3D Total Maya Tutorial

This is a "translation" to Maya of Tom Greenway's 3ds Max tutorial "Complete beginners modeling", translated by David Silva a.k.a. Mazer with his permission.

A beginners guide to starting out modeling in Maya, a simple primitive model which is far less complex than it really looks.

On the original tutorial, only Move, Rotate and Scale are used, in Maya we use the same tools but we have to go to component (sub object) mode sometimes, but don't worry it's a breeze :-)

Originally, Tom used tube and cone primitives, in Maya we can't use those.. why?

Well, first we don't have tube primitives..... and second, the way maya puts objects in a scene is different from Max, in max you interactively give Height length etc to objects, in Maya you heather give dimensions before creation or modify them latter, plus the cone in maya is a "real" cone and the top ends in only one vertex:

A polygon cone in Maya

A polygon cone in Maya

Ok, let's start:

Switch to the modeling menu set by hitting the F3 key. We use polygon modeling for this one so go to

Note: Make sure you reset the settings by clicking in the square box and edit--reset settings if you have been messing around with it ( the same applies to the other objects and tools).

Create a cylinder, then press F8 to go to component mode, make sure only the point option is selected:

pressing F8 you can easily switch between object and component selection modes

Uniformly scale, using the middle yellow square the top and down rows of vertices:

That's our cone

Rather than go step by step though the positioning of each primitive, I think it will help you to learn better just by looking at an overall guide and then finding your own way a little.

The next image shows which primitives go where :-

They are color coded as follows :-
Red = Torus
Blue = Cylinder
Yellow = Sphere
White = Cone (modified cylinder)

Tip: you can use real cones for the claws.

Use the above picture and the final Render as a guide for placing the primitives - some areas are a little more tricky than just place, move/rotate and these are :-

The indented circular sections as shown here are used throughout the model, in Max Tom used tube and cylinder primitives, but we have to do something different: There are other ways of doing this but I've chosen to use Booleans:

Duplicate the cone 2 times (control-D) , move them, using the snap to grid (keep the X key pressed and drag the manipulator), then select both and scale them at the same time, to get something like this:

Now, select the middle cylinder and shift-select one of the others and chose:

Polygons....> Booleans....>difference

Repeat the procedure for the other side and use the same technique to create the tubes for the eyes.

The second areas that are a little tricky are the thigh and shoulder joints as shown here:

These are created with four toruses, the method I used was to make the first vertical one (created in the left or right view port) then work in the front view port as shown above, using edit....>duplicate....>duplicate options (the square)

enter this settings

Note: I scaled the last torus after the duplication.

Rather than do these processes for each right and left side of the robot you can use the duplicate tool to mirror geometry, but first you need to select the objects you want to mirror and group them,  chose edit...>group  use the default settings.

Reset the duplicate options then duplicate the objects using the value -1 in the scale X option (the first from the left), that's the mirror in Maya.

We now will create a material and apply-it to the robot:

Click this button

on the toolbar to open the HyperShade and keep a perspective view.

The Hypershade itself would give material for various tutorials so I'll keep it simple:

Create a Blinn Material - Create (on the Hypershade menu)...>Materials...>...Blinn, or use the side bar.

Double-click the new material to open the attribute editor.

Change the material name to Robot_Blinn or so.

Click the box next to the color slider, a new option window opens.

Choose Normal and click File to assign a bitmap as the material color.

Choose a cool metal texture, I used the original bitmap from the Max material Tom used, if you don't have one, there are plenty of free textures on the web and here at 3d Total.

If you can't find anything you like... well you can buy 3d Total Texture Cd.

Repeat the procedure to assign the same file to the specular color.

Now, on the perspective view shading menu choose smooth shade all and turn on Hardware texturing.

Select the robot, shift select the Material in the Hypershade, right-click-it and "assign material to selection".

You have your robot textured.

Create a point light, open the attribute editor (control-a), expand the shadows options and turn depth map shadows on.

Press 7 to view the lighting in the view port, duplicate the light 2 or 3 times and move them around the robot until you get the desired look.

Before rendering, press this button



to open the render globals options, choose a resolution and set the anti-aliasing quality to production.

That's it 

render time :-)

Have fun.

Any questions contact me

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