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- 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
Skill Level Beginner
Texturing polygonal surfaces is a little bit different than NURBS surfaces. Polygonal surfaces have their own set of tools for precisely applying a texture map such as a bitmap or a procedural map. So let's go ahead and start off with a simple cube and shade that. Let's go ahead and just apply a simple texture. Let's apply a Lambert. Now for this we want to import something like a bitmap, so that we can have something to apply to this. So I am just going to go and create a render node.
And this time I am going to actually do a File. Just use that Donut image that we've been playing with here. So in order to see this in the window, I need to do what's called Hardware Texturing. You can see that what's happened is it's kind of mapped this donut image-- However it decided it was the best way to map this image, it mapped it. Well, if we want more precise control, we can do that by creating what's called UVs.
So we go into our Polygonal menu set and we go under Create UVs. In fact, I am going to tear this off. We've got a number of different options here and each one of those can map the entire surface or can map groups of faces. So remember how we applied materials to groups of faces? We can do the same thing with this. We can just select an individual face and map that individual face. Right now, I am just going to go ahead and map the whole cube, so we can kind of see how this works.
So when I do planar mapping, what it does is it creates this object that maps a plane. So all I have to do is grab the edges of this object, and move it, and I can manipulate it. In fact, if I go into the Attribute Editor, you'll see there is actually a node that's created called polyPlanarProjection. I can actually manipulate the values here. So let's say, well, I actually want it from the top-down as well, then I can just take that away and maybe rotate it along the X axis for example and that will go ahead and make this go from the top-down.
And really you can manipulate this however you want. You can even rotate it. There are all sorts of parameters here that you can play with. Now, if we don't want Planar Mapping, we've got a number of other ones. We've got Cylindrical Mapping, which creates as you can see here, it creates a bit of a cylinder and we can scale the cylinder. We can move it up and down. We can do what's called Spherical Mapping, which again very simply it creates a sphere. So it projects that texture from a sphere around the object.
Now, for a cube, that might not work as well. There is another one called Automatic Mapping and what this does is it projects from each plane. So, for example, every side gets its own image plane and then I can give it as many planes as I want right here. I can give it a scale. I can do all sorts of things. So this actually is probably the best for mapping generically. There is also one called Best Plane Texture tool, and again for all of these, you need to be in Object mode.
So make sure you go into Object mode. Another one is called Create UVs Based on Camera, and that will actually project it from the direction that you're looking at. Now all of this is great, but let's go ahead and use this in a more precise context. Let's go ahead, and use it in a more of a real life example. So I am going to go ahead and open a scene called Dog_11 and that's our famous little dog here. So let's go ahead and start off with his head, and let's apply a texture map to his head.
Now I've created a map that maps precisely from the side. So what I've done is I've actually taken a side view of him and actually created a texture map that worked well from this view and that actually makes it much easier to map, because he is symmetrical. So let's go ahead and first of all just place the map on and see what that does. So I am going to go ahead and create a Lambert material, click on Render Node, go into File, and there should be a file out there called Dog_Head.
Now this looks kind of weird, but bear with me. This will actually work really well. Well, it looks super weird now, because it's really not mapped all that well to his head. But we can do a Create UVs to actually make this work. So we are going to go ahead and do Planar Mapping. Wow! That's almost perfect. So I want to make sure that I'm projecting along with the rotation here of 90 degrees and my Projection Width and Projection Height seem pretty good. Actually, I probably can raise his brow a little bit, but this is actually looking pretty good just the first time out.
You'll notice there is a little spot on the back of his head, so I can just again expand that and off you go. So that's one way. Let's go ahead, right-click and go back into Object mode. So now I've got that map on his head. If I want, I can also create a texture map for his eye. Now typically, how I create a simple pupil is I use what's called a ramp for the Render Node. So let's go ahead and apply a Phong E, which gives him kind of a glassy eyed look and then under Color, let's go ahead and put in a Ramp.
Well, that doesn't look right. Well, this doesn't look right either. I am going to look at this texture sample here. I want to make sure that I set it to Type: Circular Ramp. So again, I'm looking here, not here. We will map this a little bit later here. What I want to do is make sure that my internal color is black, and then each one of these colors is white, because it's just going to be a black-and-white eye. I am really tight on space here, so bear with me.
Then I just want to move this here. So now I've got, you can see basically what I am doing is I am creating a circle here. Now I have to map this here. Well, again we can do that by using a planar map. So I am going to do Create UVs > Planar Mapping. Now, this one is going the wrong way. So I need to rotate this. So I am going to go ahead and zero this out and see what that does. That actually works pretty good except it needs to rotate a little bit more. So I am going to do negative say about 20 or so, and maybe even a little bit more, maybe 22 or 23.
Again, what I am trying to do is line this up, so that this is rotated so that that spot is centered, so maybe even 24 degrees. That actually looks pretty good. So if I want, I can actually take that polyPlanarProjection and again I can scale it. If I want this to be a little bit more circular, I can do it that way as well. So now I will go back into Object mode and you can see I have my eye. Now, for this eye, well, I have already got it mapped. So I am just going to go ahead and delete this and just do Ctrl+D and move the other one over, so that way I don't have to repeat that process and there we go.
Let's go ahead and fix his ears. Let's go ahead and finish this guy up. So I am going to go ahead and select his ears and just right-click, Assign Existing Material, and that's going to be the black for his ears. And one more. We need to go ahead and select the head, and let's go ahead and get that nose. Then I go ahead and select Face, and then just lasso-select all the faces on the head, right-click, and again he is going to have a black nose.
So there we go, so, there. So now our dog is completely textured. As you can see, we've used several different methods of assigning materials by polygon and also mapping him.