Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Modeling with Soft Select and Reflection, part of Learning Maya LT.
- When you edit the shape of an object using components there are many times when you'll want to model organically or symmetrically and so for that we have Soft Selection and Reflection. Let's take a look at Soft Selection first. I'm gonna select this simple box and right click over it and go into Vertex mode. Now I just want to select one of the top corners of this, so if I select just this vertex I can select that. Now another way to expand your selection is to hold down the Shift key and select the greater than sign.
So if I select greater than you can see how it expands my selection, less than shrinks it. So I'm gonna go ahead and just select that corner. Now if I were to move this around you could see how it's really not that organic, it's just moving those vertices around. And anything else around it doesn't look really all that good. But we can double click on the Move tool and go down to Soft Selection. Now we saw how this worked in relation to objects but we also can use it in relation to modeling.
So we have a Falloff mode here so I can fall this off by any amount that I want. And I can fall off either along the surface or using the volume. So it's either gonna measure it in 3D along the volume, or directly along that surface. So once I do that, I can now move this and you can see how this deforms a lot more organically. If I turn this off you can see that while I'm getting a kind of a not that organic of a deformation, but when I turn it on I can really get something fairly organic.
Now in this I have what's called the Falloff Radius which is how much this selection falls off. I have a Falloff Curve, which I can change, or I can use any number of Curve presets to change how this falls off. Now typically I stick to the first one or two of these, but you can do some very nice custom falloffs to get some good effects. And then also we have what's called Viewport Color.
So if we want we can turn it on and see this in the viewport. And by default it's red and yellow, but if you want you can click on any one of these dots and change it to whatever color you want. So if I select this dot here, I can change it from red to any other color I want. Now in addition to Soft Select we also have what's called Symmetry, or Reflection.
So if I want to I can turn on Symmetry for this area. So let's go ahead and just click off of this and turn on Symmetry. So let's say I wanted to manipulate this left to right. So if I go into Object mode here you can see that my red axis is my left to right, so the X axis is the one I can use. So if I turn on Symmetry object X and right click, go into Vertex mode you can see that as I start to select it's going to select symetrically.
In fact, let's go ahead and turn down our Falloff on our Soft Select here so we can see this a little bit better. So if I select just this side here, it's going to fall off, or not, I can certainly turn this on or off, and then I can move this. And notice how it's actually mirroring this around my object axis. Now this works because we have an object that is symmetrical along the X axis.
And how this works is that it basically gives this a tolerance, so if I select this vertex here it'll be anything within this tolerance. Now we don't have to work along one specific axis, we could certainly go along the Z axis. So if I reselect this, now this is on a reselect basis. So if I'm symmetrical around Z and change it here it's not gonna change until I reselect.
So it does the symmetry when you select the actual components. Now we can also do this around world X, Y, and Z. So I actually can do it around the actual world of the scene. And in this case it just depends on how the object is created. So if your object is not exactly symmetrical to the world, this may not work. But again, Object mode will work around the actual center of the object.
So as you can see these are some really nice ways to do symmetrical and soft modeling within Maya LT.
- Configuring viewports
- Selecting objects
- Rotating, scaling, and pivoting
- Working with the Attribute Editor
- Organizing scenes with layers
- Creating polygonal models
- Modeling polygonal meshes
- Creating materials
- Applying textures
- Animating objects
- Exporting assets to Maya or Unity