Type > History, and again, it's not Delete All by Type. It's Delete by Type > History, and that goes ahead and breaks those two apart. So now, the curves don't affect the surface. So this is a really great way to create surfaces, because what you can do is you can draw out all of your curves and then use those as kind of like ribs to stretch the NURBS surface over.
So let's go ahead and do a more practical application of Lofting. I am going to go ahead and do Open Scene > Scooter_03 > Open. This is, again, the scooter that we have been playing with, and if you noticed, I have actually drawn some curves for you here, and all I did was I took a NURBS circle and just reshaped those curves into kind of like an oval. So basically, it's just a circle that's been reshaped. In fact, if I want to, I can turn off this Referencing to kind of see these a little bit better.
So what I have done is I have reshaped that into kind of flat oval to represent the outline of that hubcap. And once I have done that, I can use those loft together the back end of the scooter. So all I need to do is select one, two, three, and then four, so this is going to be the metal part along the bottom and do Surfaces > Loft. It basically creates that shell.
Now we can also do the same thing for most of the seats. So we can actually grab that curve at the top there, and it's a little hard to grab these things here. So let's -- there we go. Okay, so we have got the curve, one, two, three, and again, I can just repeat my command by holding down Spacebar and do Loft. So now I have the basic part of my seat and my shell, but one thing, notice I don't have the top of the seat. Okay. We are going to do that using a different method, and we will get to that little bit later.
But as you can see, Loft is a great way to create surfaces from multiple curves. So the curves remain live like this, until you actually hit Delete History. So as you can see, there is a number of places where you can use Loft to create very precise surfaces.
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