Polygon Modelling Basics
An introduction to the Maya Interface.
Showing how to navigate Maya's interface. This tutorial covers the main things you need to know to get started using Maya.
Combining two polygon objects using the Combine tool.
Combine is one of the most commonly used tools when starting out in Maya.
There are several different elements you can select in Maya, including faces, edges, vertices and UVs. This tutorial covers the main things you will need to select when polygon modelling
The Bevel tool is really useful when making 'hard surface' models (furniture, buildings, etc, as opposed to 'organic' rounder objects like characters). It quickly adds a level of refinement to objects without a lot of effort.
Adding Edge Loop
When you need to add polygons to your models, the 'add edge loop' tool is a quick and easy way to go about this.
Extruding faces, means adding geometry by pulling or pushing on a face or faces.
Extruding faces 2
There are some handy features included in the Extrude function that allow you to edit your extrude after you have created it.
One of the most essential windows in Maya, the Outliner helps you keep track of your models and arrange them efficiently.
The Multi-Cut Tool
The clue's in the name. The Multi-Cut tool allows you to 'cut' faces, essentially it adding edges in places you need them. It is a replacement for the 'Add Edge' tool.
'Soft' and 'Hard' Edges
The way Maya displays edges can vary depending on whether you tell it to display edges as 'soft' or 'hard'. Hard edges work will for hard surface models, whereas soft edges work best with organic models.
At some point you are likely to need to simplify your mesh. 'Merge Vertices' allows you to do this.
Append to Polygon Tool
A really useful tool which can confuse beginners. The Append to Polygon tool allows you to create faces in gaps in the mesh.
Texturing & UV Layout
Materials & Texturing
Once you've built your object, you'll need to add a material to it. This covers the basics of materials and texturing.
Normals determine from which direction a surface reflects and receives light. It's a strange concept, but is useful when you come to using Normal Maps' at a more advanced level
Character UV Layout
An approach to laying out UVs for a character.
If you need to create a texture in Photoshop, you can take a snapshot of the UVs from Maya, and use it to paint over in Photoshop.
3D Paint Tool - Part 1
A quick and easy way of texturing objects is by painting directly on to them using the 3D paint tool.
3D Paint - Part 2
'Instances' and 'Duplicate Special'
If you're making lots of the same object and you need to edit them all at once, then it is a good idea to use an 'instance' (basically a clone) of the object.
Moving a pivot point
Moving a pivot point is essential when you're animating or when you just need to rotate something more conveniently.
Sometimes you need to build one half of an object, but automatically build the other half (when building a face for instance). This tutorial covers a way of doing this using Duplicate Special.
If you need to model something based on a plan, Image Planes are a good way to do about this.
Rigging for Animation
If you want to make your character animate, you'll need to add bones and skin it.
Concepting & Modelling a robot hand
Just a time-lapse showing how I concepted and modelled a robot hand.
Robot modelling Time-Lapse
An hour of modelling condensed into five minutes.
Head Modelling Time-Lapse
Pulse Effect Using UV Scrolling
A simple pulse effect produced by 'scrolling' UVs. This involved moving the texture along the U or V axis.