Here we Maya again…

Oh Maya how I’ve missed you…
Over the summer I’ve not really touched Maya, I was more trying to get my drawing back up to scratch as well as trying to get my head around animation much more.
So I was actually quite happy to get back onto Maya as it’s something I really want to get good at or at least knowledgeable with. The first thing we did was get familiar with the workspace and with basic shapes again. So I got around to messing with the vertex’s and other parts of the polygon, here’s what I got up to within a few minutes with just playing with that…

I thought I may as well try to get an idea of the shape that I wanted my character as… so I tried to get a quick, pretty bad, draft of Peepa or at least her head-ish.

Once we got some time to get back use to Maya, Matt went straight into getting our heads around getting a skeleton for a basic cylinder so we could see how rigging is done. Here’s some more screenshots of the rigging and bone tool which I had done, this was a little more tricky at first as yo have to make sure you’re on the side view so that it creates the bone on the shape as well as in the position. It’s not as easy as Flash’s bone tool because your obviously working in a third dimension which sometimes can place the skeleton in the completely wrong place.

Once we’d made the skeleton we then had to bind it to the skin and create a point at the bottom to use it as a joint. As you can see mine went a little wrong due to where I had placed the key skeleton point and the divisions which meant it bent at two points. Although this was a mistake the actual point of doing it worked and for future reference I may do something similar because with it only bending in one spot, it had morphed the shape to bend in not such a nice way. By making it bend in two spots it eases that shape into it a little more, however next time I’ll have to put the divisions closer so that there’s not such a big gap between the bend.

Last of all, but certainly not least, we went onto having a quick look at UV mapping and although we did do some last year it was a nice reminder and refresher.
Using the actual UV map isn’t too hard, it’s more hard making sure the texture you’ve created/drawn onto the map fits onto the shape exactly how you want it. When we did the UV mapping I also tried to see if a .png style format image would work and make everything else clear which, well obviously did.

Overall I really need to get down with Maya and get use to the animation tools within it so that at least I have the ability to try to specialise more in the animation side, as I do find the actual building of things much more difficult but Second Life did change a lot for me in terms of getting use to working within 3D environments.

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