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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.
Maya does have multiple ways of connecting together multiple surfaces. Another really handy tool to know is called the Polygon Bridge tool. Now I'm going to use this tool to actually stick our character back together, but this time using a different method. So again, I have two halves of the character. Just like before, I'm going to go ahead and select both sides, and I'm going to do Mesh > Combine. I have a bit of a gap between the character. Typically, I can just stitch him up in the middle, but another way to do it is to use the Polygon Bridge tool.
So I'm going to go into my Front Viewport. I am going to turn off X-Ray here, so we can see. Now I'm going to go into Face mode. What I'm going to do is select both of these rows of faces right down the middle. So I'm basically going to select everything down the middle and hit Delete. What this does is it basically leaves two very open edges, basically two shells here. Now, I'm going to go back in the Object mode, select my object and go Edit Mesh > Bridge.
Let's try that again. In fact, I am going to go ahead and tear this off, so you can see how this works here. So I'm going to do Edit Mesh > Bridge. What happens is it actually finds the two open edges automatically, and creates a bridge of polygons. Now what's really cool about this is that if I go into the Attribute Editor, you can see I have a BridgeEdge right here. I can actually dial in how many vertices I want. So, for example, if I want 1, this would actually be a duplicate of what I did in the last lesson, or if I want 0, I can even make it more simple.
So now I've got my character completely stitched together with a minimum of effort. It makes a very easy way to connect open edges together. Now the Polygon Bridge tool really does have a few limitations, and that is it really does need edges that are open to each other on each side. So open edges, almost like two halves of a coconut, or something like that, and they need to have shells that are open and facing each other. Then, the geometry has to be pretty much the same between the two, and then it'll just do the rest.
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