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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.
When modeling Polygonal Objects, typically you start with a Primitive and then reshape that into something a little bit more complex. Now, in order to reshape it, you need to kind of get into the substructure of the object and move it around. Now, this substructure is called Components. So let me show you how this works. Let's start off with just a basic Cube. I am going to go ahead and drag it up to set my Height. I am going to hit 5 to shade it. And then I want a little bit more detail, so we have some stuff to work with.
So I am going to go here into my Channel Box, highlight my Subdivisions, Height, Width, and Depth. And just type in the number 4. So now I have got four Subdivisions on each side. So I have a little bit of detail to work with. Now, this particular box is made up of three types of Components. We have a three-dimensional object, and each Component represents one of the dimensions. In fact, let's go ahead and take a look at these. So if I right-click over these, I am going to go into my Marking menu, and I have three basic components: Vertex, Edge, and Face.
So let me show you what each of these are. So I am going to go ahead, right-click over to Vertex, and notice how all these little points come up. Now, each one of these points is a Vertex, and that's really just a point. And the point is what? One-dimensional object. So Vertex is just a point on the surface. Now, if we go here to Edge, you will notice I can click on the Edges, and the Edge is what? An Edge is a line. What's a line? A line requires two dimensions. It actually connects two vertices, or connects two single points with a line.
If I go into Face, well, that's a plane. And so that's the third dimensional object. So what we have is we have points, lines, and faces, or vertices, edges, and faces. Now, if I right-click over here, I also have a mode called Multi mode, which is actually very handy. And this allows me to pick anything. So I can just go here, and I can pick a Vertex. I can pick an Edge, or I can pick a Face.
Now, any one of these can be moved and manipulated to reshape the object. Now, before we do this, let's go ahead, and I want to show you one more way to select this. If we go up here into Component mode or select by Component Type, you will notice here that I also have Vertices, Edges, and Faces. So if I wanted to, I could actually select by Vertices, Edges, or Faces. Now, generally, I like to use the Marking menus. It's a lot faster.
This is really kind of almost like an archival way of working with this. I much prefer just going into Multi mode or Vertex, Edge, or Face mode and just selecting what I want, because it's so much faster. So what you can do is you can select Vertices, Edges, or Faces. So let's say, for example, we are in Vertex mode, and I wanted to reshape this. All I have to do is just rubber-band- select all of the Vertices, and notice how they show up in yellow. And then just select Move, Rotate, or Scale. So if I want to translate those, I just hit W, and I can move them.
If I want to make them bigger, I can make them bigger. And next thing I know, I am grabbing Vertices, and I am starting to reshape this object. So if I can move this out, and then if I wanted to Rotate it, Rotate these, I could do that as well. So as you notice here, you can just very easily start sculpting either a Vertex or a Face at time. So if I wanted to, for example, move Faces, now what happens when you move a Face? Well, basically what you are moving is you are moving the whole Face, the four Vertices and Edges on the side.
Or I can move Edges. So, for example, if I select this Edge here, I can also move that. So you can see how you can just start by just grabbing these Components or these Vertices and Edges and Faces, you can just basically kind of reshape something to your liking. Let's say I don't want that to be such a round corner. I could kind of cut it off and so on. Now, this is just a very beginning of Polygonal modeling, but knowing how to select Components within an object and move them around is probably the first thing that you need to know in how to model within Maya.
So go ahead and practice this and get used to selecting all the different Components and being able to reshape an object.
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