Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Editing polygonal components, part of Maya Essentials 2: Polygonal Modeling Techniques.
Now as you start working with polygonal modeling, you are going to want to reshape your objects. You're going to want to move things around, make it a different shape than the standard primitives. So let me show you some of the basics of how polygonal objects are constructed and how you can do just simple basic editing of them. So let's go ahead and just create a simple box. So I'm going to go ahead and go into Polygon Primitives > Cube, and then just drag out a cube, and then drag up the height, and I'm going to hit 5 to shade.
And let's go ahead and give it a little bit more detail. So I'm going to keep this selected, go into the Channel Box and find polyCube1. And let's go ahead and make this Subdivisions 3 on each side. So I'm going to go ahead and highlight Width through Depth and just type in the number 3 just to give it a little bit more detail. Now this is a very basic polygonal object, and all polygonal objects have three basic components that comprise them. And these are really just the same as the three dimensions that we're using in Maya.
We can get to these in one of two ways, probably the most common way is to simply right-click over the object. If I right-click over this you'll see I get this marking menu, and in it I have all of my different components that I can select for my object. The most important ones we're going to look at are Vertex, Edges, and Faces. We also have some other ones, one is called UV, and that's for texturing the object. Multi mode allows you to select vertices, edges and faces, and Object mode allows you to go back to the original object.
So I'm going to go ahead and right- click, and let's start with Vertex. Now, as you can see, the display changes just a little bit, and I get these little dots here at the corners where all these lines intersect. A vertices is a point, it's the one- dimensional point of the object. Now each one of these is editable, so I can left-click and drag and say select that corner, and if I want I can go over to my Move tool, and I can start reshaping it.
So if I want to I can left- click and drag here, move this. If I want I can select multiple ones. So if I wanted to I could drag over here and select this entire corner and move it. Now in addition to vertices we have the lines connecting the vertices. So that's the next dimension, and that's called an Edge. If I right-click over this and go into Edge mode, you can see that now I can select any one of these lines. So if I select this line here by left-clicking on it, I can move the edge, in other words the line connecting these two vertices.
Now again just the same as with vertices I can select multiple edges. Now one of the nice things about Maya is that it does recognize connected edges. If I hover over say this middle one here and click on it I can select one, if I double-click on it I can select what's called an Edge Loop, and this allows me to move that detail around very quickly. This is great for adjusting things on very complicated models.
If you want to select something like this just double- click on it, and you can select a whole Edge Loop. Now the third component is called a Face. So let's go ahead and right-click over this and go into Face mode here, and as you notice here my cursor changes, and I'm selecting now the planes that are defined by the edges. So again, we have vertices, and we have the edges defined by the vertices, and now we have the planes defined by the edges.
So I can left-click on one of these and select it, and as you can see, I can move that face. Again, I can select multiple faces just by holding down the Shift key and moving those as well. Now if I want to deselect I can always just click somewhere where there's no geometry. Now if I double-click on a face I select the entire object. There is another way to select components in Maya, and that's using what's called Multi mode.
So again, if I right-click over this and go into Multi, this allows me to select faces, vertices, edges, really anything. Anything I click on, I can edit. And there are times when we will need to do that. But typically I tend to stick to vertices, faces, and edges because it's simpler and easier to understand. Now there is one more way to select these, and that's by using Component mode here.
So we can select by component type. So if I click on this button here, notice how these change. And this allows me to select points, faces, or edges. So if I select that I can select my edges, if I select this I can select faces. In some ways this is kind of an artifact of the way that Maya used to work, typically the marking menus is the best way to go. But there are some additional advantages you have to this and that we can select additional types of objects, but for most of what you're using the marking menus really are the way to go.
So, as you can see, there's a number of different ways to select the parts that comprise an object. And once you select those, you can edit and reshape your object anyway that you want.
- Creating and modifying polygonal objects
- Editing with reflection
- Smoothing objects
- Keeping faces together
- Using the Polygon Bridge tool
- Selecting and editing edge loops
- Spinning edges
- Working with objects history
- Modeling symmetrically
- Merging vertices
- Combining objects
- Using the Crease tool