Saturday, 15 September 2012

Maya - Modelling With Symmetry

In my last post I said that I had come across something incredibly simple, but brilliantly powerful in Maya. Although I did say I would reveal all in my next post, there is quite a lot to write about so I shall tease you all for a bit longer.

What I'm showing today is just one of my videos of examples of how a few very simple node connections can be used to do so many different things.

So, what I've come up with here is an interesting way to model in Maya with true live mirroring. There are a few techniques to model symmetrically. The simplest is to turn reflection on in the tool settings, but that doesn't help very much when drawing new edge loops etc,. Another is to use duplicate instance, to create a live flipped copy of one half of the mesh. That will work fine in a lot of cases, that is however until you smooth preview the mesh, and a seem appears down the centre where the join is!
So is there another, better way? Take a look at this.

What I have here is a cage mesh wireframe of one half of the object. I can make any changes I like to it (even clearing the history), and the smooth mesh preview underneath updates, and there is no line down the middle because the smooth version is one complete mesh.
It still works without smooth mesh preview on, and it's also possible to just have the mesh underneath smoothed, with an un-smoothed wireframe.

Admittedly, this takes some effort to set up, and would first need to be automated by a script for it to be totally useful. However you can see how this could be particularly useful for modelling cars or any other symmetrical, smooth surfaces for that matter.

Some of you keen eyed viewers may be able to spot half of the solution of how I achieved this in the video. The trick is how to be able to create a second mesh that is based off of another mesh. 'Duplicate instance' isn't the answer!

I think that is enough info for this post! More to come!

A Flock of Pixels

Edit - It appears I'm not the first to come up with this! I've only just gone and found someone on Creative Crash with a script that appears to do the exact same thing!

Well, it was still an exciting discovery at the time, even if someone did beat me to it!
I still plan on sharing all my other findings.

A Flock of Pixels

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm - a mesh proxy or some variation on that technique?

    I think we need to start seeing some A Flock of Pixels scripts being publicly released! Who knows, people could be willing to part with a bit of money if the front-end was suitably polished up enough!