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Maya modeling: Finalizing a model

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Date Added: 2nd January 2014
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We start 2014 with a bang, by bringing you the final installment in Jahirul Amin's Maya modeling epic tutorial series. In this last chapter, you'll finalize the model!


Tutorial assets

Click here to download assets accompanying this tutorial


This is the final part of our introduction to modeling in Maya. At this stage, the model is pretty much finished; I just want to make a few last-minute tweaks and also tie up any loose ends. This will include posing the model for rigging; checking for triangles and N-gons; mirroring one half of the model and merging the 2 halves together; making sure there are no unwanted open seams in the model; scaling it to match some real-world proportions and then deleting the history and freezing the transforms off the model. Once complete, the model would then be ready to pass to other departments for UV unwrapping, texturing, sculpting or rigging. Since the modeling techniques employed here have been covered in previous tutorials, I'll mainly describe and give reasons for the process, rather than detailing the tools used.

Obviously this tutorial is aimed primarily at new Maya users, familiarizing readers with one way to skin the modeling cat. However, there are many ways to skin this particular cat, and I urge you to explore and experiment with other packages and processes to see what suits you best.

A brief warning before we start: in previous tutorials I was using Maya 2012, but since the last one I have switched to the 2014 version. Therefore, the Maya scene files accompanying this tutorial will not open in 2012, and if they do there may well be slight errors. To deal with this, I have supplied FBX and OBJ files for your use.

Add a few details

The first thing I do is add some extra detail to the model. The nipples and the belly button are added by extruding outwards (nipples) and extruding inwards (belly button) and then reshaping the regions to create a more pleasing result. The finger and toe nails had been niggling me for a while so I decided to go back and work them differently. Instead of creating the finger nails directly from the end of each finger, I reshaped a polygonal cube into a nail and popped it into place. The area that it sits on was flattened to accompany this. Each finger has its own finger nail as does each of the toes. I also added some extra geometry to each finger on the dorsal side which will help to hold the form of the finger during flexion. I also decided to pop some pants on the chap to please his mother.

Adding the nipples, the belly button and making some tweaks to the hand

Create the inner mouth cavity and eye cavity

Currently, the model has 3 openings: one for each eye and one for the mouth. This may cause issues if you plan to use sub-surface scattering for the skin later on or if you plan to open his mouth for lip-sync. To rectify this, I decided to fill them. For the eyes, I created a sphere, deleted the front and then welded it to the inner portion of the eyelid. For the mouth, I selected the edge-loop where the lips ended and extruded inwards to create the mouth cavity. I continued to extrude, making room for the gums and the teeth before finally taking the polygons downwards to create what would be a neck channel.

Extruding the lips inwards to form the mouth cavity and using a modified sphere for the inner eye cavity

continued on next page >

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