Intro to 3D Modeling

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Maya for Beginners: Complete Guide to 3D Animation in Maya

Learn everything you need for 3D animation in Autodesk Maya: Modeling, Texturing, Lighting, Rigging, Animation, Dynamics

26:37:11 of on-demand video • Updated November 2021

  • You will become comfortable using Autodesk Maya to model, texture, rig, animate, dynamics, light, and render
  • Build and design your own 3D objects
  • Animate your 3D objects with keyframes
  • Modeling, shading, texturing, lighting beautiful designs
  • Rendering your projects for high quality playback
  • Rigging a 3D character for animation
  • Simulating dynamic effects like water, cloth, and smoke
  • You will know how to put together an entire 3D animated scene!
English [Auto] Welcome to the first class in 3D modeling, and the reason why I've structured it this way to have three modeling at the beginning of this complete beginner series is because simply we need something to work with later. So we might as well learn modeling up front at the beginning so that we can use models later down the course and have an understanding of what modeling is and why it's important. So to get going. I wanted first to describe some concepts about three modeling so you can begin to understand how to approach 3D modeling kind of from a theoretical standpoint so that you know what tools to use and how to approach whatever project that you come up with in your imagination and projects down the line and all that kind of a thing. So let's take a look at example that I've created. All of these seen files that I'm working on are available to you for downloads. So this one might not be that useful because it's pretty basic, but it's going to be made available to you to download so you can follow along or open it up and dissect it and see what is inside. So I'm going to show you an example that I made real quick so we can cover two important concepts, hard versus organic modeling. So when I first describe this, you can probably already guess what it means, especially by looking at these two examples. And let me first quickly cover a couple little tricks that I like to use in my viewport so we can look at this a little better. I don't know if it shows up in your video, but the edges of all of these polygons are not super smooth. They're kind of jagged and they're not anti aliased, as we like to say technically. So there's actually an anti aliased button here that you can turn on for the viewport. And it is this little one right here. If I hover over it and you can look at the bottom left and it says multi sample, anti aliasing, and then the tooltip will also pop up. So if we press that and you can follow along and do this in your viewport, you can see that this is just for us. This doesn't affect the final render or the model itself or anything like that. This is just kind of to make it easier on our eyes as we're using Maya. So I like to turn on anti aliasing. And I also like to turn on the ambient occlusion because you can't really see where these lines and gaps intersect on this model very well. So if we turn on ambient inclusion, watch this area right here where there should be lines popping up, but we can't see them because they're all facing the same direction. That's just how Maya's rendering it and the viewport. If we turn ambient inclusion, which is this little button up here, which is just next to the interlacing, we get ambient occlusion, which basically shows us areas of geometry that are close together and darkens those corners and inset areas. So now we can see that model a little bit better now that we have those to kind of viewport options turned on. So back to the topic at hand, hard versus organic models and modeling. And why is this important? It's important because we need to understand how we're going to approach a project or model and the tools we're going to use to create it. So let's first talk about what hard versus organic really means. So you can kind of get an idea from these two examples. Hard is kind of straight surfaces. They can be curved as well. You can see there's a cylinder here, so it has a rounded surface on that side. But there's patterns here. It's things, you know, mechanical things, you know, things that are bolted together and made by humans typically are hard surfaces. So imagine a transformer here and the organic shape on the right. There's no pattern really here. You know, there's a lot of kind of swooping shapes. And it was made clearly not in the same way or the same tools that the one on the left was made. You can see there's two very different type of models here. And just to kind of drive this point home, it's probably already pretty clear what these two things are. But it's good to just drive it home at this early stage of learning about modeling. So I have a couple of pictures here that I wanted to show you. Just take a guess at what this would be, hard or organic models. And you can kind of tell it's organic kind of shape. There's a lot of branches and a fine texture and bark and leaves. And so, of course, this is going to be organic. And the type of tools will use to model something like this will be much different than modeling a hard surface like me wearing the Darth Vader helmet. It has some curved shape to it, but it's a hard surface. There's not fine detail and texture on the surface itself. For the most part, it's glossy. It's it's like a hard plastic. But if we're looking at this and looking at my hand, the hand would be on an organic model because it has very unique shapes. There's no. Pattern or uniformity to it at all? So it depends on what we're looking at in this picture, if it's my hand or the helmet on, what's going to be organic or considered hard surface? And just as another example, here are some more helmets that are all hard surface models. And for a kind of more historical example, you can see there's both in this as well, the kind of statues in the middle, in the foreground and the inset on these at the front of this building are organic models. They have musculature. They have, you know, flowing robes and there's horses. And but when you look at the building itself, it has very flat surfaces, very smooth. There's no kind of organic detail unless we look at the top of the columns, we can see the kind of floral patterns that are incorporated there. So this is, again, marrying those two types of models in one example. So this is also a famous sculpture that's in the Vatican. And you can see the robes and all that type of thing would be considered organic, even though, you know, organic you might think of like nature or something like that. You know, clothes can be considered organic because they have these kind of flowing irregular shapes in the folds of the model. And again, lastly, we have both together where this kind of structure on top of the mountain is a hard surface. And then when we look at the rock, we can clearly tell the difference between the pattern and the type of surface that this building has versus the kind of irregular surface of the rock. OK, so I think we understand what hard versus organic means. And I'm going to mess with this little cluster handle to show you also that, you know, this is important to understand for later down the road when we're talking about rigging and animating. If it's a hard surface, we're probably not going to flex from the middle of this object. It's probably going to move all together. And that's going to, you know, affect how we're going to do things later with rigging and animation. Whereas if it's organic, you know, this this thing could move all kinds of different ways. And we would need to rig and animate to reflect the type of organism this is or shape or model. So it's also important to understand later on what this implies for other aspects. So in this course now we're going to jump into actually making things now that you have an understanding of how to use Meiwes interface and how we're going to approach modeling, we're going to make one hard surface model that we're going to continue to use throughout the course. And then we're going to model an organic character, a skeleton guy, and we're going to use to animate later and make a pretty cool animation so far along in the next lesson. And we'll get to creating stuff now. Thanks for watching.