Join Ryan Kittleson for an in-depth discussion in this video Making the roll bars, part of Modeling Vehicles in Maya.
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The rollbar is an interesting object to model. It's basically two pieces of metal tubing that have been welded together. This is going to involve a little bit of polygonal surgery. Once you learn these techniques, you'll use them when modelling all kinds of welded things like bicycle frames and machinery. All right, let's look at our exercise file. I've already created a few pieces to start with. So for one, the main part of the rollbar, I just created this torus. I lined it up with the blueprints, and I also changed the number of height subdivisions from the standard 20 to 10, just to make it a little bit easier to work with.
Then looking at the supporting brace, I also set the number of subdivisions to 10 and then I just placed this wherever it should go, just lined it up with the reference here. You can see that our torus did a really good job of getting the shape of the top of the rollbar where it's a really nice half circle. Let's get the bottom half. I'm going to go into Face mode, and just delete the bottom half here. Now to get the straight part, I'm just going to go into the Edge mode and let's double-click some edges here and hold down Shift and double-click some more and we'll just extrude them down.
Now you might think that you could just grab this arrow right here, but it's not going to extrude both sides the same way. I'm going to hit Z to undo that and we'll just into Move mode with W. We'll just move this down. Now one thing to look out for is that in your tool Settings, you might have this set to World. So if this is on World, and if you try to move it down, it's not going to be at the same angle. So make sure have an Object and we'll just move that down. Okay, let's close tool Settings now. Now for the surgical part, we need to cut some edges on these objects so that the two can be sort of welded together.
So what I want to do is go into the Interactive Split tool and we'll just cut some edges all the way around here. I'm just going to cut here and here. I just want to leave a little bit of gap, as well. Now this edge right here already kind of goes where I want it to go. I'm just going to click here and then right-click to lock it in. Then I'm going to hit W just to get out of the Interactive Split tool. Now let's just go and finish the rest up; right-click to lock it in. Now let's get out of the Interactive Split tool again and let's just delete all of these faces right here.
All right, so now, let's get the support brace lined up. I'm going to get out of Face mode here for the rollbar. Let's select this here now. What I want to do is go into Vertex mode. Let's just look at this in wireframe and let's just scoot this down out of the way so we can see it better. Also, something I want to do is just get rid of all of these faces right here. Let's go into Face mode and I'll just select all of these and then Ctrl+select the ones that I don't want to delete and let's hit Delete. Okay, great. Now let's go into Vertex mode and make sure this is lining up.
We'll just move this forward until we get kind of a gap. It's about the same as the size of the weld marks we see right here. I just want to leave a little gap like that. Now let's combine these two objects into one. Go ahead and click one, Shift+click the other and go to Mesh>Combine. Now let's fill in this gap. Let's use the Append Polygon tool. For this, go into Edit Mesh and click Append to Polygon tool. Now with this, what we want to do is click one edge on one side and then a corresponding edge on the other side and hit Enter to lock it in.
Now we'll just hit G to do the same thing all the way around. Now we could have used the Bridge tool like we've done before, but I just want to try out different techniques, different tools. The more you learn the more options you have. All right! Let's zoom out and see what this looks like with Smooth Preview turned on. Let's compare that to the photo. All right, not too bad. It looks like we could put a little bit more detail in here. Let me zoom in on the photo to get that welding mark in there better. So what I want to do, go out of Smooth Preview mode and let's insert some edge loops; one right there for a holding edge and another one right there.
Okay, let's see how this looks now. All right, even better. Let's zoom out now. Let's look at the photo reference again. I'll just zoom out here. You can see that there are a few more pieces to be done. There's a little support brace here and then there are little things that goes around here. However, those can be done with the same basic polygon modeling techniques that we've covered already. So there's really nothing new there. I'll let you handle that on your own. All right! So in this video, we've practiced joining together two objects and making them look like they were welded together, as well as a few other tips and tricks.
- Setting up Maya for modeling
- Using Blinn materials for modeling
- Importing a scanned or sculpted model
- Extruding polygons
- Modeling with image planes
- Dealing with body panels like the hood and doors
- Creating detailed tire tread
- Making the wheel rims
- Modeling the seats, steering wheel, and shifter
- Making rivets
- Working symmetrically