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Maya 2011 Essential Training
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Working with Soft Select


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Maya 2011 Essential Training

with George Maestri

Video: Working with Soft Select

Now there are times when you want to do a little bit more organic modeling to your polygonal object, and those are the times when you want to use Soft Selection. So let's go ahead and make a sphere, our best friend here, this sphere, and let's go ahead and shade that, and let's go ahead and just right-click over it, go into Vertex mode, and just select a kind of a random arrangement of vertices towards the top here. Let's just go ahead and move those. Now, you'll notice, if I move these, and they are not selected radially or linearly, you're going to start to get kind of all these creases and this kind of crunchiness, and it's not really going to look right, because you're going to have these kind of sharp edges.
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 34s
    2. Using the exercise files
      26s
    3. A note on screen resolution
      1m 50s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of the Maya interface
      7m 42s
    2. Working with files and Maya projects
      2m 27s
    3. Navigating viewports
      5m 56s
    4. Reviewing the Viewport menus
      6m 28s
    5. Configuring safe frames and grids
      3m 21s
    6. Selecting objects
      4m 33s
    7. Using the Move tool
      3m 48s
    8. Rotating and scaling
      4m 31s
    9. Manipulating pivots
      3m 59s
    10. Understanding the Channel Box
      5m 36s
    11. Working with the Attribute Editor
      2m 28s
    12. Using the Hotbox
      2m 59s
    13. Working with marking menus
      3m 6s
    14. Customizing the interface
      3m 36s
  3. 59m 25s
    1. Creating polygonal objects
      6m 28s
    2. Working with polygonal components
      4m 42s
    3. Selecting polygonal components
      5m 44s
    4. Working with Soft Select
      7m 3s
    5. Using the Extrude tool
      6m 47s
    6. Keeping faces together
      2m 42s
    7. Extruding along curves
      3m 27s
    8. Using the Polygon Bevel tool
      4m 14s
    9. Smooth and subdivision surfaces
      7m 6s
    10. Blocking out a character body
      11m 12s
  4. 36m 6s
    1. Working with edge loops
      3m 27s
    2. Inserting and offsetting edge loops
      3m 38s
    3. Symmetrical modeling techniques
      5m 53s
    4. Combining objects
      3m 50s
    5. Using the Polygon Bridge tool
      2m 7s
    6. Connecting components and splitting polygons
      2m 48s
    7. Poking and wedging faces
      2m 49s
    8. Working with polygon booleans
      3m 17s
    9. Modeling with nonlinear deformers
      4m 54s
    10. Modeling with lattices
      3m 23s
  5. 1h 18m
    1. Introducing NURBS modeling
      5m 3s
    2. NURBS primitives
      5m 54s
    3. Using the NURBS curve tools
      5m 7s
    4. Creating Bézier curves
      1m 59s
    5. Creating text
      3m 51s
    6. Manipulating NURBS curves
      4m 13s
    7. Refining NURBS curves
      4m 16s
    8. Offsetting NURBS curves
      2m 31s
    9. Editing NURBS surfaces
      7m 3s
    10. Refining NURBS surfaces
      7m 22s
    11. Using NURBS Revolve
      7m 31s
    12. Using NURBS Loft
      4m 11s
    13. Using NURBS Extrude
      6m 0s
    14. Using NURBS Planar
      4m 47s
    15. Stitching NURBS surfaces
      8m 52s
  6. 35m 53s
    1. Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces
      5m 57s
    2. Creating curves on a surface
      3m 53s
    3. Projecting curves on surfaces
      7m 2s
    4. Trimming NURBS surfaces
      3m 42s
    5. Using the NURBS Fillet tool
      5m 31s
    6. Sculpting NURBS and polygonal surfaces
      5m 52s
    7. Converting NURBS to polygons
      3m 56s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Working with the Outliner
      4m 58s
    2. Grouping objects
      4m 2s
    3. Creating hierarchies
      4m 17s
    4. Duplicating objects
      4m 51s
    5. Understanding the Hypergraph
      3m 32s
    6. Working with Hypergraph connections
      2m 31s
    7. Hiding and showing objects
      2m 12s
    8. Creating layers
      4m 2s
    9. Working with selection masks
      2m 57s
  8. 40m 18s
    1. Overview of renderers
      3m 24s
    2. Understand the basics of materials
      6m 15s
    3. Creating and applying maps
      5m 13s
    4. Using bitmaps as texture
      2m 59s
    5. Working with the Hypershade window
      5m 12s
    6. Working with mental ray materials
      6m 57s
    7. Using displacement and bump mapping
      3m 14s
    8. Using the Ramp Shader
      2m 36s
    9. Using the 3D Paint tool
      4m 28s
  9. 30m 14s
    1. Texture-mapping NURBS surfaces
      5m 46s
    2. Projecting textures onto surfaces
      4m 0s
    3. Texture-mapping polygonal surfaces
      7m 0s
    4. Applying UV mapping
      8m 11s
    5. Using the UVW Editor
      5m 17s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Creating joints
      10m 2s
    2. Deforming a mesh using the Skin tool
      5m 2s
    3. Creating IK handles
      6m 48s
    4. Creating blend shapes
      5m 39s
    5. Rigging nonlinear deformers
      2m 36s
    6. Finalizing the character
      4m 45s
    7. Rigging the character to the scooter
      6m 24s
  11. 1h 5m
    1. Working with the Timeline
      4m 16s
    2. Creating and adjusting keys (keyframes)
      5m 4s
    3. Editing keys
      3m 13s
    4. Modifying keys in the Graph Editor
      5m 47s
    5. Modifying keys in the Dope Sheet
      2m 51s
    6. Creating breakdown keys
      2m 28s
    7. Animating objects along paths
      5m 54s
    8. Animation playback using Playblast
      3m 10s
    9. Animating with constraints
      6m 16s
    10. Creating animation cycles
      8m 25s
    11. Using set-driven keys
      6m 13s
    12. Adding sound to animations
      2m 24s
    13. Finishing the animation
      9m 45s
  12. 1h 2m
    1. Lights and lighting types in Maya
      7m 29s
    2. Adding depth-map shadows
      4m 13s
    3. Using Raytrace shadows
      3m 28s
    4. Understanding the basics of cameras
      7m 14s
    5. Adding depth of field
      6m 31s
    6. Adding Bokeh using mental ray
      4m 33s
    7. Using motion blur in Maya Software Renderer
      4m 10s
    8. Using motion blur in mental ray
      3m 5s
    9. Raytracing reflections and refractions
      4m 41s
    10. Interactive rendering with IPR
      3m 33s
    11. Lighting a scene
      8m 29s
    12. Batch rendering
      4m 53s
  13. 25s
    1. Goodbye
      25s

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Maya 2011 Essential Training
9h 8m Beginner Jun 01, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Getting familiar with the Maya interface
  • Organizing scenes
  • Creating hierarchies
  • NURBs modeling for solid objects
  • Adding color to models
  • Applying bitmap textures
  • Working with mental ray materials
  • Polygonal modeling for characters and organic objects
  • Deforming with the Skin tool
  • Setting up lights and cameras
  • Creating realistic effects such as depth of field
  • Working with the Timeline
  • Creating animation cycles
  • Batch rendering
  • Rendering with the mental ray engine
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
George Maestri

Working with Soft Select

Now there are times when you want to do a little bit more organic modeling to your polygonal object, and those are the times when you want to use Soft Selection. So let's go ahead and make a sphere, our best friend here, this sphere, and let's go ahead and shade that, and let's go ahead and just right-click over it, go into Vertex mode, and just select a kind of a random arrangement of vertices towards the top here. Let's just go ahead and move those. Now, you'll notice, if I move these, and they are not selected radially or linearly, you're going to start to get kind of all these creases and this kind of crunchiness, and it's not really going to look right, because you're going to have these kind of sharp edges.

That's what happens with polygonal modeling when you just select individual components and you move them around. Now, I'm going to go ahead and undo this. Let's go ahead over to our Move tool, and I'm going to double-click on this, and it's going to bring up the Tool settings. Now, another way to get to this is to go to the top-right, and hit this little Wrench icon, and that will go ahead and bring up that same menu. Now these are our Move Tool settings and if we go down here, you'll notice there is a roll out here called Soft Selection.

Now what this does is it enables me to falloff the selection. You notice when I click this on, all of a sudden this kind of falloff comes up on this sphere. So now when I move my vertices, it's actually kind of falling off towards the end of the sphere. So now I'm getting a much more organic deformation. Now, you can determine how much of a falloff you get by just working with this falloff radius here.

If it's small, you'll just deal with just a small area, and you can also make it large and deal with almost the whole sphere. So let's go ahead and dial this down a little bit so we can play with it. We also have what's called Interpolation. So what we can do is we can actually play with this falloff curve to determine exactly how it falls off. Right now, we have got a very smooth falloff curve, but we also have these presets. So I can click on these and change the way that the falloff happens.

So each one of these has a very different effect, like this one kind of has like a double bump in the middle. So it's actually kind of doing this, and this one here is like kind of a little different. So each one may or may not work for you. This one is kind of a stair-step effect. Again, each one is very, very different. I'm going to go back to the initial preset and if you want, you can also make your own preset as well. All you have to do is just left-click on this curve, and you can change it to whatever you want. Move it up or down, left or right.

I can also add more if I want. If I want to get rid of these, all you have to do is hit that little X right there, and they go away. Now, in addition to this, we also have what's called the Falloff Color. This basically is just a feedback color. So typically it goes from yellow to red to black, which is fine, and I typically just leave it at the default. But if for some reason, you don't want to use red, or if it maybe is conflicting with your model or something like that, you can change the color very easily.

All you have to do is select one of these, and just click on the Color, and the Color Picker comes up, and you can basically choose whatever color you want. So now it goes from cyan to red, and I'm just going to go ahead and put that back to yellow, just to put it back to default. Now, another thing you can do is change the way that we falloff by doing what's called the Falloff mode. Now, there are four different Falloff modes. One is called Volume, which is the default. Now, this is actually just determines a volume of falloff.

So basically it just kind of creates a circle around whatever it is that you select. Surface walks along the actual surface of the object. So, for example, if you had a teapot with a spout going out, it would actually have to go along the surface in order to get to those vertices. Sometimes that's a little bit more handy. Now, the one I really like is called Global. Now, this works a little bit differently. So I'm actually going to have to model a second object here. So I'm going to go back into Object mode, and I'm going to go ahead and move the sphere up above this grid here, and I'm going to go ahead and select Polygonal Plane.

I'm going to go ahead and draw plane on the surface, and again, I want to give a little bit of detail. So I'm going to go into Inputs and for Subdivisions for Width and Height, let's go ahead and just type in 8. So I've got a little bit more detail here on this plane. So now I've got two objects. I've got the actual sphere and the plane. Notice how now when I select the sphere, it's actually affecting the plane. That's because I have Global turned on. If I go back to Volume, it's just going to affect the volume within the sphere.

If I go to Surface, again, it goes along the surface. If I go to Global, it actually affects separate objects that are nearby. So, for example, if I selected just the vertices on the bottom, you'll notice that now it's kind of jumping the gap to this particular plane. So I can actually move these vertices and actually have the plane follow along. This is really cool. And even if I go into Object mode, I can actually use this almost as kind of like a magnet way to manipulate that surface.

So I think that's actually pretty cool. I'm going to go back into Object mode and delete this, and I'm going to put myself back to Volume mode. In fact, I'm going to take off Soft Select here. I'm going to show you one more thing, and that's called Reflection Settings. Now, with any object, you can also do what's called Reflection. So if you want to do some metrical modeling, you can do it. So I'm going to go ahead back into Vertex mode, select some vertices, and now when I turn on Reflection, notice how the vertices on the opposite side show up. So now, I can model symmetrically, and I can reflect this around any axis that I want.

So if I want it to reflect around the Y axis, the Z axis, in this particular case, we want to reflect along X, which you can see is the right-left axis here, we can do that. We can also do that with Soft Select to actually do both. So I can actually do reflective modeling with Soft Select to get very organic modeling, and make it symmetrical, so if you're modeling a character or something and you want to work on the left-side, you can also have the right-side follow along.

So those are some of the basics of Soft Select, which really works well for organic modeling. I'm sure you'll be using a lot of these techniques as you build things like characters and other organic objects.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Maya 2011 Essential Training.


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Q: The Chapter 2 exercise file dog_reference.mb appears blank when opened in Maya. I can't see the dog image. What do I do?
A: Make sure you are working with the most current version of the exercise files for this course from the lynda.com site. Try downloading the files again. If the image still doesn't appear, make sure the project folder is set to the matching (Chap02) folder in the exercise files.
 
Also check to make sure you have "hardware texturing" enabled under the viewport's Shading menu.
 
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