# Maya Lesson 1 for Nightdragonz(s)

Registered User regular
edited August 2008
Tutorial for those who got the personal learning edition! Basic setup and modeling your first rock! Huzzah!

Maya Lesson for Everyonedragonz(s)
1. Setup
-Use a wacom tablet, or your fingers will die.
-Set your pen buttons to right click and middle click

In Maya go:
-window->settings/preferences->preferences
Set it up this way:

Then click save!

2.OKay now set your project folder
-Make a new folder
-File->Project->Set
-Choose a folder
-this file will now always look in that folder for models and textures.

3.Camera Basics
-Space Bar Expands the current window your mouse is over. Spacebar again to go back.
-Alt+Press with pen (Left Click) rotates your view
-Alt+Right Click=zoome in and out
-Alt+Middle Click= pan
-press 5 to enter shaded mode, so that you arent looking at wireframes all the time. press 4 to return to

wireframe mode

4. Polygon Basics

-Polygons are in Games!
-A single point is called a vertex
-2 vertices are connected by an edge
-3 vertices connected by edges makes a tri
-Modellers are usually given tri limits
-Go display->Heads up display-> polycount to get your nifty polycount meter to track how much stuff you are using!

5. Making a rock
-Okay lets make a rock!
-Start off with a square!
-Click the make a square thing.

-Look to the right, it changes. These are the settings for the tool you are currently using!
-Change these values

-NOw your square will be divided when you make it.
-Click on the grid plane and drag out a flat thing. Release

-Click down again and drag up to set height!

-Huzzah!
-now the edit stuff!
-Hover your mouse over the cube and hold down right click!
-Now drag your cursor over to vertex!
-Now let go!
-Now you can edit the vertices!
(going to edge, lets you move edges, going to faces lets you move faces, object is the whole thing. dont worry bout the other stuff.)

6. Now for your tools. They are on the left hand bar.
Starting from the 4th one going down they are:
move (w key)
rotate (e key)
scale (r key)
You can select a vertex, edge, face or object and apply any of these 3 transformations.
rotate and scale will do nothing to a single vertex.
But you can select multiple verts by holding down shift!
And then you can rotate and scale them!
its fun!

So just use the move tool.

Notice you get these 3D arrows. You can use these 3 handles to move your vertices around in 3D space.

So turn that cube into a rock now by moving the verts around. And save your file.

ANd thats the end of lesson 1

edit: I'll cover rendering in the next lesson. for now you can just print screen and show what you've got!

edit edit: you can deselect your object by going right click menu-> object and then click on an empty space. So you can see your model without the wireframe.

PROX on

## Posts

edited August 2008
Thank you proxzorz(s)!! I will make my rock ASAP.

NightDragon on
• Registered User, ClubPA regular
edited August 2008
Wow, this thread is a fucking goldmine. Good show!

Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
• JapanRegistered User regular
edited August 2008
Rock on!

MagicToaster on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
sticky plz.

prox:

beavotron on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
Thanks everyone! Also, sorry I couldn't get you guys a good picture of the right click menu. Screen capture doesn't capture it, and doesn't seem to capture the handles for move scale and rotate either. But i think when you see the handles you'll get the idea.

I'll go little more into the basics of the handles if you guys need, but stuff is better shown by the video tutorials that came with the program.

PROX on
• Registered User
edited August 2008
Good stuff! I'll be watching from the sidelines

Oh, it would be useful to also tell people what the shortcut keys are (i can't remember exactly as i haven't touched maya in years, something like f8-f11?) for switching between vertex, face, edge and normal mode are as it makes you able to manipulate things much quicker.

Lly on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
Oh right do this:
object/component toggle: F8
Vertices:F9
edges: F10
faces: F11
UVs: F12

we will deal with UVs later.

PROX on
• Moderator mod
edited August 2008
Hey, how much stuff are you planning to cover with these tutorial(s)? I could do some simple character modeling/texturing stuff if you weren't planning on going that far.

Angel_of_Bacon on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
I was gonna cover up to creating a simple 200 poly game character. So texturing, the extrude tools etc. It's more project based then tool based.
You can help by pointing out essentials that I've missed and perhaps other pertinent subjects...PROFFESSOR Bacon.

edit: I don't know a thing about rigging and skinning. maybe someone can teach that. then we can get animation going.

PROX on
• Registered User
edited August 2008
I could and would help out with a 3dsmax tutorial if you guys were using it. I actualy screen captured my entire work when i did Ikura's character for the draw another forumer'..... but it totals like 1.6 gigs. hehe

maybe I can compress it and share?

Ziffelblict on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
You use a... wacom... to model

The mere idea baffles me

Raslin on
I cant url good so add me on steam anyways steamcommunity.com/id/Raslin

3ds friend code: 2981-6032-4118
• Registered User
edited August 2008
I hope this helps someone, but it might not... this is a compressed video capture from when i drew Iruka using 3dsmax a while ago. its about 50megs on google video and 56 minutes long. and theres no sound.

I wanted to post it here and have it end up as higher resolution with sound, like me explaining what im doing as i do it.
Enjoy!

Ziffelblict on
• Registered User
edited August 2008
For general video tutorials I highly recommend 3dbuzz,

Maya

and for 3dsmax

These guys are grreat, they show you all about the programs and how to get around the UI's.

Ziffelblict on
edited August 2008
PROX wrote: »
I was gonna cover up to creating a simple 200 poly game character. So texturing, the extrude tools etc. It's more project based then tool based.
You can help by pointing out essentials that I've missed and perhaps other pertinent subjects...PROFFESSOR Bacon.

OOOOOOOOH MY GOOOOOOOOOURD I LUUUUURRRRVS YOU GUUUUUUUYSSSSS

Raslin wrote: »
You use a... wacom... to model

The mere idea baffles me

Hahaha...I actually use a Wacom, and when I learned you needed 3 different mouse buttons for Maya...I went a little D:

But! I think it's okay. I just set the 2nd button on the pen to a "middle click", and now it's all good. We'll see how it goes.

NightDragon on
• Registered User
edited August 2008
Using a wacom to do maya feels like using one to play a fps. It's just about doable, but there are far more downsides than ups. ZBrush on the other hand, wacom's make that program come alive!

Also i am so watching the 200 poly tutorial. i never got into the game development side of maya and it always intrigued me.

Lly on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
It was weird using it at first, but now I can't imagine maya without a wacom. My wrists feel a lot better too. Anyways to avoid severe joint trauma, model with a wacom. My teacher's pinky is still wonky from using a mouse for 4 years to model.

PROX on
edited August 2008
Ah maked a rock!

:3

Question: I started fiddling with things (hold Shift while making the cube, and it makes the entire object for you! whee!) and made a really big cube with lots of divisions. Then I made a face! ...but how do you select things on a single *side* of an object, without having the vertices on the opposite side get selected, too?

NightDragon on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
Best way is to go into the 3d(perspective) view, and select them through there. I assume you've been selecting them on the side views?

Raslin on
I cant url good so add me on steam anyways steamcommunity.com/id/Raslin

3ds friend code: 2981-6032-4118
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
This is where maya gets ass backwards because it has incompatibility with some video cards. mostly ATI cards.

then
display->-polygons-> backface culling.
This makes polygons not double sided, and so you can not select a polygon unless it is facing you.

Good exploration ND. Remember to explore the program, and dont be afraid to experiment. Millions of way to do things in maya. And if you break it, just reinstall, because sometimes you can really screw up the program haha.

PROX on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
oh yeah, you guys can make more than one rock. Make 5 rocks. Oh man, I'm the most beloved teacher evar. They dont have to be the same size either.

PROX on
edited August 2008
Huzzah! Banana! Cat-face-thing! Starburst Rock! Scoop-thing!

PROX wrote: »
then
display->-polygons-> backface culling.
This makes polygons not double sided, and so you can not select a polygon unless it is facing you.

Shanks!

NightDragon on
• Moderator mod
edited August 2008
PROX wrote: »
rigging and skinning

D:

I was kind of hoping to show how things in Maya could be easy, before making it apparent that it can also be mind-bendingly hard.

I mean, I could cover basic stuff that will only get you so far, or I could go further and spend a month doing it and then writing it all down, or I could point a finger towards any of 100 auto-rigging scripts out there (what actual riggers do), which will let you cobble together an OK rig fairly quickly but you won't know how to fix anything if anything goes wrong. (And it will go wrong, oh yes, it will go wrong).

I'll cover it if people demand it, but since it's a semi-advanced kind of topic I'd rather not start there and scare everyone off.

And for your character demo- 200 polys is kind of low, you might want to make a higher res mesh, so you can demonstrate proper topology and edge flow, and show the benefits of work with quads over triangles. Not that a low-poly mesh with triangles is a bad thing, but scaling up to higher res meshes later on will be painful if someone gets in the habit of using tris to save poly count early on.

Angel_of_Bacon on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
Interesting points prof bacon! I was gonna do rigging and skinning after modeling. but anyhow! Can you teach the class about what those three tabs in the upper right do? I think those are important.

Good rocks ND!

edit: yeah we wont do rigging until people ask.

PROX on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
Okay...im gonna do this lesson on the 3 seashells.

PROX on
• Moderator mod
edited August 2008
Okay...im gonna do this lesson on the 3 seashells.
Ok, now I can't tell if you're explaining the 3 tabs, I'm supposed to be explaining the 3 tabs, or if you were just making an obtuse and non-sequitur reference to Stallone/Snipes opus Demolition Man.

Angel_of_Bacon on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
BOTH! Here's lesson 1.5: Crap I forgot to tell you.

The three axis

x
y
z

3D is defined by these 3 axises. These are the coordinates in space of everything.
So! familiarize yourself with the x y and z axis!

1.The Three Tabs.

"You mean you don't know how to use the 3 seashells?"

>1st buttons is the attributes tab

-you can use this to see and edit all the many attributes of the currently selected object
The current page can be used to rename your object where it says "mesh:"
Protip #1: It is a good habit to always label each of your objects. Heck, sometimes maya gets confused when things have similar names.
Protip #2: Save different versions of your models, so that you can always go to an earlier file if you totally screwed up.

>2nd button is the tools tab...which i didn't get a screen shot of...
-This tab lets you change the settings on the tool you are currently using

>3rd buttons is the channels tab

-oh man this tab is pretty crazy.
-There is the basic coordinate system there, where you can input precisely where you want stuff to be.
-it lets you change...history...like you can change what you did 3 steps ago and crap like that.
-but lets not get into that
-it also lets you create layers thats you can add objects to and turn them visible on and off and crap like that.
-we'll get to that later
-wtf this tab has more tabs inside of it.

2. Duplicate!

-you can go to edit->duplicate to duplicate an object!
-it will create an object right on top of the source one, so be sure to move it away.
-shortcut is control+d
-remember to rename when you duplicate or maya will be all "duuurrrr"

DUPLICATE SPECIAL

-uh oh
-go edit-> duplicate special->lil box
-any lil box opens up the settings for that command in a lil window you can mess around with
-copies are their own object.
-instances change when you change the source object. and arn't their own object.

-see the ones that are changing are instances
-the one that isnt changing is a copy
-also notice i put in a negative one in that box. this effectively makes a mirror copy along the x-axis.
-Duplicate special is very useful for testing out how multiple copies of an object will look laid out, without having to remodel each one by itself. Change one and it changes the rest
-Scale, Rotate, and move of the entire object do not effect the instances.
-So you can actually use the same mesh over and over again, squashing, resizing rotating and moving it all around.

3. HARD N SOFT EDGES

-Notice how some of your edges are sharp and some are soft, those are hard and soft edges
-Hard edges actually take up more 3D processing power than soft edge.
-Hard edges also make your model really blocky looking
-Most models are about 99% soft edges, because they let the textures do the talking.
-It is easier to hide your polygons with soft edges too.

check out the difference:

-that isnt to say hard edges arent used, just in the right places.

-so you can soften individual edges by selecting and edge and going normals->soften edge

-i just select my entire object and go->soften edge and pick out the hard edges i want.

-btw if you click this lil bar here when going to a menu item you can detach the menu (dont worry itll still be
there if you click the menu option again). Handy if your using a menu all the time.

PROX on
edited August 2008
Alright guys, somebody else has to be a part of this aside from myself!

Where's everybody elses' rocks?

hmmm?

NightDragon on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
I was wondering that myself! They afraid of greatness!

PROX on
• __BANNED USERS regular
edited August 2008
Are we only allowed to use maya? I could make some rocks, but they'd be in 3DS

Kazhiim on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
Kazhiim wrote: »
Are we only allowed to use maya? I could make some rocks, but they'd be in 3DS

Same. Also, I live in the bay area, and need somewhere to stay for pax.

We should date.

Raslin on
I cant url good so add me on steam anyways steamcommunity.com/id/Raslin

3ds friend code: 2981-6032-4118
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
Can we get this thread stickied?

People (ie ME) might want to use this thread as a resource in future.

Mustang on
• Registered User regular
edited August 2008
for the gadgets geeks amongst you

3DConnexion SpaceNavigator PE

wonder if you can do without the keyboard & mouse completely with a wacom and that...

to get an idea in 3d applications

you can configure it to move your model around and not the camera i think, which would be pretty neat - but im a impulse gadget junkie so ...ignore this post

edit: he seems to be going a bit crazy with it near the end..

reading a few posts, apparently its useless...

Mangaroo on
• Registered User
edited August 2008
Three rocks! The one with the crazy extra number of polys accidentally had the Smooth tool applied to it, but I like how it turned out.

Extremely good stuff, this inspired me to finally sit down and start learning a 3D modeling tool. Definitely keep it up!

UncleSam on
SteamID : sammer105