Maya is a leading 3D computer graphics software used to create content for animated films, TV series and video games. Major block buster films like Transformers, Jurrasic Park and Star Wars used Maya for most of their animations. It's an amazing tool to know how to use and for those of you starting to get into 3D rendering, here are some tips to get the most out of Maya and to help you with different aspects of the software.
1. Texture to Geometry
The Texture to Geometry tool is a great resource to get familiar with. This tool is best for getting a base mesh using a plane with the same aspect ratio as your image. All you have to do is assign the texture to the plane, choose your plane geometry, and go to ‘Modify, Convert, and Texture to Geometry.’ Find your image and then apply.
Quads are another important tool to use. They are best used for skinning and getting the best results for UV and texturing. Quads are also great when converting a 3D model to a sculpting package.
3. Backface Culling
Is your viewport slow and delaying your process? Backface Culling is perfect for getting rid of the drawing of backfaces and speeds up your viewport. Turn on Backface Culling under ‘Shading.’
4. Bone & Muscle Structure
This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s still important to remember. Throughout your process, you should analyze the bone and muscle structure of the characters or people around you. This will allow you to familiarize yourself better with anatomy, which will ultimately improve the structure of your characters.
Bored of the mundane shapes you’re used to? Change it up a bit using the text tool, which creates curves. Next, place the curves in front of simple NURBS primitives and move the curves onto NURBS primitives from different angles. Create holes and different shapes from these curves.
6. Boolean Tools
Try using the Boolean Tools more often. These tools help create intricate models with more detail.
7. Animation Snapshot
Use Animation Snapshot to create a copy of your model for other frames. This command can be found under the “Animate” menu. This tool is an effective way to model a repetitive shape throughout each frame.
8. Create Polygon Tool
Familiarize yourself with the Create Polygon Tool to re-topologize a mesh. This tool allows you to draw over hi-resolution mesh to create new low-resolution mesh.