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Maya 2009 Essential Training is designed to provide a strong foundation in this 3D modeling, rendering, and animation tool. George Maestri covers everything from the basics of the interface to bringing models to life with complex animation. He explores object manipulation, NURBS, UV editing, paint effects, and mental ray rendering. George demonstrates Maya's full functionality by building a robot from scratch. Exercise files accompany the course.
Let's go a little bit deeper into Polygonal Editing. I am going to go ahead and start by creating a sphere, let's just go ahead and create a default sphere and shade that and then if I want to I can edit this just by right-clicking and selecting Vertex. Now if I wanted to actually reshape this, I could just take those vertices and move them around. Now one of the things you will notice very quickly when you start moving a large groups of vertices is that you get kind of hard edges around the points where you move those. If you want, you can actually modify this a little bit more organically by using Soft Selection. So how you do that is you basically double-click on any one of these tools, any one of the Move, Rotate or Scale tools.
So let's go ahead and play with the Move tool. If I double-click on that, you will see I get my Move Tool Settings. If I scroll down you will see a little section here called Soft Selection, this is really handy. If you turn on Soft Select, you can actually dial in the Radius over which this is affected. So everything, every vertex that I have selected, in fact, I can un-select and reselect these, now has the falloff. So everything I have selected will move 100% and then over the Radius of, in this case, 4.76 it will fade off to zero.
That's way to look at this is just to say okay, let's just go ahead and play with this. You can see now instead of moving just those vertices, I get a nice falloff which gives me a really nice way to model organically. So I can actually reshape this and make this look a lot more organic. Now this works not just for the Move tool but also for the Rotate and the Scale tool. Now you have to make sure that it's turned on and if you have turned it off for one tool, it will default to all the other tools. When you go to Rotate, you don't have to actually turn it on again. It will inherit the settings from whatever you had from the last tool.
Now some of the nice things you can do with this is you can actually do different types of curve presets so that it will falloff in different ways, linearly, parametrically, you can make it so that it actually creates like a little bump here, like that. So you can make all sorts of curves. In fact, you can actually dial in your old curve by using this Curve Editor, all you have to do is just left-click on anyone of these and you could make your own curve. So if you left-click here, you can actually create your own falloff curve. If you want to get rid of this, all I have to do is hit that little X and that will get rid of anyone of those.
And then if you want to, you could actually give it your own color. If for some reason you are afraid of the color red, you can certainly change that color to blue or whatever. So you could actually make whatever color falloff you want. You can go from blue to green or green to blue rather than red to yellow and that's just to display thing. You can also go what's called Reflection. Now what Reflection does is it actually finds the vertices on the opposite side of the model allows you to edit those as well. This probably works better on a fresh model. In fact, I am going to go ahead, right-click, go to Object Mode, delete it. Let's go ahead and start with a new sphere and then let's go ahead and turn on Soft Select and make sure that Reflection is turned on, right-click, go to Vertex and select some vertices.
Now notice how we have got this Reflection turned on. If I am going to model something organically and I want to make sure that it's symmetrical, all I have to do is turn on that Reflection and that will reflect around, whatever axis I select. In this case, it's the X axis, so anything on positive X, again, x is red. So on positive X it will move negative on the opposite side. Now this is for things that are created along the X axis.
Now this is reflective along the pivot point of the object. So if I go and select the actual object itself, you will see that that's where it's reflecting off the pivot point of that object. If I move the pivot of the object, the reflection point will change as well. So as you can see, this is a very handy tool for organic and soft modeling. Now another way to select polygonal objects or really any sort of component is by using Paint Select. So I am going to go ahead and create a polygonal sphere here and shade it. And let's just go into Face Mode here and normally if I want to select something, I can just Shift Select or Rubber-band Select or Lasso Select. But we also have what's called a Paint Select tool. So all I have to do is select this, in fact, if I double- click on it, you have got some options here and I can just start painting my selection.
Now I have basically a brush that allows me to paint that selection. If I want to size the brush, I can do it one of two ways. I can go into the Tool Options and just give it a Radius of what I want or the more interactive way is to hold down the B key, B for brush and then just left-click and drag. So this also works really well with the tablet and this is also an introduction to the Artist and Painting interface within Maya, which you can use for a lot of other things.
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