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Working with edge loops

From: Maya 2011 Essential Training

Video: Working with edge loops

One of the more important concepts to understand when working with Maya is the concept of Edge Loops. Now these are just groups of edges that form concentric loops around your model. And it's really important to organize your geometry in this way to make your model easy to manipulate as well as to form, particularly if you're doing character animation. Now I have a character here, and let's take a look at how his geometry is organized. If you notice here we've got loops of edges, in fact, I am going to go into Edge mode here. I am going to double-click on one of these edges here.

Working with edge loops

One of the more important concepts to understand when working with Maya is the concept of Edge Loops. Now these are just groups of edges that form concentric loops around your model. And it's really important to organize your geometry in this way to make your model easy to manipulate as well as to form, particularly if you're doing character animation. Now I have a character here, and let's take a look at how his geometry is organized. If you notice here we've got loops of edges, in fact, I am going to go into Edge mode here. I am going to double-click on one of these edges here.

You can see we've got loops of edges that just surround this character. And by selecting just the Edge Loops, I can actually step through parts of the character just by hitting the Left and Right Arrow. So, for example, if I go to his arm here, if I hit the Left and Right Arrow I can just step through this geometry very, very quickly and get from one place to another. Now Maya has a number of tools that allow us to manipulate both edges and Edge Loops, and let's take a look at some of those.

Let me go into Edit Mesh and in fact, I am going to tear off this menu, so we can actually just see everything. First of all, let's take a look at the Slide Edge tool. Now let's say I have this edge of the character selected. If I wanted to I could just move the edge. For example, if I have this edge here, this really isn't quite perpendicular. So if I start moving the edge you are going to see I am going to start reshaping the character. If we use the Slide Edge tool, this allows to actually move the edge along the surface without too much deformation.

So I am going to select this. Now notice how it gives me a little hint. It says Drag with the Middle Mouse Button (MMB) to slide. So all I have to do is Middle Mouse over this, and I can move this edge, and it'll pretty much maintain the shape of the character. So if I had to select this edge and then just hit the Right Arrow to select the whole edge loop. I can go again Slide Edge with my middle mouse button. I am using this for Edge Loops, but you also can just use it for individual edges as well, so I can just slide an individual edge.

And again, it's going to try and stick to that surface. So it is a great way to reorganize geometry without actually reshaping it. Now there are some other nice little tools that Maya has, and one is called the Spin Edge tool. Now this is actually new in Maya 2011, and in fact, let's go ahead and take this character here, and let's go ahead and play with the Spin Edge tool. Right-click over his face here and select this edge on his cheek. Now this particular tool, the Spin Edge tool is actually a tool that is best used with the keyboard.

So all I have to do is hold down Ctrl and Alt, or I believe that would be Option on the Mac, and just do right and left. And what we can do is we can actually spin this geometry to line it up better. So, for example, if maybe this edge coming this way is not right for what you want to do, you can put it there. And now I have a complete set of lines to go from here to here, and this may actually be a better way to reorganize the character's cheek, for example. By using the left and right arrows along with Ctrl and Alt, I can actually spin those edges.

So these are some basic tools for manipulating edges and edge loops within a model. Now go ahead and use these to keep edge loops of your model organized, so that it makes it easy to deform and manipulate.

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This video is part of

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Maya 2011 Essential Training

115 video lessons · 26068 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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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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