Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Selecting and editing edge loops , part of Maya Essentials 2: Polygonal Modeling Techniques.
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As you start modeling more and more complex objects, the placement of the detail within those objects becomes more important. You want your detail to flow along the natural lines of motion of your object. Particularly, if you want to deform and animate your objects, character animation is particularly important. So, when you place your detail, you want to pay attention to what are called Edge Loops, and those are basically just loops of edges that define the detail in lines of motion of the object.
So here I have a very simple character, and it's actually composed of several pieces. We have a lower body and upper body, a head, and the eyes as well. But let's just focus on the torso and the upper body. So if I select this you'll see that this is built out of a fairly regular type of geometry. We have loops of edges here that go around the body as well as around the arms, and those loops of edges really define the profile of the character.
Now, if we want, we can select those edges or those edge loops. So if I right-click over this and go into Edge mode here. I can select one edge, and I have that. But I really want to select the loop of edges. Now I can do that in two ways. If I double-click on in the edge that will select the select the edge loop, or if I select a single edge loop and hit the right arrow key, it will also select that. So you can either double-click or right arrow. Now once I have this I can start editing.
So if I wanted to, I can move this to basically reshape this. I could scale it and make him skinnier or fatter if I wanted to. Another thing you can do is you can select successive edge loops. So let's say I'm working here on the character's arm, and I select say, for example, this one here, and I right arrow to select the loop. Now if I left arrow, I can start stepping through the loops. And again, right and left arrow then allow you to step through the loops.
So again, if I select one edge, I can right or left arrow to select the loop and then move through and basically just step through each one of these loops. So this is a really easy way to select parts of your model. Now another way to select parts of the model is to use what are called Edge Rings. Okay, so edge loops basically in this case is the horizontal loop of edges here, but we also have the vertical edges. Now if I double-click on one of these, I can get an edge loop that goes around the front of the character.
But let's say I wanted this ring of edges here. I can do that simply by selecting one of these vertical edges, and then hitting the up or down Arrow. So if I do that, it selects what's called the edge ring, and that's kind of similar to an edge loop, but what it more represents is basically both this loop and that loop. And so we have basically selected these edges, but also these vertices. So this might be an easier way to, for example, skinny up the character or make him a little bit heftier, and we can also scale these up or down if we wanted to.
And again, if we go up or down arrow, we can step through these edge rings as well. So those are some really simple ways to select edge loops and edge rings, and as you start working with more complex models, you'll find that these tools help a lot in selecting within complex geometry.
- 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