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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.
There are times when you'll need to round off or smooth edges, and those are the points where you'll need to use the Bevel Polygon tool. Let's go ahead and create a simple cube, and shade that, and then let's just go ahead and right-click over this and select Edge, and then go ahead and select an edge. Let's take a look at what Bevel does. So under Edit Mesh, I am going to select Bevel.
Notice what it does. It actually creates a Bevel along that edge. Now, we can affect this Bevel by going into the node that created it. So, if we go into our Inputs, in our Channel Box, or if we go into our Attribute Editor and find the polyBevel node, we can look at how we can affect this. We can actually change the number of segments to make that Bevel a little bit more round, and as you can see, we can use this to actually round off corners.
In fact, I am going to go ahead and undo that, and let's go ahead and select all edges along the top here. So I have selected a total of four edges all along the top, and let's go ahead and do Bevel again: Edit Mesh > Bevel. Again, if I keep my Attribute Editor up, you are going to notice I have my polyBevel here, and you can see how I can add in segments here to actually create kind of a rounded corner effect. Now, if this is a little bit too big, we have another parameter here called Offset, which allows us to dial that in or out.
Now if I wanted to, I could certainly set these parameters before I do the Bevel by going into the Tool Settings here, and this allows me to set the number of Segments as well as the width of the Bevel. Now, we don't just have to Bevel edges. We can also Bevel faces and vertices. So I am going to go ahead and undo this again. And instead of selecting the edges, let's go ahead and select a face. Again, I am just going to repeat that command by doing BevelPolygon.
Again, you can see the effect is almost the same as selecting all four edges and beveling those as well. So I still have my Offset, and I can change the number of Segments there. Now, Bevel also works for vertices. Now, I am going to go ahead and undo this, so we can actually see how it works on vertices. Again, I am just going to select Vertex, and then let's just repeat that. Do BevelPolygon. Now, as you can see, what it does is it kind of triangulates that corner and again, we can add in segments, and you can see how when you Bevel corners like this, you can actually get some very nice effects.
Now, Bevel can also work within the face of an object. So let me show you what I mean by that. Again, I am going to undo this. I am going to go to my polyCube, and I am just going to add in a little bit more detail here. So that way I have some additional geometry to work with. Then, this time let's just go back to Face mode, and I am just going to select a single face within this field of faces, and let's go ahead and do Bevel again. So, you can see exactly what this effect is, so how this Bevel actually works.
So this is my original face, and then what's surrounding that is the Bevel itself. You can do the same for an edge or multiple edges. So let's say I've selected these two edges here, and just beveled those. You can see how that works, or you can work with this with the vertices as well. So you can see how that works. So typically when you are using it on the face of an object, you are going to get this kind of effect.
So in some ways it may not be as productive. Typically, you will use Bevel along edges and to just kind of round off the corners of objects, and it's particularly valuable for things such as text or graphics where you need to round off edges.
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