Basic Maya interface, tools and shortcuts
The four main tools within Maya are select(Q), move(W), rotate(E) and scale(R).To create a basic shape (called a primitive) we used the Polygons tab in the ‘Shelf’ toolbar. There are different tabs that are each specialised for different aspects of 3d modelling and animating. For this tutorial, I started with a cube.
Changing and editing primitives
We used the attribute editor to change the position, rotation and scale of the cube so that it would better fit the shape we were building.
Any primitive or shape in Maya or other 3D programs is made up of vertices, edges and faces. A vertex is a point in 3d space, an edge is two of these connected together and a face is three or more edges connected together to create a flat plane.
To edit a shape, we have to select the vertices, edges and faces we want to change, then apply the transformation. We used the split view to make editing easier which shows the top, front, side and 3d views. Also, using the snapping tool allowed us to make our models more uniform and symmetrical.
We were asked to create a spaceship using the extrude tool. This process was fairly simple. first, we selected the face we wished to extrude. then, we clicked extrude in the modelling toolkit and position the extruded face as necessary. if needed we could then scale and rotate to create more interesting and complex shapes.
An interesting feature I came across was the smooth surface view (which can be accessed by selecting an object and pressing 2 to make smooth – or 1 to change back to normal). This made the object look more realistic as spaceships tend to have aerodynamic curves rather than sharp edges.