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Friday, 10 June 2016

Maya Modelling Tools and Workflow Video

In this latest video tutorial, I show a set of 2 very handy Maya tools, and the workflow context in which I often use them.

First I start off creating a complex shape that has edges running in various directions. This is achieved by using a combination of several deformers. Even though deformers are categorised as animation tools, I try to show here that they can be used in a modelling situation as well. This gives a hint at huge possibilities for even more complex objects to be constructed this way. The key is to understand what different deformers do on their own, before we can plan how to use them in combination.

Having an object that is bent by deformers gives it a very organic shape. The majority of the resulting faces are neither oriented along world axes nor object local axes. This is one of the situations where these tools will shine.

The one of the essential tools of my modelling workflow is the Slide Edge Tool. This allows the artist to position one or multiple selected edges along the existing neighbour edges by sliding along them, or perpendicular to them along the selected edge normals.

The next tool in the video is the relatively new Edit Edge Flow Tool. This tool takes selected edges and tries to relax, blend or flow them along the mesh according to the angle/relief/tangets of neighbouring edges/faces.

At first glance these tools seem to overlap each other in functionality. However as we proceed along in the video, we see certain situations where one tool was more ideal for a task instead of the other. Therefore it is a good thing to have access to both.

At the end I also show in an example involving a cylinder's edges, how my simple scaling tool can be used to push out edges and accomplish something similar to what the 2 tools can do. If we can really understand how our tools work, we will be able to use them creatively and continue to streamline our workflow, and achieve higher quality of work faster, and with less effort.