NURBS primitives

From the course: Maya 2018 Essential Training

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  • Course details

    Learn to create high-quality 3D models and animations in Maya 2018. This course covers the core Maya skills—modeling, texturing, rendering, and animation—within a real-world, project-based workflow. The techniques you'll learn here translate equally well to film, motion graphics, game design, and animation.

    First explore the basics of the Maya interface, including selecting and manipulating objects, organizing scenes, and customizing the interface. Next, learn about polygonal modeling, creating and refining meshes, sculpting, and working with NURBS surfaces. Once you understand modeling, discover how to create and apply materials—adding color, texture, and reflectivity to your creations. Then integrate cameras, lighting, and effects into the rendering process, and leverage the new Arnold for Maya renderer. Last but not least, instructor George Maestri show how to add movement and life to your work with Maya's animation tools.


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  • Welcome

    - [Instructor] Now let's take a look at a basic way to create NURB surfaces. And that's by using primitives. Now these are very similar to the primitives that we use in polygonal modeling. And it's just one way of creating a NURB surface. We can also create NURB surfaces starting with basic curves, and we'll get to that in just a little bit. So let's take a look at some of the primitives that we have. So we can go under the create menu, and under NURBS primitives we have all of these. So let's go ahead and just tear this off by clicking on the double dotted line, and let's take a look at what we have here. So the first one is the sphere. And I've got interactive creation turned on here, so I can just click and drag. And when we create a sphere, well it basically creates this shape. Very familiar. But if we go over to the attribute editor, we can take a look at some of our creation perimeters here. So if we go into make NURB sphere, we can change the number of sections, as well as the number of spans. And so that just adds or subtracts detail. Very similar to how you would see it on a polygonal object. Now remember, NURB surfaces are based out of rectangular patches. So if you want to know how a surface is constructed, look for the seam. And so this double width line here is my seam. And as we've seen before, we can change the sweep of this. Either at the start or at the end. So let's go ahead and select this sphere and delete it. Now another one is the cylinder. Now I'm going to skip over the cube for just a second here. And let's take a look at the cylinder. Now when we draw a cylinder, it's drawn the same way as a polygonal cylinder. But a NURB cylinder is actually quite different in that it is comprised of three separate objects. So if I go into Windows Outliner, we can see this. So I have this NURB cylinder here. But notice how this is actually a hierarchy. So if I expand this hierarchy, you'll see that as a child of the main cylinder, we have a bottom and a top cap. So this is actually separate geometry. So if I select this top cap and move it up, you can see that it's actually a separate patch. Now the reason we do this is because, remember, NURB surfaces are only rectangular patches. So in order to get this sort of geometry, we have to use multiple surfaces. Now if I select this cylinder, we can go into the make NURB cylinder node in our attribute editor. And again, we can sweep it and show you how that's created. We can add in spans, as well as sections to add or subtract detail. Now if you just want a NURB cylinder without the top and bottom, you can always select those and delete them. Or if you go into the creation perimeters of this, so if I go into cylinder here and click on this little box here, we can actually control some of this. So I can control the sweep at the start and at the end. And I can turn off caps. So I can either have no caps, bottom, top, or both. So you can control it on creation. Now I'm going to go ahead and select my cylinder and delete it. And now let's take a look at something even a little bit more complex here. So I'm going to go back into my create menu here. And let's create a cube. Now a cube is probably the epitome of stitching patches together because each one of these is a rectangular patch. So again, if I go into the outliner here, you'll see that I have a NURBS cube node, and under that are the six sides of this cube. So again, each one of these is a separate patch. So if I select the main node here. And if I select any one of these original nodes here, we can go into our make NURB cube and we can add or subtract detail. Now notice how the detail adds or subtracts for all of these individual patches when I dial up one. Now if I don't want all of these, again, I can just delete what I don't want. And create other types of shapes. And if I want to, I can select the main node and delete it. Now we have a few more here. Let's go into cone, which is very similar to cylinder. And instead of having two caps, it obviously only has one. So let's go ahead and delete that. And then we also have the plane, which is very simple. And that's actually just the purest form of a NURB surface, it's actually a NURBS patch. So this is what a NURBS patch looks like. We can certainly go into our attribute editor and dial up our detail. We can right click over, go on control vertex, and again, shape this. And notice again how nice and smooth everything is. Right click, go into object mode. Delete it and let's do one more. And that's the torus. Now torus is essentially a doughnut shape. And as you can see, this one has actually two seams. So we have a seam here, as well as another seam down here. So if we go to our creation perimeters in our attribute editor, we find make NURB torus. You can see that we have two sweeps. We have a start and end sweep. So this is basically the sweep for this axis. And then we also have what's called a minor sweep. So as you can see, this again is a four sided patch, that is just swept into a cylinder and then that cylinder is swept into a torus. So hopefully this gives you a little bit of insight as to how NURB surfaces are constructed. And these perimeters are really great ways to start your NURBS modeling.

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