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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.
Now, anybody who has done 3D modeling will probably be familiar with booleans. Booleans allow you to take multiple objects and combine them to either add or subtract detail from each author. So, let's go ahead and start off with a very simple situation. I am going to go ahead and start off with a cube here. Then, inside of it, I am going to draw a little bit of a cylinder. I am going to go ahead and move that cylinder up. Let's shade everything so we can see what we've got here.
So, now I have got this cylinder, and it's kind of poking into this cube. So, what I want to do is use this cylinder as kind of a cutting tool to actually cut into the surface of the cube. We can do that by using booleans. Now, booleans are actually found underneath the Mesh menu, and there is actually a sub-menu here, because there are three types of booleans. There is Union, Difference, and Intersection. So, let's take a look at how these work. In fact, I am going to turn on X-ray and also turn on Wireframe unshaded, so you can kind of see what we have got here.
So, I am going to go ahead and select my cube first and my cylinder second. Let's just go ahead and go down to these. So, go ahead and take a look at Union. What Union does is it actually combines the two into one object. So, let's go ahead and turn off X- ray, so we can actually see this. Now, I've got both of these combined into one object. But also, their faces are kind of welded together. So, for example, if I were to model this, you can see how it all kind of sticks together. So, if I were to take, for example, some of these vertices, it all kind of holds together.
So, I am going to go ahead and undo this. Turn on x-ray again, so we can see what happens. Now, the next one is called Difference. What this is a great way to cut holes. In fact, let's off x-ray so you can actually see how this works shaded. So, when I select the Difference, what's this is going to do is the last object picked is going to cut a hole in the first object it picked. Now, this is a great way to create a little bit of a hole in the cube. So, let's go ahead and undo that, and we are going to one more. Let's see what Intersection looks like. An intersection really carves away everything but what's common to both.
So, in this case, it will be just that lower part of the cylinder. Let's go ahead and go back to Difference. I am going to go ahead and select this, and let's do Difference again. One of the things I want to show is that boolean is great for creating these sorts of surfaces. But as soon as the surface starts to deform, you are going to have problems. So, I really recommend booleans just for what I will call hard surfaces, things that don't change shape. Because as soon as you start modeling into a surface that's had booleans, you are going to start to get really weird artifacts.
So, for example, if I wanted to move these around, you are going to start to get like creases. You can kind of see this crease coming up here. When you go to render, if you've changed the shape of the object in any way after you do a boolean, there is a possibility that you are going to get creases and wrinkles and all sorts of weird effects on your object. Booleans work great, but they are really best for hard surface, solid objects that don't deform.
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