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Polygonal

Modeling
Polygonal Modeling

9 Polygonal Modeling 407


Introduction to polygonal modeling 408
Solids 408
Polygonal surfaces 408
Texturing polygons 409
Importing foreign polygonal objects 409
Menus for polygonal modeling 410
Selecting polygonal objects and components 411
Hotkeys for polygonal modeling 415
Using the construction history 417
Using actions and tools 417
Quick start 417

10 Learning the Basics 427


Creating a polygonal sphere 429
Setting Sphere options 430
Creating a polygonal cube 431
Setting Cube options 432
Creating a polygonal cylinder 433
Setting Cylinder options 434
Creating a polygonal cone 436
Setting Cone options 437
Creating a polygonal plane 438
Setting Plane options 439
Creating a polygonal torus 440
Setting Torus options 441

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Contents

Creating polygonal text 442


Creating a polygon 443
Repositioning a point 443
Setting Create Tool options 446
Appending facets to a polygon 448
Making a hole in a polygon 449
Setting Append Tool options 450
Splitting facets 453
Setting Split Tool options 454
Moving vertices 456
Setting Move Vertex Options 457
Changing the pivot 458
Best way of moving vertices, facets, or edges 458
Moving facets 460
Setting Move Facet options 461
Changing the pivot 462
Moving edges 463
Setting Move Edge options 464
Changing the pivot 465
Subdividing edges or facets 466
Setting Subdivision options 467
Keeping facets together 469
Creating an extrusion 470
Extruding perpendicular to the geometry 471
Repeating extrusions 471
Changing an extrusion 471
Changing the extrusion mode 471
Using the local and global pivot 472
Changing the pivot 472
Setting Extrusion options 476
Deleting edges 478

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Deleting vertices 479


Deleting facets 480

11 Beyond the Basics 481


Collapsing edges or facets 483
Softening and hardening edges 486
Setting Soften/Harden Edge options 488
Closing a border 489
Merging edges 490
Setting Merge Edge options 491
Beveling polygons 492
Setting Bevel options 493
Extracting parts of polygons 496
Extracting perpendicular to the geometry 496
Changing the extraction 496
Changing the pivot 497
Setting Extraction options 498
Duplicating parts of polygons 500
Duplicating perpendicular to the geometry 500
Changing the duplicate 500
Changing the pivot 501
Setting Duplicate options 502
Triangulating 504
Quadrangulating 505
Setting Quadrangulate options 505
Trimming facets 510
Setting Trim Facet options 510
Changing the normals 512

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Uniting polygons 514


Separating polygons 515
Smoothing polygons 516
Setting the Smooth option 517
Using smart command settings 519
Applying an action to several components 520
Cancelling smart command settings 521

12 Texturing Polygons 523


Mapping polygons 524
Creating a projection 525
Map-positioning manipulators 526
U and V space 526
Example of projecting maps 527
Making a planar map 528
Using the planar mapping manipulators 532
Setting Planar Projection options 533
Changing the projection center 536
Changing the projection scale 537
Making a cylindrical map 538
Using the cylindrical mapping manipulators 539
Setting Cylindrical Projection options 541
Changing the projection center 542
Changing the projection scale width 542
Making a spherical map 543
Using the spherical mapping manipulators 544
Setting Spherical Projection options 546
Changing the projection center 547
Assigning a shader to each projection 548
The Texture View 549

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Using the Texture View 549


Moving texture coordinates 553
Displaying the Texture View manipulators 553
Mapping objects 554
Rendering the mapped object 557
Example of mapping a head 558
Setting Move UV options 561
Changing the pivot 561
Deleting a map 562
Cutting textures 563
Sewing textures 564

13 Using selection constraints 565


Selecting components 566
Constraints for facets 568
Constraints for vertices 577
Constraints for edges 579
Extending a selection 582

14 Examples of polygonal models 585


Making a hand 586
Using duplicates to work faster 589
Doing a negative scaling 593

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viii Using Maya: Modeling


9 Polygonal Modeling

This chapter provides an overview of polygonal modeling and explains how


to begin using the polygonal modeling features in Maya.

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Topics include:
• “Introduction to polygonal modeling” on page 408
• “Solids” on page 408
• “Polygonal surfaces” on page 408
• “Texturing polygons” on page 409
• “Importing foreign polygonal objects” on page 409
• “Menus for polygonal modeling” on page 410
• “Hotkeys for polygonal modeling” on page 415
• “Redefining hotkeys for polygonal modeling” on page 416
• “Using the construction history” on page 417
• “Quick start” on page 417

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Introduction to polygonal modeling

Introduction to polygonal modeling


To create polygonal models in Maya, you should be familiar with some
underlying concepts. This section defines what polygons are and provides
some basics on working with polygonal models once they are created.
You can use polygons to construct and control objects. Polygons are shapes
formed from a sequence of line segments. Polygons, unlike curves and
surfaces which are NURBS-based, are based on a standard B-Rep structure.
B-Rep stands for Boundary Representation.
Many shapes in Maya can be started using primitives or basic shapes.
Primitives are pure shapes that can be used as the basis of creating more
complex models. To create a primitive, select Primitives → Create Polygons
and select the primitive you want to create. For more information on
primitives, see “Learning the Basics” on page 427.
A facet is defined as the linkage of vertices. It can be convex or concave, and
may contain holes. A facet can be non-planar, but you are advised to keep
them planar. A polygonal object is a set of connected facets. When it is
closed, it forms a solid.
With polygonal modeling, you can perform many operations such as
extrusion or shape modification.
Solids
A solid consists of facets meshed together to create a closed volume. Each
edge in a solid is shared by exactly two facets.
A solid always has an inside and outside defined by the direction of the
normals. A normal refers to a directional line perpendicular to a surface.
When you’re standing on the floor, the direction normal to the surface is
straight up and down, with the surface of the floor being zero. This makes it
easy to mathematically describe a position anywhere on that line.
You can create solids either directly as primitives (spheres, cylinders, cones,
boxes, or torus) by conversion from closed surfaces, or from non-solid
polygonal objects handled with polygonal operations (such as Close
Border).
Polygonal surfaces
A polygonal surface consists of facets meshed together, but not enclosing a
volume. Each edge is shared by one (at the surface borders) or two facets.
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Introduction to polygonal modeling

You can create polygonal surfaces either directly as primitives (meshes) by


conversion from NURBS surfaces, or from polygons that you make using the
polygon tools. You convert from NURBS to polygons, so you can optimize
for speed, precision, or flexibility as needed.
Texturing polygons
You can add texture maps to polygonal models with polygonal mapping
functions. A texture map is assigned to a polygonal model to give the model
more visual interest.
The example below shows a soda can made of polygons. Two different
labels are fitted or mapped around the cans to give them a distinct visual

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appearance. Once you have created the polygonal model and mapped a
texture to it, rendering is a fairly easy task.

A soda can with a map. The same soda can with another map.

You have a choice as to how the label is mapped onto the can. Because the
can is cylindrical in shape, cylindrical mapping is an obvious choice. For
more information on texturing polygons, see “Texturing Polygons” on page
523.
Importing foreign polygonal objects
Maya allows you to create only topologically valid polygonal objects, that is,
solids or surfaces. However, you can import inconsistent polygonal
descriptions from other systems, via CAD interfaces.

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Introduction to polygonal modeling

Non-valid polygonal objects can have a good topology to be a surface or a


solid but are not oriented correctly. For instance, a cube with some facet
normals pointing towards the inside whereas the others pointing towards
the outside. Therefore, Maya includes some normals-handling functions, like
Normals Reverse that quickly solve these types of errors.
Other non-valid objects often need more handling manipulations (as in the
case of a cube with one or more dangling facets sharing one of the cubes’
edges). You will find, however, that these are not very common.
From now on, we will use the simpler term polygon instead of polygonal
object.
Menus for polygonal modeling
The Polygon menu contains the set of actions and tools, with which you
create, edit, and manipulate polygonal objects. While pressing and holding
the Space bar in any view, click the word Polygons.

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You can view sub-menus for some items. For example, clicking Facets
displays related menu items.
A further set of menu items is available for creating and editing polygonal
primitives such as boxes and cones. While pressing and holding the Space
bar in any view, click the word Primitives, then the words Create Polygons.

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Selecting polygonal objects and components
The concept of Object selection and Component selection are important in
polygonal modeling. In Object selection mode, you are selecting entire
objects and you can select only objects. In Component selection mode, you
are selecting elements within objects—for example, when you want to move
a vertex. You can be in only one of these modes at a time. You’ll need to
switch from Object selection to Component selection when you want to
change a component of an object and vice versa. You can select four different
types of components: vertices, edges, facets, or UV points. You can switch
from one component mode to another, but you can select only one
component mode at a time.
Switching between Object and Component selection
To work on objects or components, you can switch between Object selection
mode and Component selection mode and vice versa:
• by pressing F8 (This acts as a toggle between Object and Component
selection; see “Hotkeys for polygonal modeling” on page 415.)

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• by clicking the Select by object type icon as shown:

Click to toggle on Object selection.

• by clicking the Select by component type icon as shown:

Click to toggle on Component selection.

Selecting a component
After you enter Component mode, you can select four types of
components—vertices, edges, facets, or UV points. When you click-drag a
selection in this mode, you can select only components. You can select a
component by using a function key, clicking an icon, or using the marking
menu. The component you select becomes the selected item and will be
highlighted in a view. The following sections explain the different methods
of selecting components.
To work on vertices:
Select an object and then use one of the following three ways to turn on
vertex selection:
• Press F9.
• Click the Select by component type icon.
With the right mouse button, click the Points icon and toggle Poly Vertices
on from the pop-up menu.

Click the Poly Vertices icon to toggle on vertex selection.

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• Place the pointer over the active object, and use the right mouse button to
select Vertex from the marking menu.

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In a view, drag to select Vertex.

To work on edges:
Select an object and then use one of the following three ways to turn on edge
selection:
• Press F10.
• Click the Select by component type icon.
With the right mouse button, click the Lines icon and toggle Poly Edges on
from the pop-up menu.

Click the Poly Edges icon to toggle on edge selection.

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• Place the pointer over the active object, and use the right mouse button to
select Edge from the marking menu.

In a view, drag to select Edge.

To work on facets:
Select an object and then use one of the following three ways to turn on facet
selection:
• Press F11.
• Click the Select by component type icon.
With the right mouse button, click the Facets icon and toggle Facets on from
the pop-up menu.

Click the Facets icon to toggle on facet selection.

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• Place the pointer over the active object, and use the right mouse button to
select Facet from the marking menu.

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In a view, drag to select Facet.

To work on UV points:
Select an object and then use one of the following three ways to turn on UV
point selection:
• Press F12.
• Click the Select by component type icon.
With the right mouse button, click the Parm Points icon and toggle Poly
UVs on from the pop-up menu.

Click the Poly UVs icon to toggle on UV point selection.

• Place the pointer over the active object, and use the right mouse button to
select Facet from the marking menu.
Hotkeys for polygonal modeling
Maya includes the following keyboard shortcuts:

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Introduction to polygonal modeling

Shortcut Function

F8 toggles between object and component selection


F9 vertex selection
F10 edge selection
F11 facet selection
F12 texture coordinate selection
W move
E rotate
R scale
G repeat an action
With the function keys, you can switch from one component to another
quickly and easily.
Redefining hotkeys for polygonal modeling
You can customize keyboard shortcuts as you like. For polygonal modeling,
you might find it handy to remap certain function keys, so they are closer to
other frequently used keys such as the Q, W, E, R, T, and Y. Select Options
→ Customize UI → Hotkeys and remap the keys as follows:

Default key Remap to


F8 '
F9 1
F10 2
F11 3
F12 4

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Introduction to polygonal modeling

By default, the single quote character (') is mapped to Set keyboard focus to
command line and the 1 is mapped to Low Quality Display Setting (the Z
Display option in NURBS). If you do not plan to use NURBS or the Set
keyboard focus to command line, then you can redefine these keys for
polygonal modeling.
Using the construction history
Construction history keeps track of the operations you do to build your
models. Because this history is associated with your model, it may slow
down the animation of your models unless you discard it. Therefore, you
should delete the construction history before doing an animation so that
animations run faster. Also, deleting the construction history before saving

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your models makes your models load faster.
You can change a particular item that is already part of the construction
history for a polygonal model the way you would any other modeling
operation. However, changing the topology of a particular item already part
of the construction history may in turn produce different results for
subsequent operations in the construction history.
For example, let’s say that you did an extrusion while you were creating
your models. If you go back to a previous item in the construction history
and subdivide a facet, it is difficult to predict which facet is extruded
subsequently in the construction history, and this affects the final result.
Using actions and tools
Once you start to do polygonal modeling, you apply actions for most tasks.
This means that you select an item and apply an action to it. For example,
Extrude is an action because you need to select an item before you can do
the extrusion.
For tools such as Create Polygon Tool, or Append Polygon Tool, you set
options in the tool’s option window, select the tool and then select the item.
Tools have the word Tool after them in the menu.
Quick start
You can master Maya's polygonal modeling with only a handful of
commands. By using four simple polygonal commands combined with the
Transform manipulators (Move, Rotate, and Scale Tools), and following a
few basic rules, you can get quick results in polygonal modeling.

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Introduction to polygonal modeling

To help you get started, this section outlines the basic steps of making a
polygonal hand. If you want to create the hand yourself, you should refer to
the following sections for more details on the commands. These commands
form the typical polygonal workflow and are explained in more detail as
you move through the polygonal modeling part.
Extrude
Transform Split
Create Smooth

Four basic polygonal modeling functions combined


with the Transform manipulators (Move, Rotate, and Scale).
This example shows how to create a polygonal model from scratch, extrude
it, split facets, and smooth it. The following examples provide an overview
of the workflow.
To begin building a hand:
1 Make a polygonal shape such as the following:
Create a polygon using either polygonal primitives (Primitives → Create
Polygons) or the Create Polygon Tool (Polygons → Create Polygon Tool).
For details, see “Creating a polygon” on page 443. As you can see, drawing
an object is a simple series of clicks. As you draw, Maya displays the outline
of the object, so you can experiment with the shape before completing the
action.

Draw a polygonal shape using Create Polygon Tool.


You click four points with the left mouse button.

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If the polygon isn’t the shape you want, you can correct the shape using the
Channel Box.

After you create an object, you can change


the object’s parameters in the Channel Box.

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The following figures illustrate steps for creating the hand.

To rapidly select a facet, press F11 The same view in wireframe.


and drag over the facet.

Select components, before you apply an action to them. Press F11 so the
components selected when you click-drag are facets in this example. To
select other components, see “Hotkeys for polygonal modeling” on page 415.

To move a facet, display the Move The same view in wireframe.


Tool by pressing W and then move.

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Introduction to polygonal modeling

To rotate a facet, display the Rotate The same view in wireframe.


Tool by pressing E and then rotate.

To scale a facet, display the Scale The same view in wireframe.


Tool by pressing R and then scale.

The Extrude manipulator appears The same view in wireframe.


when you are extruding a shape.

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Extrude the polygonal shape upwards The same view in wireframe.


along the Y-axis (The Y-axis displays

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in yellow in the online document).

Extrude the polygonal shape sideways The same view in wireframe.


along the Z-axis (The Z-axis displays
in blue in the online document.) to
create the wrist. A small scaling was
done along the X- and Y-axis.

Extrude to create the base of the thumb. The same view in wireframe.
Rotate along the Y-axis and translate
slightly along the Z-axis.

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2 To transform the block into a hand, use the Split Polygon Tool to prepare
where the fingers are to go.

Before splitting. Split this side.

Select the five facets that


you are going to extrude by
pressing F11.
After splitting, the side is
divided into four facets,
corresponding to where the
four fingers will be.

3 Extrude to make the split facets become the elongated fingers of the hand.

Extrude to make the shapes And in wireframe.


for the fingers and thumb.

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In the Attribute Editor, you can see that the fingers and thumb were
extruded using a local translation along the Z-axis (-1.9448) and were scaled
along the X-, Y-, and Z-axis (0.85).

The values in the Attribute Editor.

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And the same values in the
Channel Box.

You can use the Channel Box to quickly change values and settings after an
operation.
4 Continue to extrude the fingers, including the thumb.
At any stage, you can reshape or scale or move or resize individual fingers
using the Move, Rotate, or Scale Tools. See the Using Maya: Basics book on
how to use the Transform manipulators (Move, Rotate, and Scale).

More extruding along the Z-axis And in wireframe.


and a scaling of 0.8333 in the X-, Y-,
and Z-axes.

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More extruding along the Z-axis Matching hand in wireframe.


and a scaling of 0.8333 in the X-, Y-,
and Z-axes.

Before smoothing. Matching hand in wireframe.


5 Make the hand smooth using Polygons → Smooth.

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Smoothed hand Matching hand in wireframe

Where I can learn more?


For more information on these tasks, refer to the following table.

Typical Tasks Where to look

Creating polygons “Creating a polygon” on page 443


Extruding shapes “Creating an extrusion” on page 470
Splitting facets “Splitting facets” on page 453
Smoothing objects “Smoothing polygons” on page 516

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10 Learning the Basics

This chapter shows you how to create polygonal models, explains how to
modify their shape by extruding and splitting facets, and shows you how to
move and subdivide components.

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Topics include:
• “Creating a polygonal sphere” on page 429
• “Creating a polygonal cube” on page 431
• “Creating a polygonal cylinder” on page 433
• “Creating a polygonal cone” on page 436
• “Creating a polygonal plane” on page 438
• “Creating a polygonal torus” on page 440
• “Creating a polygon” on page 443
• “Appending facets to a polygon” on page 448
• “Splitting facets” on page 453
• “Moving vertices” on page 456
• “Moving facets” on page 460

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Learning the Basics

• “Moving edges” on page 463


• “Subdividing edges or facets” on page 466
• “Keeping facets together” on page 469
• “Creating an extrusion” on page 470
• “Deleting edges” on page 478
• “Deleting vertices” on page 479
• “Deleting facets” on page 480
The six polygonal primitives are basic shapes that everyone can make use of.
What follows is a description of how to create and modify each polygonal
primitive.

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Learning the Basics
Creating a polygonal sphere

Creating a polygonal sphere


Use Create Polygons → Sphere to create spherical primitives.
To create a polygonal spherical primitive:
Select Primitives → Create Polygons → Sphere.
By default, the primitive appears centered at the world coordinate system.
You can move the primitive to any location with the Move Tool (W).
To specify precise values for a rotation, scale, or a move, enter values in the
Channel Box.

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Create a polygonal sphere

After you create a spherical primitive, you


can change settings in the Channel Box.

The primitive is created with the default settings in the options window.
You can change the settings for these options before you create the sphere.

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Creating a polygonal sphere

Setting Sphere options


You can change the default options so that the next time you create a new
sphere primitive, it uses the new settings. Select Primitives → Create
Polygons → Sphere - ❐ to display the options window.

Radius Use the slider or type a value to change the size of the sphere.
Subdivisions Use the slider or type a value to change the subdivisions of the primitive.
For a sphere, you can enter subdivisions in X and Y only. Enter at least three
meridians (north-south lines) and three parallels (east-west lines).
Axis Changes the orientation of the primitive to the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. By default,
primitives are created along the Y-axis.
Texture By default, UV values are assigned for texture mapping. If you do not plan
to map textures on a ball, you can turn off this option.

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Creating a polygonal cube

Creating a polygonal cube


Use Create Polygons → Cube to create box primitives.
To create a polygonal cube primitive:
Select Primitives → Create Polygons → Cube.
By default, the primitive appears centered at the world coordinate system.
You can move the primitive to any location by using the Move Tool (W).
To specify precise values for a rotation, scale, or a move, enter values in the
Channel Box.

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Create a polygonal cube

After you create a cube primitive, you


can change settings in the Channel Box.

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Creating a polygonal cube

The primitive is created with the default settings in the options window.
You can change the settings for these options before you create the cube.
Setting Cube options
You can change the default options so that the next time you create a new
cube primitive, it is created according to the new settings. Select
Primitives → Create Polygons → Cube - ❐ to display the options window.

Width Use the slider or type a value to change the width of the cube.
Height Use the slider or type a value to change the height of the cube.
Depth Use the slider or type a value to change the depth of the cube.
Subdivisions Use the slider or type a value to change the subdivisions of the cube. For a
cube, enter the number of subdivisions for the front and back, top and
bottom, and the sides.
Axis Allows you to change the orientation of the cube by choosing the X-, Y-, or
Z-axis.
Texture By default, UV values are assigned for texture mapping. If you do not plan
to map textures on polygonal primitives, you can turn off this option.

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Creating a polygonal cylinder

Creating a polygonal cylinder


Use Create Polygons → Cylinder to create cylindrical primitives.
To create a polygonal cylindrical primitive:
Select Primitives → Create Polygons → Cylinder.
By default, the primitive appears centered at the world coordinate system.
You can move the primitive to any location with the Move Tool (W).
To specify precise values for a rotation, scale, or a move, enter values in the
Channel Box.

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Create a polygonal cylinder

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Creating a polygonal cylinder

After you create a cylindrical primitive, you


can change settings in the Channel Box.

The primitive is created with the default settings in the options window.
You can change the settings for these options before you create the cylinder.
Setting Cylinder options
You can change the default options so that the next time you create a new
cylinder primitive, it is created according to the new settings. Select
Primitives → Create Polygons → Cylinder - ❐ to display the options
window.

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Creating a polygonal cylinder

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Radius Use the slider or type a value to change the radius of the cylinder.
Height Use the slider or type a value to change the height of the cylinder.
Subdivisions Use the slider or type a value to change the subdivisions of the cylinder.
For a cylinder, enter number of subdivisions (three or more meridians with
at least one parallel, and zero or more concentric subdivisions).
Axis Allows you to change the orientation of the primitive by choosing the X-, Y-,
or Z-axis.
Texture By default, UV values are assigned for texture mapping. If you do not plan
to map textures on the polygonal cylinder, you can turn off this option.

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Creating a polygonal cone

Creating a polygonal cone


Use Create Polygons → Cone to create conical primitives.
To create a polygonal cone primitive:
Select Primitives → Create Polygons → Cone.
By default, the primitive appears centered at the world coordinate system.
You can move the primitive to any location with the Move Tool (W).
To specify precise values for a rotation, scale, or a move, enter values in the
Channel Box.

Create a polygonal cone

After you create a conical primitive, you


can change settings in the Channel Box.

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Creating a polygonal cone

The primitive is created with the default settings in the options window.
You can change the settings for these options before you create the cone.
Setting Cone options
You can change the default options so that the next time you create a new
cone primitive, it is created according to the new settings. Select
Primitives → Create Polygons → Cone - ❐ to display the options window.

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Radius Use the slider or type a value to change the radius of the cone.
Height Use the slider or type a value to change the height of the cone.
Subdivisions Use the slider or type a value to change the subdivisions of the cone. For a
cone, enter three or more meridians with at least one parallel, and zero or
more concentric subdivisions.
Axis Allows you to change the orientation of the primitive by choosing the X-, Y-,
or Z-axis.
Texture By default, UV values are assigned for texture mapping. If you do not plan
to map textures on the polygonal cone, you can turn off this option.

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Creating a polygonal plane

Creating a polygonal plane


Use Create Polygons → Plane to create mesh primitives.
To create a polygonal plane primitive:
Select Primitives → Create Polygons → Plane.
By default, the primitive appears centered at the world coordinate system.
You can move the primitive to any location with the Move Tool (W).
To specify precise values for a rotation, scale, or a move, enter values in the
Channel Box.

A polygonal plane resembles a mesh

After you create a planar primitive, you


can change settings in the Channel Box.

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Creating a polygonal plane

The primitive is created with the default settings in the options window.
You can change the settings for these options before you create the plane.
Setting Plane options
You can change the default options so that the next time you create a new
plane primitive, it is created according to the new settings. Select Primitives
→ Create Polygons → Plane - ❐ to display the options window.

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Width Use the slider or type a value to change the width of the plane.
Height Use the slider or type a value to change the height of the plane.
Subdivisions Use the slider or type a value to change the subdivisions of the plane. For a
plane you can enter subdivisions in X and Y.
Axis Allows you to change the orientation of the primitive by choosing the X-, Y-,
or Z-axis.
Texture By default, UV values are assigned for texture mapping. If you do not plan
to map textures on the plane, you can turn off this option.

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Creating a polygonal torus

Creating a polygonal torus


Use Create Polygons → Torus to create torus primitives. A torus primitive
resembles a doughnut.
To create a polygonal torus primitive:
Select Primitives → Create Polygons → Torus.
By default, the primitive appears centered at the world coordinate system.
You can move the primitive to any location with the Move Tool (W).
To specify precise values for a rotation, scale, or a move, enter values in the
Channel Box.

Create a torus

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Creating a polygonal torus

After you create a torus primitive, you


can change settings in the Channel Box.

Polygonal Modeling
The primitive is created with the default settings in the option window. You
can change the settings for these options before you create the torus.
Setting Torus options
You can change the default options so that the next time you create a new
torus primitive, it is created according to the new settings. Select
Primitives → Create Polygons → Torus - ❐ to display the options window.

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Creating polygonal text

Radius Use the slider or type a value to change the distance from the center of the
torus in all directions.
Section Radius Use the slider or type a value to change the size of the section.
Twist Use the slider or type a value to change the twist angle of the torus.
Subdivisions Use the slider or type a value to change the subdivisions of the primitive.
For a torus, you can enter subdivisions only in X and Y.
Axis Allows you to change the orientation of the primitive by choosing the X-, Y-,
or Z-axis.
Texture By default, UV values are assigned for texture mapping. If you do not plan
to map textures on a torus, you can turn off this option.
This torus uses the following default values: Radius 1.0, Section Radius 0.5,
Twist 0, Subdivision in X 20, and Subdivision in Y 20

Torus default values. Subdivision in the X


direction changed to 5.

Subdivision in the Y Twist changed to 30.


direction changed to 3.

Creating polygonal text


To create polygonal text, see “Creating and editing text” on page 235.

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Creating a polygon

Creating a polygon
Use the Create Polygon Tool to create a single facet polygon. You can create
the polygon with holes, and you can relocate the individual points that
define an object’s geometry.
To create a polygon:
1 Select Polygons → Create Polygon Tool.
2 In any view, click the left mouse button.
The first point appears.
Click-drag to move the first point around.

Polygonal Modeling
3
4 Add another point by clicking the left mouse button.
5 A new point appears with an edge connecting the new point and the last
point. If there are more than two points, a dashed edge closes the polygon.
The dashed edge turns into a real edge if you validate it. When you finish
drawing a polygon, you can validate it by pressing Y and continue creating
other polygons, or validate and exit by pressing Enter.
By default, the first three vertices of the polygon define its plane. This means
that you can position the first, second, and third points of the polygon
anywhere in space while any subsequent points will be in the plane defined
by the first three. In perspective view, the default plane is the grid.
To transform a polygon while the polygon is active, select a transform tool
(Move, Rotate, or Scale Tool) and click-drag to move, rotate, or scale. If you
want to specify precise values, use the Channel Box. By default, the Channel
Box is located on the right side of the screen. In the Translate, Rotate, and
Scale boxes, you can specify exact values. For keyboard shortcuts, see
“Hotkeys for polygonal modeling” on page 415.
Repositioning a point
To reposition a point:
1 To reposition a previously created point, press the Insert key on the
keyboard.
This switches from Creation mode to Editing mode and vice versa. To
reposition the most recently created point, use the middle mouse button.
2 If a point isn’t precisely where you want it, click-drag it to a new position.

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Creating a polygon

A manipulator appears over the point being repositioned to indicate that


you are in editing mode. You can use the manipulator to move the point.
3 To validate the new position and exit insertion mode, press the Insert key
again.
You cannot add points that create a nonplanar polygon if the Ensure
Planarity mode is selected.
4 To punch a hole through an object, hold down the Ctrl key and click the first
point anywhere within the outer polygon; then release the Ctrl key.
Once you start to make a hole, you can no longer return to add points to the
outer loop.
5 Continue to add points by clicking the left mouse button anywhere within
the outer polygon.
Make the hole in the same manner as the outer loop of the polygon.
6 Continue to make holes by Ctrl-clicking where you want the first point of
the new hole to begin.
Each time you Ctrl-click, a new hole is created and the first point of the new
hole appears where you click next.
7 Optionally, add subdivisions to edges.
By default, one subdivision is added to an edge. Use the options window to
change the number of subdivisions to be distributed along the edges.
8 Validate by pressing the Y key and continue creating other polygons, or
validate and exit by pressing Enter.
The polygon is finished and closed.

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Creating a polygon

Click to create first point. Add points.

Polygonal Modeling
Reposition point. Make a hole.

Insert + Ctrl +

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Creating a polygon

Add subdivisions to all edges. Or click on point and adjust


subdivisions.

Insert

Validate.

Enter

Setting Create Tool options


Select Polygons → Create Polygon Tool - ❐ to display the options.

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Creating a polygon

Subdivisions Use the slider or enter a value to change the number of subdivisions that are
distributed along the edges of the polygon being created. The default is 1.
Ensure Planarity By default, any facets you add are in the same plane as the polygonal object
you are appending to. Turn off Ensure Planarity if you want to add facets in
another plane.
This is the same as Polygons → Keep New Facets Planar.
Operation Select either Create or Append operation mode. The default is Create.

Tip
If you set planarity with Polygons → Keep New Facets Planar, the setting

Polygonal Modeling
is saved to the preferences file when you exit Maya. It will apply to all new
objects until you change the setting.

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Appending facets to a polygon

Appending facets to a polygon


The Append to Polygon tool lets you add a facet to the border of any open
polygonal object. You can append facets to any edge on the border of an
object. The appended facet becomes a connected part of the polygonal object.
Any appended facet is automatically oriented to conform to the object’s
orientation, no matter how the appended facet was built. In other words, if
the original facet has an outward facing normal, the new facet’s normal will
face outward also. This orientation safeguard forces certain constraints on
how facets can be appended.
To append to a polygon:
1 In a view, click the polygonal object that you want to append to.
2 Select Polygons → Append to Polygon Tool.
Once you select this tool, Maya is in object selection mode.
3 Click to select the border edge of the polygon that you want to append to.
This edge is the first edge of the new facet. The border edges appear thicker
than non-border edges and display several arrows to indicate the edge
direction. Also, the border edge you append to appears in a different color
than the other border edges to help you avoid building odd polygons. This
particular color is called Active Affected (select Options → Customize UI
→ Colors → Active → General).
You can control the size of the arrows by pressing the + or - keys. Note that
you cannot append a polygon to a closed primitive such as a sphere, but you
can append to a plane (Primitives → Create Polygons → Plane).
4 Add a point by clicking the left mouse button away from the object, or add
an edge by clicking another border edge.
A new point appears with a line connecting it to the last point of the selected
facet edge. Further points will have a dashed edge closing the polygon. The
dashed edge turns into a real edge when the new facet is validated. If you
change your mind, press Backspace and change the order in which you
picked edges.
5 To reposition the last created vertex of the polygon being appended, hold
down the middle mouse button. Press the Insert key to reposition a
previously created vertex. This switches you from Creation mode to Editing
mode and vice versa.

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Appending facets to a polygon

A manipulator appears over the point being repositioned. You can use the
manipulator to move the point.
6 To validate the newly position point and exit Insertion mode, press the
Insert key again.
7 To create a point in different plane, change the rotation angle in the options
window. Then add points by clicking the left mouse button. Continue
adding points in the new plane.
The newly created facet rolls around the first edge you select. As long as all
the edges you select can be set on a hinge, the newly created facet turns
around the reference line. However, if the edges you select are not aligned,
then the newly created facet will not turn around this reference line.

Polygonal Modeling
The append can roll The append cannot roll

8 Validate by pressing Y and continue appending by clicking the left mouse


button on a border edge, or validate and exit by pressing Enter.
After pressing Y, you can select another polygonal object. Click the object,
then click the border edge you want to append to.
Making a hole in a polygon
To make a hole in a polygon:
1 To punch a hole through a facet you are currently appending, Ctrl-click the
first point anywhere within the outer polygon; then release the Ctrl key.
2 Continue to add points by clicking the left mouse button anywhere within
the outer polygon.
Make the hole in the same manner as the outer loop of the polygon.
3 Continue to make further holes with Ctrl-click, or validate and exit by
pressing Enter.

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Appending facets to a polygon

Each time you press Ctrl, a new hole is created and the first point of the new
hole appears where you click next.
The polygon is considered finished.
Setting Append Tool options
The Append to Polygon tool uses the current settings in the tool’s options
window. To change the tool options, select Polygons → Append to Polygon
tool - ❐ to display the options.

Subdivisions Use the slider or enter a value to change the number of subdivisions that are
distributed along the edges of the polygon being created. The default is 1.
Rotation Angle Enter a value or drag the slider to change the angle for placing a point in a
new plane. By default, points are created in the same plane. The rotation
angle ranges from 0 to 360 degrees and is available as soon as you select the
first edge.
Operation Select either Create or Append operation mode. The default is Append.
Ensure Planarity By default, any facets you add are in the same plane as the polygonal object
you are appending to. Turn off Ensure Planarity if you want to freely
position your points.
This is the same as Polygons → Keep New Facets Planar.

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Appending facets to a polygon

Tip
If you set planarity with Polygons → Keep New Facets Planar, the setting
is saved to the preferences file when you exit Maya. It will apply to all new
objects until you change the setting.
After you click an edge and add points, click an edge near the first edge to
close the facet. You can then either make holes in the facet or validate the
append.

Polygonal Modeling
Click on any border edge. Add a point.

Click to add edge, closing the Create a hole.


polygon being appended.

Ctrl +

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Appending facets to a polygon

Click on any edge to start a new Click edge adjoining first edge to
polygon. close.

Use the options window to add Can still modify position.


subdivisions.

Insert

Tip
Before appending polygons between two separate shapes, you must
use Polygons → Unite (see “Uniting polygons” on page 514).

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Splitting facets

Splitting facets
Use the Split Polygon Tool to create new vertices and edges. This lets you
split existing facets into pieces.
To split facets:
1 Select Polygons → Split Polygon Tool.
2 In a view, click the left mouse button on an edge of the facet where you want
to split it into two pieces.
A dot appears on the edge.
Drag the dot along the edge and release it where you want.

Polygonal Modeling
3
The edge is subdivided there, with a new vertex inserted.
4 Click to select a second edge.
Click only the edges that appear highlighted to avoid creating odd polygons.
The edges display in red by default. You can click only on the neighboring
facets. You can also click a free point anywhere inside the outline appearing
in red. Such points are called “free points” because they are located
independently of edges, but they lie on the facet plane.
A new vertex appears on the second edge and an edge appears between the
two vertices. As an aid to splitting facets, a reference line is displayed as you
hold down the mouse. This line is aligned with the last two split points you
created.
5 To undo a step, press Backspace.
6 To reposition the last created free point or edge point, hold down the middle
mouse button. Press the Insert key to reposition a previously created free
point or edge point. This switches you from Creation mode to Editing mode
and vice versa.
7 Validate by pressing Y and continue splitting other facets, or validate and
exit by pressing Enter.
Because the facets are split based on the current settings in the options
window, you may need to change the tool options.

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Learning the Basics
Splitting facets

Setting Split Tool options


Select Polygons → Split Polygon Tool - ❐ to display the options window.

Subdivisions Drag the slider to change the number of subdivisions you want for each new
edge.
Edge Snapping When on, the pointer snaps to a point along the edge of the facet you are
splitting. In order to position the pointer freely, turn off Edge Snapping.
Snapping Drag the slider to change the snapping tolerance you want for each new
tolerance edge point you are going to create.
To change the settings for the Split tool:
1 Specify the number of subdivisions you want for each new edge.
Use Subdivisions to insert the number of points between two edges.
2 Specify the snapping tolerance you want for each new edge.
The tolerance value can range from 0 to 33.3%. A value of 0 indicates no
tolerance. The tolerance controls how sensitive the Split Polygon Tool is to
where you click. If you turn on Edge snapping, and click the edge where
you want to split it, the pointer will snap to the nearest point, endpoint, or
midpoint that falls inside the tolerance range and is contiguous to the point
on which you clicked.

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Splitting facets

When you want to split an edge at a specific location, you may find it useful
to turn off Edge snapping. When you want to split an edge midway
between a pair of endpoints, set Snapping tolerance to 33.3. This splits the
edge in the middle of the segment with the two endpoints on each side.

Polygonal Modeling
Original object Click an edge

Click a second edge Move the point along the edge.


Press Y.

Click a third edge; notice the reference Continue onto bordering facets, if
line. Press Y. desired. Press Enter.

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Moving vertices

Moving vertices
Use Move Component to translate, rotate, or scale vertices of polygonal
objects.
To move vertices:
1 Select an object whose vertices you want to move.
2 Press F9 to select vertices.
3 Marquee-select the vertices of the polygonal object that you want to move.
4 Select Polygons → Move Component.
5 Use the transform manipulators to move the vertices in whatever direction
you wish.
Also see “Using the local and global pivot” on page 472. You can also enter
specific values in the Channel Box. The current settings in the options
window determine the way the vertices are moved.

Tip
You can press the Insert key to move the manipulators anywhere in a view.
Press the Insert key again to use the manipulators to click-drag the selected
vertices again.
6 Adjust the move settings if you wish, and then click Move Vertex.
The vertices are moved.

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Moving vertices

Setting Move Vertex Options


Select Polygons → Move Component - ❐ to display the options window.

Polygonal Modeling
Manipulator on Controls whether components are transformed using local or global values.
Global values By default, this option is set to local values. This means that components are
transformed separately according to the local axes of each facet. When you
turn off Manipulator on Global values, components are transformed
globally relative to a single reference point.
Local Values
Translate Z Moves locally along the Z axis. Positive or negative values indicate how far
the vertex (or vertices) is moved.
Direction Defines the direction in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Global Values
Translate Moves the vertex or vertices along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Scale Scales the vertices along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Rotate Sets the angle by which you want to rotate the vertex or vertices around the
X-, Y-, or Z-axis.

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Moving vertices

Other Values
Random Changes vertices by a random amount, ranging from 0 to 1.
World Space Turn on to use the world coordinate system when you are changing values
Coords randomly.
Changing the pivot
The pivot defines the center point in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis from where you can
rotate or scale the vertex or vertices. After moving vertices, you can change
the Pivot in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor.

Drag to select vertices on Move the selected vertices.


the original nose.

Rotate the selected vertices. Scale the selected vertices.

Best way of moving vertices, facets, or edges


You can move facets, vertices, or edges in either of two ways.
One method, using Move Component, produces animations that interpolate
the rotation, scale, or translation values.
The second method, using the Move, Rotate, or Scale Tools (W, E, or R),
produces animations that interpolate between the key position for each
vertex.

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Moving vertices

Before moving, you need to figure out how you want the facets or vertices to
follow the path of the animation. With Move Component, the moving facets
or vertices gracefully follow the animation path. Because Move Component
is actually part of the polygonal workflow, it works more intelligently than
the Move, Rotate, or Scale Tools and is the recommended method.
Move Component lets you:
• correctly play animations that involve rotations
• take advantage of the construction history capability because it remembers
each rotation, translation, scaling, and pivot value; this makes it easier to
make changes later when you apply other actions
work well after you change a geometry parameter, something which the

Polygonal Modeling

Move, Rotate, or Scale Tools do not
Use the Move, Rotate, or Scale Tools:
• to animate vertices when each vertex moves separately
• when you plan to use the current shape as a starting point. That is, the
model is in its final modeling stages and is nearly completed.

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Moving facets

Moving facets
Use the Move Component to translate, rotate, or scale facets of polygonal
objects. In addition, you can offset or scale facets from the center.
To move facets:
1 Select an object whose facets you want to move.
2 Press F11 to select facets.
3 Marquee-select the facets you want to move.
You can change the way in which facets are displayed by selecting Options
→ General Preferences → Modeling. In the window, set Select Facets with
to Center or Whole facet.
4 Select Polygons → Move Component.
5 Use the transform manipulators to move the facets in whatever direction
you wish.
You can also enter specific values in the Channel Box. Also see “Using the
local and global pivot” on page 472 for using the local and global pivot.
The facets are moved based on the current settings in the options window.
6 Adjust the move settings if you wish, and then click Move Facet.
The facets are moved.

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Moving facets

Setting Move Facet options


Select Polygons → Move Component - ❐ to display the options window.

Polygonal Modeling
Manipulator on Controls whether components are transformed using local values or global
Global values values. By default, this option is set to local values. This means that
components such as facets are transformed separately according to the local
axes of each facet. When you turn off Manipulator on Global values,
components are transformed globally relative to a single reference point.
Local Values
Offset Offsets the facet edges.
Translate Moves the facet locally along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. Positive or negative values
indicate how far the facet or facets are moved.
Rotate Sets the angle at which you want to rotate the facet or facets locally around
the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Scale Scales the facet locally along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Direction Defines the XYZ direction for each facet.

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Moving facets

Global Values
Translate Moves the facet along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Scale Scales the facet along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Rotate Sets the angle to rotate the facet around the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Other Values
Random Changes the facets by a random amount, ranging from 0 to 1.
World Space Turn on to use the world coordinate system when you are changing values
Coords randomly.
Dynamic Values
Gravity Rotates the facet so its normal is aligned with the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Weight Controls the amount of rotation.
Magnet Sets the magnet center you want the facet normal to point to along the X-, Y-,
or Z-axis.
Attraction Sets the level of attraction to the magnet. You can move the Attraction slider
between -2 and 2 but the most useful values range from 0 to 0.25. The closer
you move the attraction towards the magnet, the smaller the value.
Changing the pivot
The pivot defines the center point in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. You rotate or scale
the facet from this center point. After moving facets, you can change the
Pivot in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor (Window → Attribute Editor).
Also see “Best way of moving vertices, facets, or edges” on page 458.

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Moving edges

Moving edges
Use the Move Component to move edges.
To move edges:
1 Select an object whose edges you want to move.
2 Press F10 to select edges.
3 Marquee-select the edges of the polygonal object that you want to move.
You can change the way in which edges are displayed by selecting Display
→ Custom Polygon Display - ❐. In the window, set Edge to Standard, Soft/
Hard, or Only Hard.

Polygonal Modeling
4 Select Polygons → Move Component.
The edges are moved. You can change their shape, location, orientation, and
their size by using the manipulators. Also see “Using the local and global
pivot” on page 472.
You can also enter specific values in the Channel Box. The current settings in
the options window determine the way the edges are moved.
5 Adjust the move settings if you wish, and then click Move Edge.

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Moving edges

Setting Move Edge options


Select Polygons → Move Component - ❐ to display the options window.

Manipulator on Controls whether components are transformed using local values or global
Global values values. By default, this option is set to local values. This means that
components such as facets are transformed separately according to the local
axes of each facet. When you turn off Manipulator on Global values,
components are transformed globally relative to a single reference point.
Local values
Translate Moves locally along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. Positive or negative values indicate
how far the edge is moved.
Rotate Sets the angle at which you want to rotate the edge locally around the X-, Y-,
or Z-axis.
Scale Scales the edge locally along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Local center Scales the edge from the middle, start, or end of the edge. The default is
middle.

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Moving edges

Global Values
Translate Moves the edge(s) along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Scale Scales the edge along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Rotate Sets the angle by which you want to rotate the edge around the X-, Y-, or Z-
axis.
Other Values
Random Changes edges by a random amount, ranging from 0 to 1.
World Space Turn on or off to use the world coordinate system when you are changing
Coords values randomly.

Polygonal Modeling
Changing the pivot
The pivot defines the center point in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis from where you can
rotate or scale the edge or edges. After moving edges, you can change the
Pivot in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor (Window → Attribute Editor).
Also see “Best way of moving vertices, facets, or edges” on page 458.

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Subdividing edges or facets

Subdividing edges or facets


Use Subdivide to subdivide an edge into one or more subedges. You can
also subdivide a facet into one or more facets, creating new facets.
To subdivide edges or facets:
1 Select an object whose edges or facets you want to subdivide.
2 Press F10, for edges.
or
Press F11, for facets.
3 Marquee-select the edges or facets of the polygonal object that you want to
subdivide.
You can change the way in which edges are displayed by selecting Display
→ Custom Polygon Display - ❐. In the window, set Edge to Standard, Soft/
Hard, or Only Hard.
4 Select Polygons → Subdivide.
The edges or facets are subdivided and you can change their shape, location,
orientation, and their size by using the manipulators. You can also enter
specific values in the Channel Box. The current settings in the option
window determine the way the edges or facets are subdivided.
5 Change the subdivide settings again in the options window if you wish and
then click Subdivide.
6 Select Edit → Repeat (G) to repeat the subdivision operation as many times
as you wish.
You must do this immediately after you perform the operation.
7 Continue subdividing other facets or edges or take some other action.

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Subdividing edges or facets

Setting Subdivision options


Select Polygons → Subdivide - ❐ to display the options window.

Polygonal Modeling
Subdivisions Enter the maximum number of vertices to be inserted in each edge, or enter
the maximum number of times facets are to be subdivided.
For facets, the number of subdivisions required means the number of times
each facet is subdivided again. The number of facets created is proportional
to (3)x or (4)x depending on the subdivision mode where (3)x = 3 x 3 x 3 or
(4)x = 4 x 4 x 4. Do not specify values higher than 4 or 5 for facets; you can
specify a higher number for edges.

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Subdividing edges or facets

The original facet to be The result of subdividing Repeat the subdivision


subdivided using quads the original facet. on the four new facets
and a subdivision of 1. using a subdivision of 1.
You can get same result
by subdividing the original
facet using a subdivision of
2.

The original facet to be The result of subdividing The result of subdividing


subdivided with quads the original facet. the facets in the middle.
turned off and a You can also get the same
subdivision of 1. result by subdividing the
original facet using a
subdivision of 2.
Mode Toggle quads on to subdivide facets into quads or toggle triangles on to
subdivide facets into triangles. This option is valid only for facets.
Minimum length Sets the minimum length of each subedge created. This option is valid only
for edges.
Worldspace This option is valid only for edges.

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Keeping facets together

Note
You cannot subdivide facets with holes. You cannot subdivide concave
facets unless the center is visible. To remove holes or to subdivide a
concave facet into convex parts, use Split or Triangulate.

Keeping facets together


Use Polygons → Facets → Keep Facets Together while you are extruding,
extracting, or duplicating facets to specify whether to retain the edges of

Polygonal Modeling
each facet or only the border edges. By default, this option is turned off.
The distinction between turning on and off Polygons → Facets → Keep
Facets Together is not noticeable when you are simply extruding a planar
group. However, when you scale a group, or “grow” a nonplanar group,
you will see that the facets stay in one group when you turn on Keep Facets
Together.
If Keep Facets Together is on, only the border edges make walls as they are
extruded. Facets connected by their edges will create a single tube, with the
connected facets as a single “roof”.
If Keep Facets Together is off, each edge makes a wall as it is extruded. The
facets separate from each other and scale from their own center. However,
the facets are scaled from the center of the group as for On.

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Creating an extrusion

Creating an extrusion
Extrude extends objects by partially extruding facets of the object. You can
extrude facets so that only the border edges make walls as they are extruded.
Or you can extrude the facets separately, so that each edge makes a wall as it
is extruded.
To extrude facets:
1 Select an object you want to extrude.
2 Press F11 to select facets.
3 Marquee-select the facets you want to extrude.
You can change the way in which facets are displayed by selecting Options
→ General Preferences → Modeling. In the window, set Select Facets with
to Center or Whole facet.
4 Select Polygons → Facets → Extrude.
The facets are extruded. You can change their shape, location, orientation,
and size with the manipulators. Using the transform handles is the easiest
way to manipulate the extruded facets, but you can also enter precise values
in the Channel Box.
The facets are extruded based on the current settings in the option window.
By default, facets are extruded separately. To extrude facets together, turn on
Keep Facets Together by selecting Polygons → Facets → Keep Facets
Together.
5 Select another group of facets that you want to extrude, or use the same
facets, and select Edit → Repeat (G) to repeat the same extrusion.
Pressing G repeatedly executes the extrusion with the same parameters on
the same facets. Thus, you can create a series of extrusions depending on the
options set in the options window. To return to the original object, press
Ctrl-Z.
6 Change the extrusion settings again in the options window if you wish and
then click Extrude.
Use Ctrl-Shift to add facets to your selection, Ctrl to remove facets from a
selection, and Shift to switch between being selected and not, without
affecting the rest of the group.

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Creating an extrusion

Extrude applies the same values of the old group to the extrude of the new
group. Either way, you can still modify after pressing g the second time, and
then continue the Edit → Repeat (G) sequence as many times as you wish.
Extruding perpendicular to the geometry
The path you extrude along can be perpendicular, or at any other angle to
the extruded shape. To extrude along a facet normal, in the options window
set the Z value for Local Values Translate to 1, and then click the Extrude
button at the lower left of the options window.
Repeating extrusions

Polygonal Modeling
Sometimes you may want to repeat the same extrusion to extend it. The Edit
→ Repeat (G) command lets you repeat an extrusion as many times as you
want. You must choose the command immediately after you perform the
operation.
Changing an extrusion
You can change the effect of an extrusion in the Extrude options window
(Polygons → Facets → Extrude - ❐) before you create an extrusion or in the
Attribute Editor (Window→Attribute Editor) for individual extrusions after
you create them.
Changing the extrusion mode
The distinction between turning on and off Polygons → Facets → Keep
Facets Together is not noticeable when you are simply extruding a planar
group. However, when you scale a group, or “grow” a non-planar group,
you will see that the facets stay in one group when you turn on Keep Facets
Together.
There are two modes:
If Keep Facets Together is on, only the border edges make walls as they are
extruded. Facets connected by their edges will create a single tube, with the
connected facets as a single “roof”.
If Keep Facets Together is off, each edge makes a wall as it is extruded. The
facets separate from each other and scale from their own center. However,
the facets are scaled from the center of the group as for On.

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Learning the Basics
Creating an extrusion

Using the local and global pivot


When you work with commands operating on facets, you will notice an
additional handle as part of the standard Maya transform manipulators. You
can use this additional handle when extruding, extracting, or duplicating.
For example, you can extrude facets in a selection relative to a local or global
point of origin. By default, facets in a selection are extruded relative to the
axis of each individual facet. The effect differs from that of extruding facets
in a selection around a common point of origin. Local values are based upon
the reference point of each selected facet, as contrasted with global values
that are based upon a single reference point common to all the selected
facets.
If you are using local values, the little circle is a solid dot; if you are using
global values, the little circle is hollow. In global mode, the manipulator is
always positioned over the currently selected facets. Use the Insert key to
relocate the manipulator only in global mode, not in local mode. Toggling
between local and global mode is similar to choosing the Manipulator on
Global values option in the options window.
Click to toggle between local mode and global mode. In local mode, a solid
dot appears whereas a hollow dot appears in global mode.

Local mode Global mode

Changing the pivot


The pivot defines the center point in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. You can rotate or
scale the facet or facets from the center point. After extruding facets, you can
change Pivot in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor (Window → Attribute
Editor).

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Learning the Basics
Creating an extrusion

Note
Turning on Keep Facets Together and selecting all facets of an open
polygon will make it a solid.

Polygonal Modeling
Draw the shapes to represent the glasses. Extrude the glasses.

Make the glasses smooth using a smoothness Match the glasses to the face and complete the
value of 2—the angular edges are removed. frames.

Seeing clear and sharp after rendering.

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Learning the Basics
Creating an extrusion

The following figures show the effects of extruding facets.

Select facets. Extruding separately (keeps walls


in between).

Extruding facets together (no walls Extruding facets separately and


in between). creating a bevel.

Extruding facets together (no Extruding facets together and


walls in between). creating a bevel.

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Creating an extrusion

Translate while extruding facets Move along the facet normal while
together. extruding facets together.

Polygonal Modeling
Move along the facet normal while Scale while extruding facets
extruding facets separately. together.

Extruding at an angle.

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Learning the Basics
Creating an extrusion

Setting Extrusion options


The settings in the options window apply to all extrusions you create
subsequently. Select Polygons → Facets → Extrude - ❐ to display the
options window.

Manipulator on Controls whether components are transformed using local values or global
Global values values. By default, this option is set to local values (no check mark appears).
This means that components such as facets are transformed separately
according to the local axes of each facet. When you turn on Manipulator on
Global values (a check mark appears), components are transformed globally
relative to a single reference point.
Local Values
Offset Offsets the edges of the facet or facets being extruded. This option can be
used to produce a beveling type of effect.
Translate Moves locally along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. Positive or negative values indicate
how far the facet or facets being extruded are moved locally.

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Creating an extrusion

Rotate Sets the angle at which you want to rotate the facet or facets being extruded
locally around the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Scale Scales locally along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Direction Sets the location of the X-, Y-, or Z-point in the local axis.
Global Values
Translate Moves the extruded facet or facets along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Rotate Sets the angle by which you want to rotate the extruded facet or facets
around the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Scale Scales the facet or facets being extruded along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.

Polygonal Modeling
Other Values
Random Makes the facets being extruded vary randomly from 0 to 1.
World Space Turn on the World Space Coords to use the world coordinate system when
Coords you are changing values randomly.
Dynamic Values
Gravity Rotates the facet so that its normal is aligned with the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Weight Controls the amount of rotation.
Magnet Sets the magnet center that you want the facet normal to point to along the
X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Attraction You can move the Attraction slider between -2 and 2 but the most useful
values range from 0 to 0.25. The closer you move the Attraction towards the
Magnet, the smaller the value.

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Learning the Basics
Deleting edges

Deleting edges
Pres the Backspace key to delete the selected edge between two facets and
merge the original two facets. The result is a single facet, but the vertices
shared at the ends of the edge are not deleted. To delete these unwanted
vertices in addition to the edge, you should select Polygons → Edges →
Delete and Clean.
To delete edges:
1 Select an object whose edges you want to delete.
Only interior edges can be deleted.
2 Press F10 to select edges.
3 Marquee-select the edges you want to delete.
You can change the way in which edges are displayed by selecting Display
→ Custom Polygon Display - ❐. In the window, set Edge to Standard, Soft/
Hard, or Only Hard.
4 Press Backspace to remove the selected edges, but not the related vertices.
You can also select Polygons → Edges → Delete and Clean to remove both
the selected edge or edges and the related vertices.
When you press Backspace, the selected edge or edges are deleted, but the
vertices belonging to that edge or edges are not deleted. When you use
Polygons → Edges → Delete and Clean, the edges and the related vertices
are removed, if the vertices are not shared by an adjacent facet.
5 Continue deleting other edges or take some other action.

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Deleting vertices

Deleting vertices
To delete vertices:
1 Select an object whose vertices you want to delete.
2 Press F9 to select vertices.
3 Marquee-select the vertices you want to delete.
If the vertices do not appear, turn on the vertex display by selecting Display
→ Polygon Components → Vertices.
4 Press Backspace to remove the selected vertices.

Polygonal Modeling
The selected vertices are deleted.
5 Continue deleting other vertices or take some other action.

Note
Only vertices between two or more edges can be removed.

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Deleting facets

Deleting facets
To delete facets:
1 Select an object whose facets you want to delete.
2 Press F11 to select facets.
3 Marquee-select the facets you want to delete.
You can change the way in which facets are displayed by selecting Options
→ General Preferences → Modeling. In the window, set Select Facets with
to either Center or Whole facet.
4 Press Backspace to remove the selected facets.
The selected facets are deleted.
5 Continue deleting other facets or take some other action.

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11 Beyond the Basics

This chapter shows you how to do more advanced tasks including


triangulating and quadrangulating facets. This chapter also explains how to
merge edges and bevel polygons.

Polygonal Modeling
Topics include:
• “Collapsing edges or facets” on page 483
• “Closing a border” on page 489
• “Merging edges” on page 490
• “Beveling polygons” on page 492
• “Extracting parts of polygons” on page 496
• “Duplicating parts of polygons” on page 500
• “Triangulating” on page 504
• “Quadrangulating” on page 505
• “Trimming facets” on page 510
• “Changing the normals” on page 512
• “Uniting polygons” on page 514

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Beyond the Basics

• “Separating polygons” on page 515


• “Smoothing polygons” on page 516
• “Using smart command settings” on page 519
• “Applying an action to several components” on page 520
• “Cancelling smart command settings” on page 521

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Collapsing edges or facets

Collapsing edges or facets


Use Collapse to turn a facet or an edge into a point. When you collapse
facets or edges, you are not allowed to create two-edged facets. Use this
command to clean small facets or edges.
To collapse edges or facets:
1 Select an object whose edges or facets you want to collapse.
2 Press F10, for edges.
or
Press F11, for facets.

Polygonal Modeling
3 Marquee-select the edges or the facets of the polygonal object you want to
collapse.
You can change the way in which facets or edges are displayed by selecting
Display → Custom Polygon Display - ❐. In the window, set Edge to
Standard, Soft/Hard, or Only Hard and set Facets to Centers.
4 Select Polygons Collapse.
The edges or facets are collapsed.
5 Continue collapsing other edges or facets or take some other action.

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Beyond the Basics
Collapsing edges or facets

The original object.

Click an edge. The edge turns into a point.

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Beyond the Basics
Collapsing edges or facets

The original object.

Polygonal Modeling
Click the facet center (or group the The facet collapses.
facets).

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Beyond the Basics
Softening and hardening edges

Softening and hardening edges


Sometimes an object is faceted when displayed in Smooth Shaded. To
correct this, use Soften/Harden Edges to smoothly render any polygonal
objects.
You can specify an angle at which the polygonal object is to be smoothed. If
the angle between two facets is sharper than the smoothing angle, the edge
is hard. If the angle between two facets is flatter than the smoothing angle,
the edge is soft.
You can use the options window to preset a smoothing angle. The angle
value in the options window is the default value.
For example, if you want to render edges hard, you can preset the
smoothing angle in the options window to 0 degrees. To render soft edges,
preset the angle to 180 degrees.
To make edges soft or hard:
1 Select an object whose edges you want to soften or harden.
2 Press F10 to select edges.
3 Marquee-select the edges of the polygonal object that you want to change.
4 Select Polygons → Edges → Soften/Harden.
The edges are modified based on the current settings in the options window.
By default, the angle is set to 30 degrees.
5 If necessary, change the angle in the options window to soften the edges you
want and then click Soft/Hard.
6 To continue softening repeatedly on the same edges, choose Edit → Repeat
(G) or select a new group of edges or take some other action.

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Beyond the Basics
Softening and hardening edges

Polygonal Modeling
Hard edges appear as Jug in wireframe.
vertical streaks on the jug.

An angle of 360° produces Jug in wireframe.


a much smoother jug.

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Beyond the Basics
Softening and hardening edges

Setting Soften/Harden Edge options


Select Polygons → Edges → Soften/Harden - ❐ to display the options
window.

Angle Use the slider or enter a value to set the angle. Angles greater than this value
render hard; angles less than this value render soft.
All Hard Set the angle to 0, making edges render hard.
All Soft Set the angle to 180 degrees, making edges render soft.
World Space Turn on or off the World Space Coords to use the world coordinate system.

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Closing a border

Closing a border
Use Close Border to automatically close open borders with a single facet.
However, the facets will create non-planar facets if the border of the object is
non-planar. To avoid non-planar facets, use the Append to Polygon Tool to
close the object with several co-planar facets. You can also use Triangulate
after closing.
To close a border:
1 Select an object whose border edge(s) you want to close.
2 Press F10 to select edges.

Polygonal Modeling
3 Marquee-select the edges of the border you want to close.
4 Select Polygons → Edges → Close Border.
The edges are closed.
5 Continue closing other borders or take some other action.

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Beyond the Basics
Merging edges

Merging edges
Use the Merge Tool to merge two border edges into one. You can place the
new edge at the first or last edge selected or between both edges. Merging
edges is not the same as removing an edge with Backspace in Component
mode.
To merge edges:
1 Select Polygons → Edges → Merge Tool.
Once you select this tool, Maya is in object selection mode.
2 Click to select the first border edge you want to merge. This must be a
border edge (try to click directly on it, not drag over it).
The order of the steps you are expected to do are displayed in the Feedback
Line.
Border edges are displayed thicker than non-border edges and display
several arrows to indicate the edge direction. The border edge you are
merging is in a different color than the other border edges. This helps you
avoid building odd polygons. This particular color is called Active Affected
(select Options → Customize UI → Colors → Active → General). You can
control the size of the arrows by pressing the + or - keys.
3 Click to select the second border edge you want to merge.
To cancel the second border edge you select, press Backspace.
4 Validate by pressing Y and continue merging other border edges, or validate
and exit by pressing Enter.

Tip
To do several merges on the same object, you do not need to validate each
individual merge by pressing Y. Instead, select the pair of border edges for
the first merge, when you click the first border edge for the second merge
the first merge is automatically validated.
You can select only border edges in the Merge Tool.

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Beyond the Basics
Merging edges

Setting Merge Edge options


Border edges are merged based on the settings in the options window. Select
Polygons → Edges → Merge Tool - ❐ to display the options window.

Polygonal Modeling
First The first edge you click becomes the new edge whereas the second edge you
click is removed.
Middle The new edge is equidistant between the first and the second edge whereas
the first and second edges you click are removed.
Second The second edge you click becomes the new edge whereas the first edge you
click is removed.

Note
Maya won’t merge edges that may result in strange polygons. For example,
if you select two edges with another selected edge between them, Maya
will not merge them.

Edge A Edge B Edge C Edge D Edge E

Edge C is already
selected

Edges A and E cannot be selected for merging.

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Beyond the Basics
Beveling polygons

Beveling polygons
Use Bevel to modify the topology of polygonal objects by smoothing vertices
and their connected edges.
Beveling expands each vertex and each edge into a new facet. You can
position these facets at an offset or scale them towards the original facet
center.
Beveling works with convex and even star-shaped concave facets. However,
it can give unwanted results with concave facets. This happens when the
center of the facet is in the outer facet domain.
To bevel polygons:
1 Select an object you want to bevel.
2 Press F10 to select edges.
3 Marquee select the edges of the polygonal object that you want to bevel.
You can change the way in which edges are displayed by selecting Display
→ Custom Polygon Display - ❐. In the window, set Edge to Standard, Soft/
Hard, or Only Hard.
4 Select Polygons → Edges → Bevel.
The edges are bevelled based on the current settings in the options window.
5 If necessary, adjust the options in the options window to bevel the area you
want and click Bevel.
6 To continue beveling repeatedly on the same edges, choose Edit → Repeat
or select a new group of edges.

492 Using Maya: Modeling


Beyond the Basics
Beveling polygons

Setting Bevel options


Choose Polygons → Edges → Bevel - ❐ to display the options window.

Polygonal Modeling
Offset Use the slider or enter a value to set the distance between the edge and the
center of the facet.
Roundness Use the slider or enter a value to round the edges. By default, Maya
automatically adjusts the rounding to bevel an object based upon the object's
geometry. If you select Auto Fit, this option is dimmed.
Segments Use the slider or enter a value to change the number of segments along the
edges of the polygon being beveled (the default is 1).
Auto Fit Turn on Auto Fit if you want Maya to automatically determine how the
bevel is to fit the object. If you turn off this option, you can enter a value for
Roundness.
World Space Turn on or off the World Space Coords to use the world coordinate system.

Using Maya: Modeling 493


Beyond the Basics
Beveling polygons

Marquee-select edges on the object The corner point is bevelled using the
you want to bevel. default settings:
Offset = 0.2
Roundness = 0.5
Segments = 1

With an Offset of 0.4, the corner Segments = 4 and the other options
point is really sanded down. use the default settings.
The other options use the default
settings.

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Beyond the Basics
Beveling polygons

Polygonal Modeling
Offset = 0.2 Offset = 0.2
Roundness = 1 Roundness = -1
Segments = 4 Segments = 4

A negative value cuts into an object


to create a groove.

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Beyond the Basics
Extracting parts of polygons

Extracting parts of polygons


Use Extract to chip off or remove selected facets from an object. After you do
an extraction, the extracted facets will be the current set.
To extract facets:
1 Select an object you want to extract.
2 Press F11 to select facets.
3 Marquee-select the facets you want to detach.
You can change the way facets are displayed by selecting Options →
General Preferences → Modeling. In the window, set the Select Facets with
option to either Center or Whole facet.
4 Select Polygons → Facets → Extract.
The selected facets are extracted. You can change their shape, location,
orientation, and their size with the manipulators. You can use the transform
handles or enter specific values in the Channel Box. Also see “Using the local
and global pivot” on page 472.
5 Select another group of facets that you want to extract and select Edit →
Repeat (G) to repeat the same extraction.
Repeated use of pressing g will repeatedly execute the extraction with the
same parameters on the same facets. Thus, you can create a series of
extractions depending on the options set in the options window. To return to
the original object, press Ctrl-Z.
6 Change the extraction settings again in the options window if you wish and
then click Extract.
Extracting perpendicular to the geometry
To extract along a facet normal, in the options window set the Z value for
Local Values Translate to 1, and then click the Extract button.
Changing the extraction
You can change the settings in the options window before you create an
extraction. To change the extraction after you create it, use the Attribute
Editor.

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Beyond the Basics
Extracting parts of polygons

Changing the pivot


The pivot defines the center point in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. You rotate or scale
the facet from this center point. After extracting facets, you can change the
Pivot in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor (Window → Attribute Editor).

Group or select facets (F11). Move chips (now a group of


original).

Polygonal Modeling
Y Y
Z X Z X
Shift +

Scale chips 85%. Can extend chip off on same or


new group.

Y Y

X Z X
Z

Using Maya: Modeling 497


Beyond the Basics
Extracting parts of polygons

Setting Extraction options


Choose Polygons → Facets → Extract - ❐ to display the options window.

Manipulator on Controls whether components are transformed using local values or global
Global values values. By default, this option is set to local values. This means that
components such as facets are transformed separately according to the local
axes of each facet. When you turn off Manipulator on Global values,
components are transformed globally relative to a single reference point.
Local Values
Offset Offsets the edges of the facet or facets being extracted.
Translate Moves locally along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. Positive or negative values indicate
how far the facet (or facets) being extracted is moved.
Rotate Sets the angle at which you want to rotate the facet or facets being extracted
locally around the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Scale Scales the facet or facets being extracted locally along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Direction Sets the location of the X-, Y-, or Z-point in the local axis.

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Beyond the Basics
Extracting parts of polygons

Global Values
Translate Moves the facet or facets being extracted along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Rotate Sets the angle by which you want to rotate the facet or facets being extracted
around the X, Y, or Z axis.
Scale Scales the facet or facets being extracted along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Other Values
Random Changes facets by a random amount, ranging from 0 to 1.
World Space Turn on or off the World Space Coords to use the world coordinate system
Coords when you are changing values randomly.

Polygonal Modeling
For an explanation of Dynamic Values, see “Dynamic Values” on page 477.

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Beyond the Basics
Duplicating parts of polygons

Duplicating parts of polygons


Use Duplicate to make an exact copy of selected facets. Afterwards, the
duplicated will be the current set.
To duplicate facets:
1 Select an object whose facets you want to duplicate.
2 Press F11 to select facets.
3 Marquee-select the facets you want to duplicate.
You can change the way facets are displayed by selecting Options →
General Preferences → Modeling. In the window, set the Select Facets with
option to either Center or Whole facet.
4 Select Polygons → Facets → Duplicate.
The selected facets are duplicated. You can change their shape, location,
orientation, and their size with the manipulators. Using the transform
handles is the easiest way to manipulate duplicated facets, but you can also
enter specific values in the Channel Box. Also see “Using the local and global
pivot” on page 472.
5 Select another group of facets that you want to duplicate, or use the same
facets, and select Edit → Repeat (G) to duplicate them again.
Pressing G repeatedly duplicates the same facets. Thus, you can create a
series of duplicates depending on the options set in the options window. To
return to the original object, press Ctrl-Z.
6 Change the duplicate settings again in the options window if you wish and
then click Duplicate.
Duplicating perpendicular to the geometry
To duplicate along a facet normal, in the options window set the Z value for
Local Values Translate to 1, and then click the Duplicate button.
Changing the duplicate
You can change the settings in the options window before you create a
duplicate. To change the duplicate after you create it, use the Attribute
Editor.

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Beyond the Basics
Duplicating parts of polygons

Select facets (F11). Make a copy and move.

Y Y
Z X Z X
Shift +

Polygonal Modeling
Scale the duplicates 85%. Can extend the copy operation
on the same or
new group.

Y Y

X Z X
Z

Changing the pivot


The pivot defines the center point in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. You rotate or scale
the facet from this center point. After duplicating facets, you can change the
Pivot in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor (Window → Attribute Editor).

Using Maya: Modeling 501


Beyond the Basics
Duplicating parts of polygons

Setting Duplicate options


Choose Polygons → Facets → Duplicate - ❐ to display the options. A
window with the following options appears.

Manipulator on Controls whether components are transformed using local values or global
Global values values. By default, this option is set to local values. This means that
components such as facets are transformed separately according to the local
axes of each facet. When you turn off Manipulator on Global values,
components are transformed globally relative to a single reference point.
Local Values
Offset Offsets the facet edges.
Translate Moves locally along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. Positive or negative values indicate
how far the duplicated facet or facets are moved.
Rotate Sets the angle at which you want to rotate the facet or facets being
duplicated locally around the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Scale Scales locally along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.

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Beyond the Basics
Duplicating parts of polygons

Direction Sets the location of the X-, Y-, or Z-point in the local axis.
Global Values
Translate Moves the facet or facets being duplicated along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Rotate Sets the angle by which you want to rotate the facet or facets being
duplicated around the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Scale Scales the duplicated facets along the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Other Values
Random Changes facets by a random amount, ranging from 0 to 1.

Polygonal Modeling
World Space Turn on or off the World Space Coords to use the world coordinate system
Coords when you are changing values randomly.
For an explanation of Dynamic Values, see “Dynamic Values” on page 477.

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Beyond the Basics
Triangulating

Triangulating
Use Triangulate to break polygons down into triangles. This ensures that all
your polygons are co-planar and without holes. Triangulation has been
designed to improve rendering results, particularly when models include
non-planar facets.
To triangulate facets:
1 Select an object whose facets you want to move.
2 Press F11 to select facets.
3 Marquee-select the facets you want to triangulate.
You can change the way facets are displayed by selecting Options →
General Preferences → Modeling. In the window, set the Select Facets with
option to either Center or Whole facet.
4 Select Polygons → Facets → Triangulate.
The facets are triangulated across their center.
5 Continue triangulating other facets or take some other action.

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Beyond the Basics
Quadrangulating

Quadrangulating
Use Quadrangulate to merge triangles of a polygonal object into four-sided
facets.
Quadrangulating facets:
1 Select an object you want to quadrangulate.
2 Press F11 to select facets.
3 Marquee-select the facets or sets of facets you want to quadrangulate.
You can change the way facets are displayed by selecting Options →
General Preferences → Modeling. In the window, set the Select Facets with

Polygonal Modeling
option to either Center or Whole facet.
4 Select Polygons → Facets → Quadrangulate.
The facets are quadrangulated.
5 Continue quadrangulating other facets or take some other action.
Setting Quadrangulate options
Choose Polygons → Facets → Quadrangulate - ❐ to display the options
window.

Angle Threshold Sets the limit beyond which two triangles are merged or not. If Angle
Threshold is 0, only co-planar triangles are merged. The maximum angle is
180 degrees. A value of 180 degrees means that all possible triangles are
quadrangulated.
Keep Facet If on, the borders of facet sets are maintained. If off, the borders of facet sets
Group Border can be modified.

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Beyond the Basics
Quadrangulating

Keep Hard If on, the hard edges are maintained. If off, the hard edges may be deleted
Edges between two triangles.
Keep Texture If on, the borders of texture maps are maintained. If off, the borders of
Border texture maps may be modified.
World Space Turn on or off to use the world coordinate system.
Coords

The original object is a triangulated In wireframe.


mesh as shown in Smooth Shaded.

The object after quadrangulating. In wireframe.

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Beyond the Basics
Quadrangulating

Polygonal Modeling
The mesh is quadrangulated using In wireframe.
an angle of 180° as shown in
wireframe and Smooth Shaded.
The following options are turned on:
Keep Facet Group Border
Keep Hard Edges
Keep Texture Border.

The mesh is quadrangulated using In wireframe.


an angle of 180° as shown in
wireframe and Smooth Shaded.
The following two options are turned on:
Keep Facet Group Border
Keep Texture Border
but Hard Edges is turned off.

Using Maya: Modeling 507


Beyond the Basics
Quadrangulating

The original object is a Two sets of facets are


triangulated mesh. quadrangulated. With Keep Facet
Group Border turned off, the
triangulated border between the
two groups is not kept.

With Keep Facet Group


Border turned on, the
border of the map is maintained.

508 Using Maya: Modeling


Beyond the Basics
Quadrangulating

Polygonal Modeling
The original mesh is
twisted and already
triangulated.

Angle = 0 Angle = 10

The mesh is quadrangulated with The mesh is quadrangulated with


an angle of zero; all the Keep an angle of 10; all the Keep
parameters are set to Off. There parameters are set to Off. There
are 132 facets, 68 quads, and 64 are 100 facets, 100 quads, and
triangles. Only the neighboring no triangles.
facets in the same plane are
quadrangulated.

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Beyond the Basics
Trimming facets

Trimming facets
The Trim Facet Tool tool merges two facets. The second facet becomes a
hole in the first facet. The facet with the new hole is placed at the first or last
facet selected, or between both facets.
To trim facets:
1 Select Polygons → Facets → Trim Facet Tool.
Once you select this tool, Maya is in object selection mode and the facet
centers are displayed so that you can easily select them.
2 Click the left mouse button on the facet you want to trim.
3 Click to select the second facet you want to use as a hole.
4 Validate by pressing Y and continue trimming other facets, or validate and
exit by pressing Enter.

Note
Do not confuse this command with the removal of an facet by pressing
Backspace in component mode.

Setting Trim Facet options


Select Polygons → Facets → Trim Facet Tool - ❐ to display the options
window.

First The first facet you click stays in place whereas the second facet you click is
moved to trim its new outer loop.
Middle The new facet is equidistant between the first and the second facet—both
facets you click are moved.

510 Using Maya: Modeling


Beyond the Basics
Trimming facets

Second The second facet you click stays in place whereas the first facet you click is
moved to surround the new hole.

Note
Maya won’t trim facets that may result in strange polygons. For example,
you are not allowed to select a second facet that is a neighbor of the first
facet.
To do several trims on the same object, you do not need to validate each
individual trim by pressing Y. Instead, select the pair of facets for the first
trim, then selecting the first facet for the second trim automatically
validates the first trim.

Polygonal Modeling

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Beyond the Basics
Changing the normals

Changing the normals


The normal shows in which direction a facet is facing. Objects made in Maya
always have consistent normals. However, the normals may not be correct if
the object was made by another modeler. The following three options help
correct poorly oriented normals:
Conform Takes the direction used by the majority of the normals, and forces all
normals to take that direction. If 51 out of 100 normals face outward, all 100
will face outward. You can use sets of objects.
Propagate Select a normal of a facet and echo its direction throughout the rest of the
object, thus creating normals consistent with the one selected. If the selected
normal faces outward, then all the normals will face outward. Select a facet
and select Polygons → Normals → Propagate.
Reverse Reverses the normals of a facet. You can use groups of facets.
To change normals:
1 Display normals by selecting Display → Polygon Normals → Toggle
Normals.
A line indicating the direction of the normal appears on the facets. You can
also control the length of this line representing the normal by selecting
Display → Polygon Normals → Long (or Medium or Short).
2 Press F11 to select facets.
3 Marquee-select facets whose normals you want to change.
4 Select Polygons → Normals → Reverse (or Propagate, or Conform).

For Select

Reverse one or more facets or a group of facets


Conform a group of facets
Propagate a single facet
Depending on the operation you do, the normals of the selected facets are
reversed or the normals for a group of facets now conform or the normals of
the facets point in the same direction as the normal of a single facet.

512 Using Maya: Modeling


Beyond the Basics
Changing the normals

5 Marquee-select another group of facets whose normals you want to flip or


use the same facets and select Edit → Repeat (G) to repeat the same
operation.
6 Continue changing the normals of other facets, or select another operation.

Note
Using Reverse might create databases that are invalid for functions such as
Extrude.

Polygonal Modeling
Use Conform to force all normals Use Propagate to force all normals
to direction of overall majority. to direction of selected single facet.

1 2 1 2

Shift + Shift +

Use Reverse to flip all normals. The result.

1 2

Shift +

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Beyond the Basics
Uniting polygons

Uniting polygons
Use Unite to combine several selected objects to form an even larger single
object. This is useful when you want to use tools such as Append, Merge
Edge, or Trim Facet. When using Unite, avoid creating invalid objects.
Invalid objects are those with inconsistent normals across their different
parts. Any materials previously assigned to the original objects are
maintained when you use Unite.
Do not:
• Unite objects with opposing normals.
• Unite objects with same normals if one lies entirely within the other.
• Unite intersecting objects.
To unite polygons:
1 Turn on object selection mode by toggling F8 or clicking the Select by object
type icon.
2 Marquee-select the objects you want to unite into a single object.
3 Select Polygons → Unite.
All selected objects become pieces in the new object. Now when you click on
one of the objects, they are activated as one object but they are retained at
their original coordinates.
4 Continue uniting other polygons or take some other action.

Tip
Before appending polygons between two separate shapes, or before using
Merge Edge Tool or Trim Facet Tool, you must use Unite.

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Beyond the Basics
Separating polygons

Separating polygons
Separate breaks an object into distinct objects. The object you want to
separate must consist of several pieces that were previously added
together— for example, objects produced by the Unite command (Polygons
→ Unite) or a primitive from which you removed all the facets in a row.

To separate polygonal objects:


1 Turn on object selection mode by toggling F8 or clicking the Select by object
type icon.
2 Marquee-select the polygonal objects you want to separate.

Polygonal Modeling
3 Select Polygons → Separate.
The objects are separated into individual shapes and for example you can do
a transform on one without affecting the other. But the individual shapes are
still parented to the initial shape reference so that you can still drag them
together as well.

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Beyond the Basics
Smoothing polygons

Smoothing polygons
Smooth modifies the topology of polygonal objects by smoothing out
vertices and their connected edges. Doing so leads to smoother objects.
Smoothing expands each vertex and each edge into a new facet. These facets
will be either positioned at an offset or scaled towards the original facet
center.
Smoothing works with convex and even star-shaped concave facets.
However, it can give unwanted results with concave facets. This happens
when the center of the facet is in the outer facet domain. Smoothing works
only for entire objects.
To make polygons smooth:
1 Select a polygonal object that you want to smooth by dragging over the
object in a view.
Whether you select a single component such as a facet or a vertex, the entire
object is smoothed.
2 Select Polygons → Smooth.
By default, Maya automatically smooths your objects using a built-in
smoothness setting.
3 When the smoothing is to your liking, you can stop the smoothing process at
a particular stage, by pressing Esc.
This is a good way to get the smoothing results that look best for you.
4 To continue smoothing repeatedly on the same object, select Edit → Repeat
(G) or select a new object (toggle F8).
An object can be smoothed in a single smoothing pass or many passes may
be used. Each next smoothing pass increases the smoothness based on the
number selected in the options box. The following example shows how to
turn a hard-edged geometric object into a flowing, organic shape.

516 Using Maya: Modeling


Beyond the Basics
Smoothing polygons

Polygonal Modeling
Object before smoothing Smoothed with subdivision = 1

Smoothed with subdivision = 2

Setting the Smooth option


Choose Polygons → Smooth - ❐ to display the options window.

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Beyond the Basics
Smoothing polygons

Smoothness Use the slider or enter a value to change the degree of smoothness to be
applied (the default is 1). The following formula will help you understand
the amount of smoothing to be done depending on the value of smoothness
you define:
Number of new facets created = (N) multiplied by 4x
where N is the number of facets to be smoothed and x is the smoothness
value you define.

518 Using Maya: Modeling


Beyond the Basics
Using smart command settings

Using smart command settings


Each polygonal command has default display properties for showing which
components are selected. If you find these display properties unsuitable, you
can change them using Polygons → Smart Command Settings. For example,
Close Border concerns border edges only but you can force Maya to change
the display of the border edge for special emphasis, prior to closing a border.
By default, Smart Command Settings is turned off.
To change the selection and display properties of commands:
1 Turn on smart settings by selecting Polygons → Smart Command Settings.
Hold down Shift and choose a polygonal command.

Polygonal Modeling
2
An alternative is to select a command without first selecting any
components.
3 Select the properties you want to change.
The properties of the selected command become the current properties of
that command.

Note
To revert to the default properties of a polygonal command, select
Polygons → Uninstall Current Settings (see “Cancelling smart
command settings” on page 521).

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Beyond the Basics
Applying an action to several components

Applying an action to several components


Normally, applying an action affects the component you selected. You can
use Convert Selection to apply an action to all the components of an object
at once. In general, use Convert Selection as you work. For example, in such
commands as Soft/Hard edges, Close Border, or Extrude, you can force
Maya to apply an action to the appropriate components in one go.
To apply an action to several components at once:
1 Turn on Convert Selection by selecting Polygons → Convert Selection.
When you turn off Polygons → Smart Convert Selection, an action affects
only the individual component you select.
2 Select an object.
3 Apply an action.
Select any polygonal command and the action is applied to all the
components of the selected object.

520 Using Maya: Modeling


Beyond the Basics
Cancelling smart command settings

Cancelling smart command settings


Each polygonal command has default display properties that you can
change using Polygons → Smart Command Settings. Use Uninstall Current
Settings to clear all changes you have made to the properties of each
polygonal command and reset them to their default values.
To reset the default properties of commands:
1 Select Polygons → Uninstall Current Settings.
2 Hold down Shift and choose a polygonal command whose properties you
want to reset.

Polygonal Modeling
An alternative is to select a command without first selecting any
components.
The current properties of the selected command are reset to their default
values.

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Beyond the Basics
Cancelling smart command settings

522 Using Maya: Modeling


12 Texturing Polygons

Your polygonal models can have the look you want. This chapter shows you
how to give your polygonal models the most appealing appearance possible
by using texture mapping techniques. For example in this image, the flowers
make a polygonal planar primitive look as if it were a tablecloth.

Polygonal Modeling
Topics include:
• “Mapping polygons” on page 524
• “Creating a projection” on page 525
• “Making a planar map” on page 528
• “Making a cylindrical map” on page 538
• “Making a spherical map” on page 543
• “Assigning a shader to each projection” on page 548
• “The Texture View” on page 549
• “Moving texture coordinates” on page 553
• “Deleting a map” on page 562
• “Cutting textures” on page 563 and “Sewing textures” on page 564

Using Maya: Modeling 523


Texturing Polygons
Mapping polygons

Mapping polygons
Placing texture maps on polygonal objects is a type of mapping known as
parametric mapping. Parametric mapping lets you directly control the map
layout and location by clicking and dragging. It is a great way of placing
maps on intricate areas of objects such as around the eyes, chin, mouth, and
so on.
One valuable feature of using polygonal textures is that you can flatten out
objects. This is also good for working precisely on irregularly shaped or
intricate objects such as a shoe.
If your object is made from surfaces, select Edit Surfaces → NURBS to
Polygons to convert it to polygons. See “Converting NURBS to polygons” on
page 252.
Before you start to do mapping, you should have a good idea about how
you want the object to be colored in the final rendered image. Try to avoid
mapping on closed objects with a single set because closed objects are
difficult to “completely flatten out” and may not close neatly at the ends. For
example, assume that you want to map an image onto a football. It is
desirable to create at least two sets on the football—one on each half—
instead of a single set. Then you place the image on the two separate sets.
The basic purpose of mapping is to ensure that the map will fit onto the
object. You need to anticipate cases where this may not be so.
Each polygonal object that you want to map contains an UV reference. This
is similar to a geographic reference—such as a street address or a pair of
latitude and longitude coordinates—that allows Maya to identify the
appropriate location of the map on the object.

The tiger skin, mapped as a


texture map, exactly fits onto Texture map matching the flattened
the irregular surface of the tiger. tiger in the Texture View.

You can use whatever program you like to create a texture map.

524 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Creating a projection

Creating a projection
Think of the texture as being projected onto a polygon rather than being on
the surface of a geometry. There are three ways of projecting a texture onto a
model: planar, spherical, or cylindrical. You can only use one at a time.
Choosing the proper projection is an important step because if you change
your choice of projection later on, you will lose your work. In practice, this
means that you should not change from one projection to another after you
project a texture map.
In general, you need to match the projection type to the geometry. Choose:
planar projection for a planar-like model, for example, mapping something

Polygonal Modeling

onto a billboard
• spherical for a spherical model, for example, wrapping a picture of the earth
onto a sphere
• cylindrical for a box-like model; for example, mapping brick texture around
a building
Experiment with the various mapping methods—spherical, cubic, and
planar—applying each one to a simple brick tower.

Planar projection Cylindrical projection Spherical projection


makes the map flat makes the map makes the map spherical
in shape. cylindrical in shape. in shape.

If a texture does not fit exactly onto a geometry, Maya bends or stretches the
texture so that it does fit the geometry. In this example, the brick texture fits
a planar projection exactly, however the texture is stretched to fit a
cylindrical or spherical projection.

Using Maya: Modeling 525


Texturing Polygons
Creating a projection

Map-positioning manipulators
To project a map onto an object, you must choose one of the projection types:
planar, spherical, or cylindrical (you can only choose one at a time).
For each type of projection, you use a slightly different manipulator. To help
you place your map on the model, you can move the manipulator anywhere
on your model. To use this manipulator, you click-drag the appropriate
handle, including the part of the lines appearing in color.
As you drag and click in the 3D view, your changes affect how your map is
going to be placed on the database. You can see this in the Texture View as
well as the 3D views in the Smooth Shaded mode. You click-drag handles
until the entity is where you want it.
To position maps precisely, use the positioning manipulator in combination
with the settings in the options window and the Channel Box. Clicking in
empty space automatically returns the cursor to the last point that you
selected. This is useful when you are not sure where you clicked.
U and V space
Because Maya must put a numeric value on the locations of each point of the
surface receiving the map, the coordinates are expressed in U and V
dimensions and not in the more standard XYZ coordinates. The U and V
dimensions represent a plane (U for the width and V for the height).
A texture map is always defined by the coordinates U for the horizontal
component, and V for the vertical component. Each ranges in values from
0.0 to 1.0, as shown. The lower left corner of the UV grid is defined as U=0
and V=0.
(0 1) (1 1)

(0 0) (1 0)
U

526 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Creating a projection

The rectangular area is superimposed on the outer surface of your model,


indicating how the selected group of facets will receive the map. By
controlling this rectangular area (within the boundaries of those lines), a
map of the dimensions and shape you designate appears on the model.
Example of projecting maps
Create two sets. Then project the texture maps onto each set. Finally, use
Move Component to arrange the UV points of the textures. A bump map
was also applied to the can.

Polygonal Modeling
A soda can with two The same soda can but
projections—a cylindrical using a different texture.
and a planar.

Using Maya: Modeling 527


Texturing Polygons
Making a planar map

Making a planar map


Planar Mapping is used to project a texture map onto an object by using the
projection plane of the texture map. This type of projection is best suited to
flat objects such as a billboard.
To create a planar map:
1 Press F11 to select facets.
2 In a view, click a set of facets on which to make a planar map or marquee-
select facets.
3 Select Polygons → Texture → Planar Mapping.
The map is projected based on the settings in the options window.
4 Change the projection settings again in the options window if you wish and
then click Project.
Only the most recent projection is retained.
5 Use the map-editing manipulators to indicate where on the 3D object the
map will be projected.
By default, the manipulators automatically appear relative to the object; you
can designate which axis is to be used by using the options window. You
can toggle back and forth between the projection manipulator and the
transform manipulator to refine the shape of the map naturally.
6 Select Window → Multilister and in the Multilister, select the shading
group that you want to assign to the object or selected facets.
Initially, your selection in a modeling view has no material assigned. To see
your map appear on your selection in a modeling view, you must assign a
material such as a Phong.
For example, to create a Phong shading group, select Edit → Create. In the
Create Render Node window, click the Materials tab, click Phong, and close
the Create Render Node window. If necessary, click the General tab to see
shading groups in the Multilister. For more information on the Multilister,
see the Using Maya: Rendering book.
7 Double-click the shading group to display the Attribute Editor.
8 Under the Common Material Attributes, click the Map button to the right of
the Color parameter.

528 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Making a planar map

This assigns a map to the color but you can assign the map to other
parameters if you wish. The Textures tab appears. By default, Normal is
turned on. This means that the UV coordinates present in the object or the
selected facets where you want to project the map will be used.

Polygonal Modeling
After you click Map.

9 Click the left mouse button on a 2D texture of your choice.

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Texturing Polygons
Making a planar map

For example, select a texture such as File. If you click File, then in the
Attribute Editor, click Browse under the File Attributes section and choose
the texture name, including its location by specifying the path. The
referenced map is usually in the same location as the map you load into the
Texture View.

530 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Making a planar map

Polygonal Modeling
10 With both the facets you want to project onto in the modeling view and the
shading group in the Multilister selected, use Edit → Assign in the
Multilister.
The material is assigned to the facets you selected in the modeling view and
the material in turn has a map assigned to one of its parameters such as
Color. If you have trouble selecting objects in a modeling view, use the
Outliner.
11 To see the map on the object in a modeling view, select Shading →
Hardware Texturing (press 6).

Press 6 to see your map


in a modeling view.

12 Adjust the mapping manipulators again, if desired or use the settings in the
options window.
13 Select Window → Rendering Editors → Render View and in the Render
View window, either click the right mouse button on Render from the pop-
up menu and choose a view in which to render, or use Render → camera
and then select a view. You will also find Redo Previous Render useful.

Using Maya: Modeling 531


Texturing Polygons
Making a planar map

After the rendering is done, you can see a rendered version of the mapped
object.
Using the planar mapping manipulators
The mapping manipulators consist of the projection manipulator and the
transform manipulator.
You can manipulate a map by dragging the color-coded control points of the
projection manipulator. To further control the shape of the projection
manipulator, you can use the transform manipulator.

Drag one of the corner points to


simultaneously change the width (U)
and height (V) of the area where you are
going to project the map.
Projection center
Changes the point in the Y-axis
(in green), from which the map
is projected.
Moves the map freely along the
X-axis and Y-axis.

Changes the width (U) of the map.

Changes the point in the X-axis


(in red), from which the map is
projected.
Changes the width (U) and
height (V) of the map
simultaneously.

Changes the height (V) of the map.


Switches to the transform
manipulator.

The advantage of the transform manipulator is that it lets you move, rotate,
and scale the underlying projection manipulator for fitting a map onto an
object. You should remember that it is not the map you are transforming, but
rather the manipulator for projecting the map.

532 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Making a planar map

Rotating a map
Click the red, green, or blue circle to rotate the map
in the X-, Y-, or Z-direction.
Scaling along a single axis
Click a red, green, or blue box to
the scale the map in the X-, Y-, or
Z-direction.

Moving along a single axis


Click a red, green, or blue arrow
to move the map in the X-, Y-, or
Z-direction.

Polygonal Modeling
Scaling along all three axes
To scale in all three directions at
once, click-drag the box at the
center of the manipulator.

Moving on all three axes


Clicking the hollow circle at the
center of the manipulator moves
the map in all three directions at
once, setting a new XYZ point.

Switches to the projection manipulator.

Setting Planar Projection options


Choose Polygons → Texture → Planar Mapping - ❐ to display the options
window.

Using Maya: Modeling 533


Texturing Polygons
Making a planar map

Mapping Rotates the manipulator in the 3D view around the manipulator’s X-, Y-, or
Rotations Z-axis.

Original settings. Rotate the manipulator by 45 degrees around


the manipulator’s X axis.

Rotate the manipulator by 45 degrees around the Rotate the manipulator by 45 degrees around the
manipulator’s Y-axis. manipulator’s Z-axis.

534 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Making a planar map

Image Center Sets the center of the 2D map in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.

Move the center of the 2D map

Polygonal Modeling
to 0.7 in the X-axis.
Center for the X and Y axes is
0.5.
Move the center of the 2D map
to 0.7 in the Y-axis.

Image Rotation Changes the angle at which a map is rotated in the 2D window. Drag the
slider to rotate the image to some angle.
Image Scale Changes the width (U) or the height (V) of the 2D map relative to the 2D
centerpoint.

Move the U (width) to 1.5.

Default value for U and V is 1.

Move the V (height) to 1.5.

Keep Image By default, Keep Image Ratio is turned on to let Maya display the shape of
Ratio the projection manipulator as a square.

Using Maya: Modeling 535


Texturing Polygons
Making a planar map

Changing the projection center


The projection center defines the point of origin in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis from
where you can project a texture map. By default, this is the center of the
selected facets in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. After creating a projection, you can
change the Projection Center in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor.

Default manipulator settings. Move the projection center to 0.2


in the X-axis.

Move the projection center to 0.2 Move the projection center to 0.2
in the Y-axis. in the Z-axis.

536 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Making a planar map

You can enter new values for the Projection


Center in the Channel Box.

Polygonal Modeling
You can enter new values for the Projection
Scale in the Channel Box.

Changing the projection scale


Scaling a projection enlarges or reduces the width (U) or the height (V) of the
map, or both relative to the 3D projection axis. After creating a projection,
you can change the Projection Scale in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor.

Move the U (width) to 1.5 Move the V (height) to 1.5 Default value for U and V is 1.

Using Maya: Modeling 537


Texturing Polygons
Making a cylindrical map

Making a cylindrical map


Cylindrical Projection bends a texture map into a cylindrical shape. Because
this type of projection resembles wrapping a texture map around a cylinder,
it is best suited to cylindrical objects such as a brick.
To create a cylindrical map:
1 Press F11 to select facets.
2 In a view, click a set of facets on which to make a cylindrical map or
marquee-select facets.
3 Select Polygons →Texture → Cylindrical Mapping.
The map is projected based on the settings in the options window.
4 Change the projection settings again in the options window if you wish and
then click Project.
Only the most recent projection is retained.
5 Use the map-editing manipulators to indicate where on the 3D object the
map will be projected.
By default, the manipulators automatically appear relative to the object; you
can designate which axis is to be used by using the options window. You
can toggle back and forth between the projection manipulator and the
transform manipulator to refine the shape of the map naturally.
6 Select Window → Multilister and in the Multilister, select the shading
group that you want to assign to the object or selected facets.
Initially, your selection in a modeling view has no material assigned. To see
your map appear on your selection in a modeling view, you must assign a
material such as a Phong.
For example, to create a Phong shading group, select Edit → Create. In the
Create Render Node window, click the Materials tab, click Phong, and close
the Create Render Node window. If necessary, click the General tab to see
shading groups in the Multilister. For more information on the Multilister,
see the Using Maya: Rendering book.
7 Double-click the shading group to display the Attribute Editor.
8 Under the Common Material Attributes, click the Map button to the right of
the Color parameter.

538 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Making a cylindrical map

This assigns a map to the color but you can assign the map to other
parameters if you wish. The Textures tab appears. By default, Normal is
turned on. This means that the UV coordinates present in the object or the
selected facets where you want to project the map will be used.
9 Click the left mouse button on a 2D texture of your choice.
For example, select a texture such as File. If you click File, then in the
Attribute Editor, click Browse under the File Attributes section and choose
the texture name, including its location by specifying the path. The
referenced map is usually in the same location as the map you load into the
Texture View.
10 With both the facets you want to project onto in the modeling view and the

Polygonal Modeling
shading group in the Multilister selected, use Edit → Assign in the
Multilister.
The material is assigned to the facets you selected in the modeling view and
the material in turn has a map assigned to one of its parameters such as
Color.
11 To see the map on the object in a modeling view, select Shading →
Hardware Texturing (press 6).
12 Adjust the mapping manipulators again, if desired or use the settings in the
options window.
13 Select Window → Rendering Editors → Render View and in the Render
View window, either click the right mouse button on Render from the pop-
up menu and choose a view in which to render, or use Render → Camera
and then select a view.
After the rendering is done, you can see a rendered version of the mapped
object.
Using the cylindrical mapping manipulators
The mapping manipulators consist of the projection manipulator and the
transform manipulator. You can manipulate a map by dragging the color-
coded control points of the projection manipulator. To further control the
shape of the projection manipulator, you can use the transform manipulator.

Using Maya: Modeling 539


Texturing Polygons
Making a cylindrical map

Drag one of the corner points to


simultaneously change the width (U)
and height (V) of the area where you are
going to project the map.

Projection center

Changes the width (U)


of the map.

Changes the point in


the X-axis, from which
the map is projected.

Moves the map in any


direction, making the map
pivot around the projection
center.
Changes the point in
the Y-axis, from which
the map is projected.
Changes the height of the
map (V).
Switches to the transform Projection axis.
manipulator.
The advantage of the transform manipulator is that it lets you move, rotate,
and scale the underlying projection manipulator for fitting a map onto an
object.

540 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Making a cylindrical map

Rotating a map
Click the red, green, or blue circle to rotate the map
in the X-, Y-, or Z-direction.

Scaling along a single axis


Click a red, green, or blue box to
the scale the map in the X-, Y-, or
Z-direction.

Moving along a single axis

Polygonal Modeling
Click a red, green, or blue arrow
to move the map in the X-, Y-, or
Z-direction.

Moving on all three axes


Clicking the hollow circle at the
center of the manipulator moves the
map in all three directions at once,
setting a new XYZ point.
Scaling along all three axes
To scale in all three directions at
once, click and drag the box at the
center of the manipulator.
Switches to the projection manipulator.

Setting Cylindrical Projection options


Select Polygons → Texture → Cylindrical Mapping - ❐ to display the
options window.

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Texturing Polygons
Making a cylindrical map

Mapping Rotates the manipulator in the 3D view around the manipulator’s X-, Y-, or
Rotations Z-axis.
Projection Scales the width (U) of the map relative to the 3D projection axis.
Scale Aperture
Image Center Sets the center of the 2D map in the X-axis, or Y-axis.
Image Rotation Changes the angle at which a map is rotated in the 2D window. Drag the
slider to rotate the image to some angle.
Image Scale Changes the width (U) or the height (V) of the 2D map relative to the 2D
centerpoint.
Keep Image By default, Keep Image Ratio is turned on to let Maya display the shape of
Ratio the projection manipulator as a square.
Changing the projection center
The projection center defines the point of origin in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis from
where you can project a texture map. By default, this is the center of the
selected facets in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. After creating a projection, you can
change the Projection Center in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor.
Changing the projection scale width
Scaling a projection enlarges or reduces the height (V) of a map relative to
the 3D projection axis. After creating a projection, you can change the
Projection Scale Width in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor.

542 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Making a spherical map

Making a spherical map


Spherical Projection bends a texture map into a spherical shape. This type
of projection is best suited to spherical objects such as a football.
To create a spherical map:
1 Press F11 to select facets.
2 In a view, click a set of facets on which to make a spherical map or marquee-
select facets.
3 Select Polygons → Texture → Spherical Mapping.
The map is projected based on the settings in the options window.

Polygonal Modeling
4 Change the projection settings again in the options window if you wish and
then click Project.
Only the most recent projection is retained.
5 Use the map-editing manipulators to indicate where on the 3D object the
map will be projected.
By default, the manipulators automatically appear relative to the object; you
can designate which axis is to be used by using the options window. You
can toggle back and forth between the projection manipulator and the
transform manipulator to refine the shape of the map naturally.
6 Select Window → Multilister and in the Multilister, select the shading
group that you want to assign to the object or selected facets.
Initially, your selection in a modeling view has no material assigned. To see
your map appear on your selection in a modeling view, you must assign a
material such as a Phong.
For example, to create a Phong shading group, select Edit → Create. In the
Create Render Node window, click the Materials tab, click Phong, and close
the Create Render Node window. If necessary, click the General tab to see
shading groups in the Multilister. For more information on the Multilister,
see the Using Maya: Rendering book.
7 Double-click the shading group to display the Attribute Editor.
8 Under the Common Material Attributes, click the Map button to the right of
the Color parameter.

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Texturing Polygons
Making a spherical map

This assigns a map to the color but you can assign the map to other
parameters if you wish. The Textures tab appears. By default, Normal is
turned on. This means that the UV coordinates present in the object or the
selected facets where you want to project the map will be used.
9 Click the left mouse button on a 2D texture of your choice.
For example, select a texture such as File. If you click File, then in the
Attribute Editor, click Browse under the File Attributes section and choose
the texture name, including its location by specifying the path. The
referenced map is usually in the same location as the map you load into the
Texture View.
10 With both the facets you want to project onto in the modeling view and the
shading group in the Multilister selected, use Edit → Assign in the
Multilister.
The material is assigned to the facets you selected in the modeling view and
the material in turn has a map assigned to one of its parameters such as
Color.
11 To see the map on the object in a modeling view, select Shading →
Hardware Texturing (press 6).
12 Adjust the mapping manipulators again, if desired or use the settings in the
options window.
13 Select Window → Rendering Editors → Render View and in the Render
View window, either click the right mouse button on Render from the pop-
up menu and choose a view in which to render, or use Render → Camera
and then select a view. You will also find Redo Previous Render useful.
After the rendering is done, you can see a rendered version of the mapped
object.
Using the spherical mapping manipulators
The mapping manipulators consist of the projection manipulator and the
transform manipulator. You can manipulate a map by dragging the color-
coded control points of the projection manipulator. To further control the
shape of the projection manipulator, you can use the transform manipulator.

544 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Making a spherical map

Drag one of the corner points to


simultaneously change the width (U)
and height (V) of the area where you are
going to project the map.

Changes the height of the


map.
Changes the width of the map.

Polygonal Modeling
Changes the point in the
X-axis, from which the map
is projected.
Moves the map in any direction,
making the map pivot around
the projection center.

Changes the point in


the Y-axis, from which
the map is projected.

Switches to the Projection center. Projection axis.


transform manipulator.

The advantage of the transform manipulator is that it lets you move, rotate,
and scale the underlying projection manipulator for fitting a map onto an
object.

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Texturing Polygons
Making a spherical map

Rotating a map
Click the red, green, or blue circle to rotate the map
in the X-, Y-, or Z-direction.

Scaling along a single axis


Click a red, green, or blue box to
the scale the map in the X-, Y-, or
Z-direction.

Moving along a single axis


Click a red, green, or blue arrow
to move the map in the X-, Y-, or
Z-direction.

Scaling along all three axes


To scale in all three directions at
once, click and drag the box at the
center of the manipulator.

Moving on all three axes


Clicking the hollow circle at the
center of the manipulator moves the
Switches to the projection manipulator. map in all three directions at once,
setting a new XYZ point.

Setting Spherical Projection options


Select Polygons → Texture → Spherical Mapping - ❐ to display the options
window.

546 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Making a spherical map

Mapping Rotates the manipulator in the 3D view around the manipulator’s X-, Y-, or
Rotations Z-axis.
Projection Scales the width of the map relative to the 3D projection axis.
Scale Aperture
Projection Scales the height of the map relative to the 3D projection axis.
Scale Height
Image Center Sets the center of the 2D map in the X-axis, or the Y-axis.
Image Rotation Changes the angle at which a map is rotated in the 2D window. Drag the
slider to rotate the image to some angle.
Image Scale Changes the width (U) or the height (V) of the 2D map relative to the 2D
centerpoint.

Polygonal Modeling
Changing the projection center
The projection center defines the point of origin in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis from
where you can project a texture map. By default, this is the center of the
selected facets in the X-, Y-, or Z-axis. After creating a projection, you can
change the Projection Center in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor.

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Texturing Polygons
Assigning a shader to each projection

Assigning a shader to each projection


When you create a projection, it helpful to have a map to indicate where the
UV coordinates have been assigned. Turn on Polygons → Texture → Assign
shader to each projection to assign the Checker texture to your object or set.
The area being mapped is temporarily shown by the Checker, but you can
change the map assignment to any map of your choice. The Checker texture
makes it easier to distinguish which areas are being mapped. In the
Multilister, the Checker texture is added to the Textures tab.

A checker texture is
automatically assigned.

For more information on the Shading Group Editor, see the Using Maya:
Rendering book.

548 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
The Texture View

The Texture View


This section explains how to use the Texture View window. To open the
Texture View window, select Window → Rendering Editors → Texture
View. Until you create a projection, nothing appears in the Texture View
except the current texture image that you load.
The Texture View is empty when it first opens. To load a texture map into
the Texture View, select Images → Load from Disk (you can also press the
right mouse button to see the pop-up menus in the Texture View).

Polygonal Modeling
Loading a texture map into the
Texture view window.

In the Texture View, you define the mapping relation between the map and
the model by positioning vertices in relation to areas of your map, according
to the underlying colors in the map. You can manipulate things directly by
clicking and dragging in this window. If the 2D layout of your object is not
readily visible in the Texture View, you may frame it by clicking the right
mouse button on Frame: All in the View menu.
Using the Texture View
You can specify how to display a texture (Display menu), how to view a
texture (View menu), and how to load a texture (Images menu) by using the
following pop-up menus. With the right mouse button in the Texture View,
click to choose the Display, View, or Images pop-up menus.

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Texturing Polygons
The Texture View

Display menu
In the Texture View, click the right mouse button on Display and choose any
of the following:
Red Plane Displays the red plane only.
Green Plane Displays the green plane only.
Blue Plane Displays the blue plane only.
All Planes Displays all planes.
Luminance Lets you change the brightness of the texture in the Texture View. Drag the
slider at the bottom of the Texture View to change the intensity of a texture.
Mask Plane Displays the mask only.
Show Grid Shows or hides the grid. This is an on-off toggle. When you select
Display → Grid - ❐, you will see the following options in the options box—
Grid, Subdivisions, Extent, and Style. These options are the same as when
you select Display → Grid - ❐ and are described in the Using Maya: Basics
book.
Single Buffer On SGI machines without texture hardware, you might want to turn Single
buffer on from time to time to see a better view of the texture. This is an on-
off toggle.
In general, turn on the Single Buffer to display the “best” version of a
texture. Turn off the Single Buffer to display a dithered texture, so the
resulting texture will not be as good.
View menu
In the Texture View, click the right mouse button on View and choose any
of the following:
Frame All If the 2D layout of your object is not readily visible in the Texture View, you
may frame it by clicking the right mouse button on the Frame All in the
View menu.
Frame Selected Displays the selected items so that they are fully visible in the Texture View
window. The amount you see in the Texture View window at any one time
depends on the window’s size.
Real Size Automatically adjusts the size of the texture so that the resolution of the
texture as found on disk is maintained. The resolution of the default image
provided in Maya is 8 pixels by 8 pixels; resizing has no effect, hence the
internal texture format.

550 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
The Texture View

Images menu
Still in the same view, click the right mouse button on Images and choose
any of the following:
Keep it Keeps the texture in the Texture View. When you specify Keep it for a series
of images, a slider appears at the bottom of the Texture window, allowing
you to bring a specific image into view without having to reload the image.
Remove it Deletes one of the textures that you previously loaded into the Texture View
but not the original texture on disk. Select the texture that you want to
remove by clicking on it in the pop-up menu. The removal of a texture frees
up memory for other use. The default texture cannot be removed.
Lets you choose the texture maps you want by clicking on the relevant

Polygonal Modeling
Load from Disk
names in the file list that pops up. Images usually end with a self-
explanatory suffix, indicating the image format.
Save to Disk Saves the texture. You can load all image formats output by Composer.
The standard keyboard shortcuts in the Texture View work in the same way
as in the 3D views except Change View is not available in the Texture View.

Action Keyboard Shortcut

Track Alt while holding down the left or middle mouse


button.
Zoom in and out Alt while holding down the left and middle mouse
buttons.
Frame a zone Ctrl-Alt while holding down the left mouse button
If points are difficult to pick on the screen, you can use such functions as
Track, Move in or out, or Frame to more easily locate vertices in your object.

Using Maya: Modeling 551


Texturing Polygons
The Texture View

Tips
Dragging the tiny slider at the bottom of the Texture View window to the
left or right displays each successive image that you have loaded. The
images are displayed one at a time in the order in which you loaded them.
Thus, you can avoid having to reload images.
Clicking a polygonal object or set in a 3D view displays the map, if any, for
that object or set in the Texture View.
When you are working on a complex scene and have several maps applied,
use the Hypergraph to find out which maps are used.

552 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Moving texture coordinates

Moving texture coordinates


With Move Component, you can move selected UV points (also known as
texture coordinates) on the flattened representation of your 3D object to
modify a selected part of your map. As you move the selected UV points,
notice how they appear to ride over the geometry which remains stationary.
Moving UV points works in the same way as when you are moving
polygonal vertices. Instead of references to X, Y, and Z, you will see
references to U and V. You can select the UV points either in the 3D view or
in the Texture view. You can use the manipulator or drag the mouse for
moving a selection only in the Texture view.

Polygonal Modeling
As you adjust UV points, the way the image is mapped onto the object
changes accordingly. You manipulate UV points of the model in the Texture
view without actually changing the UV points of the object in the 3D view.
The idea is to stretch and squeeze parts of the 2D object so that they match
up with the equivalent parts of the 3D object. The 3D view reflects your
changes as you make them in the Texture view.
Displaying the Texture View manipulators
Initially, only a quarter of the Texture View manipulator set is displayed. To
display the full manipulator set, click any of the items, such as the arc in the
quarter displayed. Clicking any of the corners displays the manipulator for
the opposite corner. Clicking the arc displays the full circle used for rotating
a map.

Click any of the colored-coded


manipulators to display the full
manipulator set.

Initially, only a quarter of the


manipulator set is displayed.

Using Maya: Modeling 553


Texturing Polygons
Moving texture coordinates

Mapping objects
You use the following controls for mapping objects.
Scales the map in the V Freely resizes the height (V)
direction only, relative to and the width (U) of the map,
the opposite side. relative to the opposite
corner.
Scales the map in the V
direction only, relative to
Freely resizes the
the center.
height (V) and the
width (U) of the map,
relative to the center.

Moves the map in the V Rotates the map


direction. Scales the map in the
U direction only,
relative to the center.
Moves the map in the U
direction only, relative to Scales the map in the
the opposite side. U direction only,
relative to the opposite
side.
Moves the map in the
U and V direction.

Scales the map in the V


direction only, relative to
the opposite side.

Tip
To resize a map proportionally, enter new values in the Channel Box to
preserve the relative width and height of the map.

554 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Moving texture coordinates

To fit a map onto your object:


1 Select Window → Rendering Editors → Texture View to open the Texture
View window.
2 In the Texture view, click the right mouse button and choose Images →
Load from disk from the pop-up menu to select the texture map you want to
use for mapping.
The map you choose appears in the Texture view. The map you load in the
Texture View is used as a visual aid for placing the map on an object but the
actual map assigned to the object in the rendering depends on the map
selected for the File node in the Multilister. Usually, the map you load in the
Texture view is the same as the map defined by the File node in the

Polygonal Modeling
Multilister.

Tip
Before moving UV points, make sure that the map is already assigned to a
material such as a Phong that in turn is assigned to an object or a part of an
object. For more information, see “Making a planar map” on page 528, or
“Making a cylindrical map” on page 538, or “Making a spherical map” on
page 543.
3 Press F12 to select UV points.
4 Select the object in the 3D view if it is not already active.
5 In the Texture View, drag to select the UV points you want to move.
6 Select Polygons → Move Component.
7 Press T unless the UV manipulators are already displayed in the Texture
View.
The UV manipulators for adjusting UV points to control where the map
appears on the object or a part of the object appear in the Texture View.
Pressing the Insert key lets you reposition the manipulators to a more
convenient location. When you have relocated the manipulators, press the
Insert key again.
Notice that the appearance of your model has changed because you are now
viewing it in 2D. What you see in the Texture View is a flattened
representation of your 3D model, with vertices on top of the colors in your
map. In the Texture View, you manipulate a model independently of the 3D
object.
Using Maya: Modeling 555
Texturing Polygons
Moving texture coordinates

8 Where required, drag selected point(s) over the part of the map that you
want to map in the Texture view.
To get the right mapping, you adjust UV points to selected areas rather than
globally.
Selecting a single object or set in a 3D view displays only the flattened
representation of that object or set in the Texture View. Avoid selecting
several objects or sets all at once in the 3D view because when you have
more than one object flattened out in the Texture view, it may be difficult to
distinguish which points belong to which set.
The more points that are located over a particular color or area of your map,
the more prominent that color in your mapped object. Assume that you were
to move all the UV points to a white area in the Texture view, then the entire
object is mapped with white. This tells Maya which areas of your object are
more or less affected by such and such a color in your map.
When you are moving UV points closer together or further apart, you need
to work carefully to prevent UV points or UV edges from overlapping as this
causes havoc. In the Texture view, you reposition UV points of the flattened
representation of your 3D model.
9 To see how well the image is mapped onto the object in a modeling view,
select Shading → Hardware Texturing (press 6).
You select both these menus from the view menu bar.
On workstations with slow displays, you are advised to turn off Smooth
Shaded when you are finished looking at the map. Smooth Shaded slows
down your work considerably while you are working in the Texture view.
You may also close the Multilister.
10 As necessary, adjust the manipulator controls in the Texture View.
For example, you may find that changing the scale makes it easier to
position selected UV points with respect to the map. The UV points are
moved based on the current settings in the options window.
11 Change the settings again in the options window if you wish and then click
Move UVs.
The UV points are moved.

556 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Moving texture coordinates

Note
When you are scaling a map to a very small size, it is best to enter small
values in the Channel Box. Dragging a scale handle is effective until the
map is so small that the scale manipulator’s appearance no longer changes.
12 You can continue to move UV points by clicking the left mouse button on a
selection or take some other action.
Rendering the mapped object

Polygonal Modeling
After you map an object, you may want to render it.
To render the mapped polygon:
Select Window → Rendering Editors → Render View and in the Render
View window, either click the right mouse button on Render from the pop-
up menu and choose a view in which to render, or use Render → camera
and then select a view. You will also find Redo Previous Render useful.
After the rendering is done, you can see a rendered version of the mapped
object.
Note that the map follows the geometry as the geometry is transformed.

Using Maya: Modeling 557


Texturing Polygons
Moving texture coordinates

Example of mapping a head


Before moving UV points on the raw mapping
No matter how good a map is, you’ll almost always want to tweak the UV
points to make the map look the way you think it should.

The head to be mapped The face of a girl is going to be


as shown in a 3D view. mapped onto the head. Both the
map of the girl and the UV points of
the head appear in the Texture view.

An initial rendering shows that


the map of the girl needs to be
adjusted to the head.

558 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Moving texture coordinates

Effect of moving UV points over the map

Polygonal Modeling
In the Texture view, make the map A second rendering shows that the area
match more closely the head by around the nose and the eyes is starting
dragging the UV points so that they to look good—the facial complexion is
cover the head. being improved.

The UV points you adjust in the Texture View will change the affected map
in the 3D view.

Using Maya: Modeling 559


Texturing Polygons
Moving texture coordinates

Final result of moving UV points

As a result of moving the UV points The head as shown in


in the Texture view, the UV points a 3D view.
match the face.

The final rendered image shows that the


face is perfectly mapped onto the head.

560 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Moving texture coordinates

Setting Move UV options


Select Polygons → Move Component - ❐ to display the options window.

Polygonal Modeling
Global Values
Translate Moves the UV point along the U and V axis.
Scale Scales the UV point along the U and V axis.
Rotate Sets the angle by which you want to rotate UV points in the Texture View.
The UV points are rotated in the texture plane.
Other Values
Random Changes UV points by a random amount, ranging from 0 to 1.
Changing the pivot
The pivot defines the center point in UV space from where you can rotate or
scale UV points. After moving UV points, you can change the Pivot in the
Channel Box or Attribute Editor.

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Texturing Polygons
Deleting a map

Deleting a map
Deleting a map from an object removes it permanently.
To delete a map:
1 Press F11 to select facets.
2 Marquee-select a group of facets on which to delete the map.
3 Select Polygons → Texture → Delete Mapping.
The map is deleted as well as the UV points.
4 To check that the map is gone, select Shading → Smooth Shade All (press 5)
and then select Shading → Hardware Texturing (press 6) and the map
should no longer appear on the object in the modeling view.

562 Using Maya: Modeling


Texturing Polygons
Cutting textures

Cutting textures
Cutting and sewing involve changing one or more facets so that an area of
your object (usually an intricate area such as the part surrounding the eyes)
no longer looks stretched or squeezed. You can model interesting textures by
using a combination of cut and sew operations.
When you start with the best possible partitioned object, you will have less
cutting and sewing work to do. If the problem vertices are small, this is a
good way of creating seamless connections between neighboring facets. You
have to decide whether it is worth the time to perform major surgery.
Unfortunately, this method does not provide exact adjustment. Cutting is
optional of course.

Polygonal Modeling
To cut a texture:
1 Select the edges that you want to cut by clicking the left mouse button while
holding down the Shift key. To subtract from your selection, click the middle
mouse button while holding down the Ctrl key either in the Texture window
or in the 3D view.
2 Select Polygons → Texture → Cut Texture.
3 Cut up the edges by pressing Enter.
All cut edges become “borders” and turn to the tool color.

Tip
The manner in which you cut up 3D objects is based on your judgment and
intuition. You should consider the most natural ways for cutting up your
objects, just as a dressmaker would cut along a seam rather than
haphazardly.
A single edge cannot be cut unless it touches a border. This means that you
must start from a border just as you would cut a sheet of paper and continue
cutting step by step.

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Texturing Polygons
Sewing textures

Sewing textures
Cutting and sewing involve changing one or more facets so that an area of
your object (usually an intricate area such as the part surrounding the eyes)
no longer looks stretched or squeezed. You can model interesting textures by
using a combination of cut and sew operations.
To sew a texture:
1 Tape together the edges that you have cut by clicking them.
2 Select Polygons → Texture → Sew Texture.
These edges are no longer considered borders.

564 Using Maya: Modeling


13 Using selection constraints

This chapter details how you can select components in a variety of ways. For
advanced-polygonal modeling, you will need to know how to select facets,
vertices, or edges using these selection criteria.

Polygonal Modeling
Topics include:
• “Constraints for facets” on page 568
• “Constraints for vertices” on page 577
• “Constraints for edges” on page 579
• “Extending a selection” on page 582

Using Maya: Modeling 565


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Selecting components
Sometimes in Maya, you want to select certain facets, vertices, or edges, but
they are too difficult or too tedious to choose manually. Often, you can
choose them using Maya’s powerful constraint tools.
With constraints, you can choose facets, vertices, edges, or texture UV points
that have a common characteristic. Examples of these characteristics are size,
number of edges, general position, facing direction, random choice, and so
on. You can use them whenever you are using sets. Constraints can be very
helpful to create sets and partitions with minimum time spent on selection.

566 Using Maya: Modeling


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

To set selection constraints:


1 Select an object you want to apply constraints to.
2 Select a component as follows.

Shortcut Component mode in effect

F9 vertex selection
F10 edge selection
F11 facet selection

Polygonal Modeling
F12 texture coordinate selection
3 Select Polygons → Selection Constraints.
Depending on whether you selected vertices, edges, facets, or UV points,
you will see the corresponding options in the Constraints window for each
of these entities.
4 Apply the constraints in an eligible function such as Polygons → Move
Component.
Constraints are used in two steps whenever you can select sets:
• Activate the constraints with the mode at the top of the window.
• Then individually select which constraints you want to use, like Random or
Area. Adjust that constraint’s parameters.
In the constraints list, you can set up conditions to filter your selection
actions in different ways. Constrain has four different modes when you
enter it:
Nothing When you turn on this option, no constraints are used.
Next Set When you turn on this option, the constraints affect only the next group
chosen with a technique such as holding down Shift and clicking the middle
mouse button.
Current & Next When you turn on this option, the constraint is applied to whatever group
has already been activated, plus whatever groups you select next.
All & Next When you turn on this option, the constraints apply to the entire object
automatically, plus whatever group you select next.

Using Maya: Modeling 567


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Important
To be sure you are applying constraints, set Constrain to the All & Next
option. To avoid any side effects, make sure to turn off other constraints
that may affect what you are trying to do unless you also want to apply
these other constraints. When you know that you are not applying a
constraint, set Constrain to Nothing, meaning that the item(s) you are
going to click will not be affected by constraints.
Which constraints will be applied, and to what settings, is determined by the
options you turn on. Note that you can turn off all constraints at once
without resetting their values by selecting Reset → Disable All in the
Constraints window.
Constraints for facets
Selecting facets by properties
The Property section has controls for selecting facets according to location,
order, planarity, shape (for example, if a polygon is concave instead of
convex), domains, mapping, and topology.
Location
OnBorder Selects only the items on the perimeter of your current objects are selected.
Inside Selects only the items on the inside of your current objects are selected. It has
the reverse effect of OnBorder.
Off This constraint is not taken into account.

Facets on the border are selected Facets on the inside are selected

568 Using Maya: Modeling


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Order
Sets a valid range for the facet shape.
Off This constraint is not taken into account.
Triangles only facets with three edges are selected.
Quads only facets with four edges are selected.
Nsided only facets other than triangles or quads are selected.

Note
A triangular or square facet that is holed is not considered a triangle or

Polygonal Modeling
Nsided.

Triangles are selected Quads are selected

Nsided facets are selected

Using Maya: Modeling 569


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Planarity
Off This constraint is not taken into account.
Planar Only planar facets are selected.
Non-Planar Only non-planar facets are selected.

Only planar facets are selected. Only warped or skewed facets are
selected.

Convexity
Off This constraint is not taken into account.
Concave Selects polygons that have at least one interior angle greater than 180
degrees.
Convex Selects polygons whose interior angles are all less than or equal to 180
degrees.

Convex polygon Concave polygon

Domains
Off This constraint is not taken into account.
Non-Holed Selects facets that do not have holes.
Holed Selects facets that have holes (holes can be created using the Create Polygon
Tool or the Trim Facet Tool (Polygons → Facets → Trim Facet Tool).

570 Using Maya: Modeling


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Note
Holed facets are considered concave.

Polygonal Modeling
Only facets with a hole are selected. Only facets without a hole are selected

Mapping
Off This constraint is not taken into account.
Mapped Only mapped facets appear.
UnMapped Only unmapped facets appear.

Only facets that are mapped are Facets that are not mapped are
selected. selected.

Topology
Lamina Selects a group of facets glued on top of each other.

Using Maya: Modeling 571


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Non-triangulable Lets you select facets that cannot be triangulated. Use this constraint to select
these problem facets. Then you can repair them with the Split Polygon Tool
(Polygons → Split Polygon Tool).
Selecting facets by geometry
The Geometry section has controls for selecting facets according to area,
mapped area, distance, orientation, and visibility. All geometric values such
as areas, length, and distances are measured relative to world space, not to
the reference point of the object.
Area
Activate Turns on or off this constraint.
Min The lowest value allowed.
Max The highest value allowed.

Only facets with a minimum area of 5 Only facets with a maximum area of 8
and a maximum of 8 are selected are selected.

Mapped Area
Controls the area range of facets that are flattened out in the Texture View
window. You can enter the minimum (Min) and maximum value (Max) for
this area which lies in the UV plane. The mapped area of a flattened facet
may be positive or negative. It is positive if the facet, as determined by the
projection tool, is seen from the front; it is negative if the facet, as
determined by the projection tool, is seen from the back.
Off This constraint is not taken into account.

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Using selection constraints
Selecting components

UnSigned Selects all facets whose flattened area (whether they are positive or negative)
matches the minimum and maximum range. Unsigned tells Maya to ignore
the direction the facet normal is facing.
Signed Selects all facets whose flattened area matches the minimum and maximum
range.
Min The lowest value allowed.
Max The highest value allowed.

Polygonal Modeling
Unsigned means that positive or Signed selects the facets between
negative values may be included in the the minimum and maximum in the
selection. In this example, all facets range (in this example, from -0.3 to 1).
between a minimum of 0.2 and a
maximum of 1 are selected.

Distance
Sets a reference point and a valid range for the distance between the facet
center and this point.
Off This constraint is not taken into account.
Point The distance to origin (specified as P that is explained below) is taken into
account.
Axis The distance to the line defined by its origin (P) and its axis (V) is taken into
account.
Indicates the axis or the normal of the plane.
Plane The distance to the plane defined by its origin (P) and its normal (V) is taken
into account.
Min The lowest value allowed.
Max The highest value allowed.

Using Maya: Modeling 573


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Px, Py, Pz Defines the location of the point from which you want the selection to
extend from.
Vx, Vy, and Vz Defines the axis along which the selection is to be made.

Distance Point Max selects all points Distance Plane selects the facets
that fall within a maximum of five in the XY plane that is perpendicular
units from the chosen point. In this to the Z axis. Min = 0, Max = 5,
example, the chosen point is the origin Vx = 0 Vy =0, and Vz =1
and Max is set to 5, meaning that the
selection extends over a distance of
five units from the origin.

Distance Axis selects all facets


that fall within a maximum of five
points from the specified axis. In this
example, Min = 0, Max = 5,
Vx = 0 Vy =0, and Vz =1

Orientation
Sets a reference axis and a valid range for the angle between the facet normal
and this axis. Works in the direction and the orientation mode.

574 Using Maya: Modeling


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Off This constraint is not taken into account.


Orientation Determines that the orientation of the facet is to be used for the selection.
Direction Determines that the direction of the facet will be used for the selection.
Using this option, even two facets facing opposite each other can be selected.
Min The lowest value allowed.
Max The highest value allowed.
Vx, Vy, and Vz Define the axis along which the selection is to be made.

Polygonal Modeling
Orientation selects all facets between Direction selects all facets between
the specified axis and their facet normal.
In this example, the facets from 45 to 70
degrees along the Y axis are selected.
Min = 45, Max = 70,
Vx = 0 Vy =1, and Vz = 0

Visibility
Sets a target point and a focal angle. A facet is selected if the target point can
be viewed from the center of the facet with its normal as the viewing axis
and the angle as the field of vision.
Activate Turns on or off this constraint.
Angle Sets an angle.
Px Sets the location of the target point in the X-axis.
Py Sets the location of the target point in the Y-axis.
Pz Sets the location of the target point in the Z-axis.

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Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Visibility selects all facets facing a


specific point. In this example, the
facets whose normal is at a right
angle to the X and Y axis are selected.
Angle = 90, Px = 5, Py = 5, and Pz = 0

Y
The facets in the X and Y axis
that face this point are selected.

Only facets facing a target point are selected. In this example, the shaded area shows
the facets that are selected because they face a specific point.

Selecting facets by ratio


The Random section lets you select facets according to a ratio.
Activate Turns on or off this constraint.
Ratio Randomly selects as many facets as the ratio states (0 = no facet, 1 = all
facets, 0.5 = 50% of the facets.)

576 Using Maya: Modeling


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Random selects facets depending on

Polygonal Modeling
the ratio. In this example, a ratio of 0.5
is used to control the number of facets
selected.

Constraints for vertices


Selecting vertices by location
The Property section has a control for selecting vertices according to
location.
Location Same as for facets as described in “Location” on page 568.
Selecting vertices by geometry
The Geometry section has controls for selecting vertices according to
neighbors, angle, mapped area, distance, orientation, and visibility.
Neighbors Selects vertices located near another.
Activate Turns on or off this constraint.
Min The lowest value allowed.
Max The highest value allowed.

Using Maya: Modeling 577


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Neighbors selects vertices between Neighbors selects vertices between


a Min of two and a Max of two. a Min of three and a Max of three.

Neighbors selects vertices between


a Min of four and a Max of four.

Angle Works only for vertices shared by two edges (also known as “winged”
vertices). Specify the angle between the two edges.
Activate Turns on or off this constraint.
Min The lowest value allowed.
Max The highest value allowed.
Mapped Area Same as for facets and selects vertices belonging to facets matching the
mapped area criterion.
Distance Same as for facets as described in “Distance” on page 573.
Orientation Same as for facets as described in “Orientation” on page 574.
Visibility Same as for facets as described in “Visibility” on page 575.

578 Using Maya: Modeling


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Selecting vertices by ratio


The Random section lets you select vertices according to a ratio. This works
in the same way as for facets as described in “Selecting facets by ratio” on
page 576.
Constraints for edges
You can select edges according to properties, geometry, or a ratio (Random).
Selecting edges by properties
The Property section has two controls for selecting edges according to
location, and smoothing.

Polygonal Modeling
Location
Same as for facets as described in “Location” on page 568.
Smoothing
Click Off, Hard, or Smooth to select a smoothing option.

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Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Smoothing Hard selects hard edges. Smoothing Smooth selects soft


edges.

With Smoothing turned Off, neither


smooth or hard edges are selected.

Selecting edges by geometry


The Geometry section has controls for selecting edges according to length,
angle, mapped area, distance, orientation, and visibility.
Length Sets a valid range for the edge length. A good example of where you can
apply this selection criterion is in the Collapse Edge function (Polygons →
Edges → Collapse) where you can remove tiny edges sometimes produced
as a result of converting a NURBS object.
Activate Turns on or off this constraint.
Min The lowest value allowed.
Max The highest value allowed.

580 Using Maya: Modeling


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Length selects edges between a Length selects edges between a


Min of zero and a Max of ten. Min of 11and a Max of 20.

Polygonal Modeling
Angle Sets a valid range for the angle between the facets sharing the edge. This
option works only for non-border edges.
Mapped Area Same as for facets and selects edges belonging to facets matching the
mapped area criterion.
Distance Same as for facets as described in “Distance” on page 573.
Orientation Same as for facets as described in “Orientation” on page 574.
Visibility Same as for facets as described in “Visibility” on page 575.
Selecting edges by ratio
The Random section lets you select edges according to a ratio. This works in
the same way as for facets as described in “Selecting facets by ratio” on page
576.

Using Maya: Modeling 581


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Extending a selection
Use Propagation to extend your selection. You are also shown how to use
the More, Less, and Border buttons in combination with other selection
constraints.

Propagation
Off This constraint is not taken into account.
Shell Extends the selection to include all the pieces. This option is useful for
objects made from a series of individual pieces such as those produced by
the Polygons → Unite command.
Border Extends the selection to include the entire border after you select one or
more items along the border.

582 Using Maya: Modeling


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Turn on Properties Inside and select Facets selected after you click the

Polygonal Modeling
the facets you want using the mouse. More button twice. Each time you click
More, a facet is added around every
facet in the current selection.

Facets selected after you click the Facets selected after you click the
Less button once. Less is useful for More button three times. This is
shaving off one facet around every similar to turning on Propagation
facet in the current selection. Shell.

Using Maya: Modeling 583


Using selection constraints
Selecting components

Facets selected after you click the


Border button.

Tip
With Constrain set to All & Next, turn on Properties Location Inside and
Propagation Shell at the bottom of the Constraints window, then clicking a
single facet selects all the facets that are inside your object.

584 Using Maya: Modeling


14 Examples of polygonal models

Polygonal Modeling
Examples of polygonal models include:
• “Making a hand” on page 586
• “Using duplicates to work faster” on page 589
• “Doing a negative scaling” on page 593

Using Maya: Modeling 585


Examples of polygonal models
Making a hand

Making a hand
This series of examples show how to make a hand out of a box. Starting from
a simple shape as a box, a hand was carved out and fingers added, then it
was smoothed and finally mapped.
1 Make a primitive box with the following dimensions: 9.86 along the X axis,
2.39 along the Y axis, and 12.43 along the Z axis.
You can always rescale box once it is made to fit the scene. The box is
divided into the following subdivisions: 7,1, and 5.
2 Extrude facets of the box to create the thumb and the four fingers.
You need to select a facet that constitutes a finger and then perform the
extrusion. Then repeat this minor surgery to make the other fingers and the
thumb.

Extrude the thumb and four fingers. Matching hand in wireframe.

3 Smooth the extruded hand.

586 Using Maya: Modeling


Examples of polygonal models
Making a hand

Polygonal Modeling
Smoothed hand in wireframe. Smoothed hand as produced by
using a smoothness setting of 2.

4 Use the Sculpt Lattice command to fill out the hand.

Building up the palm of the hand. Building up the back of the hand.

The back of the hand while lying flat. The palm of the hand while lying flat.

Using Maya: Modeling 587


Examples of polygonal models
Making a hand

Build up the hand tissue using


Sculpt Lattice.

5 Create a planar projection


6 The last step, and one of the most challenging involved tweaking the UV
points using Move Component.

Mapping the hand.

588 Using Maya: Modeling


Examples of polygonal models
Using duplicates to work faster

Using duplicates to work faster


If you work with polygons, then you’d do well to check the following. The
Edit → Duplicate command that seems far removed from the day-to-day
issues of workflow and productivity—fares better than you might expect.
Duplicate objects permit Maya to work at unparalleled speed. They permit
you to experiment with a series of actions and then apply them en masse
when you achieve the desired effect.
Instead of applying all actions directly to the original object—thereby
slowing down the polygonal modeling process and potentially degrading
the object quality over time—Maya displays the effects of your actions on
screen using a low-resolution duplicate. As a result, most actions complete

Polygonal Modeling
in a matter of seconds, regardless of the object size, and the original data
remains unscathed. Only when you finish making a polygonal model does
Maya apply your actions to the original high-resolution object.
To use duplicate objects to help you work smart
1 Make an object, for example a polygonal cube (pCube1).
2 Duplicate the cube (pCube2) by selecting Edit → Duplicate (Ctrl-D).
You should also move the duplicate as it is copied on top of the original.
3 Select pCube1 and smooth this object (Polygons → Smooth).
The high-resolution object is pCube1 and the low-resolution object is
pCube2.
4 Open the Hypergraph (Window → Hypergraph).
5 In the Hypergraph, make sure to turn on the Shape Nodes item by selecting
Options → Show → Shape Nodes.
You need to do this to select shape nodes.

Tip
You can drag the shape node of the low-resolution object directly onto the
shape node of another high-resolution object to open the Connection Editor
window automatically, with the selected shape nodes loaded into the
Editor’s columns. If this does not work for some reason, do the following
five steps.

Using Maya: Modeling 589


Examples of polygonal models
Using duplicates to work faster

6 In the Hypergraph, select a Shape node, for example pCubeShape1.


7 Open the Connection Editor window (Window → General Editors →
Connection Editor).
8 Using the Reload Left button in the Connection Editor window (Outputs
column), load the currently selected shape node into the left side of the
Connection Editor window.
9 In the Hypergraph, select the second Shape node, for example
pCubeShape2.
10 Using the Reload Right button in the Connection Editor window (Inputs
column), load the currently selected shape node into the right side of the
Connection Editor window.
11 In the Connection Editor window, connect the out Mesh attribute of
pCubeShape1 to the In Mesh attribute of pCubeShape2.
You need to scroll down the list to see the out Mesh and In Mesh attributes.

Out Mesh

In Mesh

High-resolution Shape of the


object duplicate object
(low-resolution
object)

12 Click either pCubeShape1 or pCubeShape2 and then select Graph → Up


and Downstream Connections or click icon.
13 Drag and drop the low-resolution object (pCubeShape2) onto the high-
resolution object (pCubeShape1).
Now all the transformations or actions that you apply to pCube2 (the low
resolution object) are associated with pCube1 (the high resolution object) but
pCube1 is not directly affected.

590 Using Maya: Modeling


Examples of polygonal models
Using duplicates to work faster

Polygonal Modeling
In the Hypergraph, arrange so that the
high- and low-resolution object belong
to the same group.

14 Select the high-resolution object (pCube1 in this example) that you have
smoothed and hide it by selecting Display → Hide → Selection (Ctrl h).
From now on, Maya applies your actions to only the object that is displayed
at any one time which speeds up your interactions.
15 In a modeling view, select the low-resolution object (pCube2).
You can also use the Outliner to select it. In the Outliner, turn on Show
Shapes using the right mouse button.
16 Smooth the duplicate object (named pCube2 in this example) or take any
other action such as moving a vertex.
Rather than smoothing or moving a vertex on the high resolution object, you
can smooth or move a vertex on the duplicate. The advantage is that you can
continue to work on the lightweight polygon and in the end Maya reapplies
your series of actions to the original high-resolution object.

Out Mesh In Mesh

High-resolution Shape node of Smoothing Shape of the


object the high-resolution action duplicate object
object (low-resolution
object)

Using Maya: Modeling 591


Examples of polygonal models
Using duplicates to work faster

17 Select Display → Show All.


Maya reapplies your actions such as the smoothing to the high-resolution
object.
Other uses
Another typical use of this duplicate technique is when you are building an
animation. If the objects being animated are too heavy, you may notice a
slowdown in the animation. By displaying only the simple object, you can
make an animation run faster. High resolution objects tend to display at
slower rates than lightweight objects do. Then when you are satisfied with
the animation you can display the high resolution objects to see the full
animation at its best.

592 Using Maya: Modeling


Examples of polygonal models
Doing a negative scaling

Doing a negative scaling


By scaling an object by a negative scale such as -1, you can produce
interesting results as shown. Instead of modeling a full shape, just model
half the object and then create the second half from the first. This technique
can be a big time-saver.

Polygonal Modeling
Original half head Whole head

Here is quick way of making the second half of the face by changing the
dimension of the model along an axis.
By scaling along an axis (the X-axis in this example), you can create the
second half.
To do a negative scale:
You can create a shape by first creating half the shape and then doing a
negative scale along any axis to create the finished shape.
1 Select the half head.
2 Press F11.
3 Select all the facets to be scaled negatively.
4 Select Polygons → Facets → Extrude.
In the Channel Box, enter -1 for Translate X. Make sure that the Keep Facet
Together is turned on in the Channel Box. You may need to press the Insert
key to relocate the manipulator so that it is easier to position the other half of
your model.

Using Maya: Modeling 593


Examples of polygonal models
Doing a negative scaling

Position the manipulator in a


convenient position such as the
one shown.

In the Channel Box, enter


a value of -1 for Translate X

5 Move the half you have created as a result of scaling so that it aligns exactly
with the original half.
6 Press F10.
7 Select all edges along the join except the first and last edge.
Sandwich facets along the join separating the two halves may need to be
removed. The join is where the two halves touch in the middle.

594 Using Maya: Modeling


Examples of polygonal models
Doing a negative scaling

Do not select the top edge

Select all edges along the join


except the top and bottom edge.

Do not select the bottom edge

Polygonal Modeling
8 Select Polygons Collapse.
By collapsing the edges, you are removing the unwanted tissue that runs
along the join.
9 Select Polygons → Smooth.
Because a rough effect may appear along the join, smoothing is a good way
of refining it.
10 Soften the edges along the join by selecting Polygons → Edges → Soften/
Harden.
Do this as a final touch-up for the softness of the edges.

Using Maya: Modeling 595


Examples of polygonal models
Doing a negative scaling

596 Using Maya: Modeling


Index Conform edges
Polygons Normals option 512 constraints for 579
constraints 565 deleting 478
Create Polygon Tool hardening 486

A change options 446 moving 460


moving polygonal 463
creating
All a polygonal cone 436 softening 486
Hard option 488 a polygonal cube 431 Ensure Planarity option 447, 450
Soft option 488 a polygonal cylinder 433 extracting
Angle a polygonal plane 438 parts of polygons 496
option 488 a polygonal sphere 429 Extrude
Threshold option 505 Cube polygonal 470
Append to Polygon tool 448 polygonal primitive 431 extruding facets 470
change options 450 cutting textures 563
appending facets 448 Cylinder
assigning shader 548 polygonal primitive 433 F
Attraction option 462, 477 cylindrical map
facets
Auto Fit option 493 applying to a polygon 538
appending 448
Axis option 430, 432, 435, 437, constraints for 568
439, 442 creating 427
D deleting 480
duplicating 500
B deleting
edges 478 extracting 496
facets 480 extruding 470
beveling 492
maps 562 moving 460
border 489 splitting 453
vertices 479
Depth option 432 First option 491, 510

C Duplicating facets 500

changing G
normals 512
pivot 465
E global pivot 472
Global values option 457, 462,
the extrusion mode 471 Edge Snapping option 454
465, 477, 499, 503
the pivot 458, 462, 472, 497 Edges
Gravity option 462, 477
closing a border 489 Delete and Clean 478
collapsing
Index

edges 483
facets 483
H
Cone hardening edges 486
polygonal primitive 436 Height option 432, 435, 437, 439

Using Maya: Modeling 597


Index

K moving
edges 460
Random option 458, 462, 465,
477, 499, 503
Keep facets 460 Reversing normals
Facet Group Border vertices 466 Polygons 512
option 505 Rotation angle option 450
Facets Together 469 Roundness option 493
Facets Together option 471 O
Hard Edges option 506
Offset option 493
Texture Border option 506
S
Second option 491, 511
L P Section
pivot Radius option 442
Local center option 464
changing 465 Segments option 493
local pivot 472
planar map selection constraints 566
Local values option 457, 461,
applying to a polygon 528 separating polygons 515
464, 476, 498, 502
Plane sewing textures 564
polygonal primitive 438 smart command settings 519
M polygon
appending facets to 448
smoothing polygons 516
Snapping tolerance option 454
Magnet option 462, 477 creating 443 softening edges 486
Manipulator on Global values making a hole in 449 Sphere
option 457, 461, 464, 476, Polygon Components 479 polygonal primitive 429
498, 502 Vertices 479 spherical map
maps polygons applying to a polygon 543
cylindrical 538 duplicating 500 Split Polygon Tool 453
deleting 562 projection change options 454
planar map 528 defined 525
spherical 543 splitting
Propagate facets 453
merging edges 490 Polygons Normals option 512 Subdivide 466
Middle option 491, 510
subdividing
Minimum length option 468
edges 466
Mode option 468 Q facets 466
Move Component 456, 460, 463
quadrangulating polygons 505 Subdivision
Move Edge 463 change options 467
change options 464 quads option 468
Subdivisions
Move Facet 460 in X 442
change options 461
Move Vertex 456
R in Y 442
Subdivisions option 430, 432,
change options 457 Radius option 430, 435, 437, 442 435, 437, 439, 447, 450, 454,
467

598 Using Maya: Modeling


Index

T Width option 432, 439


World Space
Texture option 488, 493
View window 549 World Space Coords option 458,
Texture option 430, 432, 435, 462, 465, 477, 499, 503
437, 439, 442 Worldspace option 468
Texture View
mapping controls 553
textures
adjusting to polygons 553
applying to polygons 524,
549
cutting 563
sewing 564
Torus
polygonal primitive 440
torus
polygonal primitive 440
triangles option 468
triangulating polygons 504
trimming facets 510
Twist option 442

U
U and V space 526
uniting polygons 514

V
vertices
constraints 577
deleting 479
moving 466
moving polygonal 456
Index

W
Weight option 462, 477

Using Maya: Modeling 599