Avatar in Maya: Mime Model Animation

January 28, 2013

In this project we will design a simple avatar and then animate it.
The model we have chosen for this event is this:


To start designing it as we have done repeatedly, first place the reference planes in Maya:

2012-11-30 20-11-43

The first thing we have done is create a NURB square and extend their faces begin with the extrude tool. To save work and be sure that the avatar is being completely symmetric, we design this avatar only one side, creating the other automatically.

Once we have the first rectangle, which is the body that will we begin to create the arms, which would get something like the following:

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We created many divisions as convenient and modifying them as we see fit, as shown in the following image:

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We perform similar operations with legs and head until we have something like this:

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To make the feet, extend the latest faces of the legs and the extrude tool support, we will design the feet as close to our reference planes:

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A similar system, although more complicated, should be performed to create the hands of our avatar. In this case, we again used the extrude tool to create each of the fingers, until we be something like the following picture:

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As can be seen in refencia drawings, the dimensions of our model must be something disproportionate, since it is not a real model:

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To design the eyes, use repeatedly extrude tool to create the different layers that create the eyes, starting from one side and making it subdivisions:

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Ears, like most parts of this avatar, be designed with the extrude tool, as shown in the following images:

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To give the impression that our model wears clothes, just have to widen a bit the last faces of each garment, and get the visual effect we seek. Again, the extruded tool.

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For eyes, create a sphere of appropriate size and remove leftover faces us:

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To paint, and so much as paint the car project, we have to divide our avatar in different colours that are going to put paint them separately:

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We use a coat checker to verify that your avatar is ready to be painted:

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For this model, we used a different template than the default one in Maya, with the following results:

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Using Photoshop, as we did with the car, put the corresponding colours where applicable.

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As you can see in the picture above, to avoid problems when placing the avatar bones, we have separated the limbs, which has greatly facilitated the steps that follow.

To place the bones, we used the tool joint tool and the front view of our avatar:

2013-01-28 04-37-36_Autodesk Maya 2013 CUsersJesús Ruiz TaravilloDesktopMimeModelscenesMimeM

Now we can move each and every one of the extremities of our avatar, as it suits us.:

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To encourage him, we have selected the exact position of the limbs in each moment. The aim has been to make a reference and a series of movements, as if performing in front of audiences:

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After selecting all the necessary moments in the timeline, we can see how to play and has been our animation.

To download the project, click here


You can also view a video demonstrating the two major projects that are described in this blog:


Designing Fiat 500 in Maya (polygons)

January 21, 2013

In the next step we will show the process of how we have been designing a 3D model a Fiat 500, old model.

This model has been designed with polygons car following a few plans that we will design, which have already been shown in another entry in this blog.

Although it is very difficult to capture all the steps that we needed to develop the car, in this post we will try to show in best possible way, how we have designed our model of a Fiat 500 in Maya.

1. – As can be shown in the picture, we started designing the front left side of the car, preparing the hole where the wheel would. (The wheels are placed near the end of the design):

Screenshot - 03_01_2013 , 19_55_03

As seen in the above image, after designing the body part where the wheel would go with the extrude tool, we have been extending the sides to form the outline of the first forms giving around the front bumper and the front the car.

2. – In the next step, we extrude elongated tool with the bottom of the car body, to reach the second wheel, thus delimiting the lateral contour of the vehicle:

Screenshot - 03_01_2013 , 20_15_05

3. – Likewise extending from one side of the upper side can design the whole side of the car, as shown in the following image:

Screenshot - 03_01_2013 , 20_21_31

4. – Once done, we can finish designing the second round, and then put all the parts and finish designing the earliest forms of the side skirts of the car:

Screenshot - 03_01_2013 , 20_29_10

Screenshot - 03_01_2013 , 20_39_10

5. – We designing and extending the faces with the extrude tool and started designing the back of our car:

Screenshot - 03_01_2013 , 21_01_54

6. – Once the lower contour of the back, going up and extending faces joining vertices with vertex merge tool, as shown in the following image:

Screenshot - 03_01_2013 , 21_28_11

7. – From time to time and to get an idea of ​​how our design is running, we can stay right with half of our design and duplicate it in mirror mode to see how it would be well, as shown in the following images:

Screenshot - 03_01_2013 , 21_46_31

Screenshot - 03_01_2013 , 21_48_26

8. – Now only missing link all the vertices and we would have the undercarriage of our car full:

Screenshot - 03_01_2013 , 21_54_09

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 10_08_20

9. – The next step is to design the top of the body. We start from the front:

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 10_50_56

10. – And extend the lateral sides of the car, as shown in the following pictures:

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 10_54_17

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 10_58_19

11. – After joining the vertices, faces continue extending from the rear:

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 11_10_15

12. – Repeat step 7 and check if our design resembles the original:

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 11_16_43

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 11_16_49

13. – Now we can attach the tops of all sides and finish designing the bodywork of our model, as shown in the following image:

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 11_32_11

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 12_28_15

As we can see in the pictures, our model of the car will slowly taking shape:

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 11_23_46

14. – The next step to design the outline of the windows of the car as well as the low and front bumper:

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 12_37_48

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 12_51_54

As shown in the pictures, all the contours of the windows have been designed with the extrude tool:

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 12_52_02

15. – Now we will highlight the outline of the door to make it look more real, also with the extrude tool:

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 13_17_24

The result would be:

Screenshot - 04_01_2013 , 13_29_21

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16. – Now the design of the rear window of the car, in the same way we have designed the other:

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This would be an overview of the evolution of our project at this time:

Screenshot - 05_01_2013 , 11_27_45

As seen in the picture above, our model fits perfectly with the plans we put in the beginning.

17. – The next step is to design the back of the car. We begin with the radiators:

Screenshot - 05_01_2013 , 12_03_11

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As seen in the previous picture, how to design it has, once again, with the extruded tool, helping interactive tool for designing split edge and need many edges in each of the zones.

As mentioned above, it is not necessary to do both radiators back, because then we can double the half of our design.

18. – Now design the license plate and taillights, also extrudes, of course:

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19. – If you select exactly half of the faces of our model and duplicate, obtain the following result:

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20. – Now design the front of the vehicle, starting with the headlights:

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Screenshot - 05_01_2013 , 14_08_42Screenshot - 05_01_2013 , 14_11_00

21. – If we trust in the plans for the car frontl, we note that there is a more highlighted than the rest which is where is the car registration and logo fiat. To design it, we first need to create all the edges that we needed to then use extrude to highlight them:

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22. – Now we can highlight the headlights, as shown in the following image:

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23. – If we double the half in which we have been working and the key 3 to use smooth tool, our model will be as follows:

Screenshot - 05_01_2013 , 16_23_42

24. – As seen in the picture above, to unite, there is some problems that we solve extrudes. To solve these problems, we have to delete some faces that will be left over, looking from within the design. Once deleted, the result is as follows:

Screenshot - 05_01_2013 , 16_28_02

Screenshot - 05_01_2013 , 16_28_07

25. – Now is the time to design the car’s wheels. As we have explained in other entries in this blog, you will not need to design them all, because you can design one wheel and duplicate it 3 times:

Screenshot - 05_01_2013 , 17_30_26

As shown in the image above, to design the wheels use a new polygon, in this case an area that will shape:

Screenshot - 05_01_2013 , 17_39_23

The image above shows the wheel use for this model. As can be seen, several subdivisions were added in the wheel and has been used for extracting extruded innermost faces, as can be seen in the wheels of the planes.

26. – Now we can duplicate the wheel three times to get the 4 we need:

Screenshot - 05_01_2013 , 17_41_33

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If we look with smooth technique get the following:

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27. – Once designed the car, we can begin to break it down into parts to proceed to paint. We’ll start with the rear lights creating for each of the parties a UV Mapping:

Screenshot - 08_01_2013 , 23_37_47


Screenshot - 08_01_2013 , 23_39_15

Fiat logo:

Screenshot - 08_01_2013 , 23_44_07

Front and rear bumpers:

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Screenshot - 08_01_2013 , 23_48_15


Screenshot - 08_01_2013 , 23_48_45


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The inside of the headlights leads the same color, as shown in the following image:

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All edges of the windows and glass either, as shown in this picture:

Screenshot - 09_01_2013 , 0_36_28

The rest of the car would be as follows:

Screenshot - 09_01_2013 , 0_56_48

28. – Now, on all parts extracted and separated before the global model, we proceed to put a lambert style checker to check is are suitable for them to be painted:

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For this model, we use a checker with many more subdivisions as the default one in Maya:

Screenshot - 09_01_2013 , 17_42_23

Screenshot - 09_01_2013 , 17_42_27

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29. – Once you have all the parts of our car well separated and structured, we can import the Maya to proceed to paint with Photoshop:

Screenshot - 09_01_2013 , 18_18_42

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30. – Paint the bottom of all our parts white to give the color you want. Also remove the black background so you do not get confused if we paint some parts black:

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31. – Now you can paint the color parts that we like:

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32. – If now we import that file into Maya, we obtain the following result.

Screenshot - 10_01_2013 , 18_16_26

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33. – Now proceed to render the model, placing lights and spotlights surrounding environment:

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Screenshot - 10_01_2013 , 19_20_27

Also post a basis on which to “rest” the car to be more real well:

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Besides the two headlights, also place an ambient light behind the car, which will give a better look:

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34. – As a last step, we will put our car into a circular image that may cast reflections in the car:

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In the picture we see the two lights and focus selected temperature within the circular image.

35. – To see the result of reflections and rendering, and after selecting all the features needed in the rendering options, using the current render tool frame should be able to see the final result of our design, but in instead, we Maya returns an error and the next screenshot:

Screenshot - 21_01_2013 , 14_37_00

Download project here


You can also view a video demonstrating the two major projects that are described in this blog:


NURBS_Part 2 ( Blog Entry #4)

November 15, 2012

In the second part of this Entry #4 I am going to identify the possibles uses of NURBS and surfaces in mi 3D model, like I did in the Entry #3, Part 2 and you can see here.

First and foremost, this will be my first big project in Maya, so I do not if would be better with polygons surfaces or with NURBS. Some parts, like the wheels, or the headlight could be better with NURBS, but the bodywork looks easier with polygons, at least a naked eyes.

In the following picture we can see some parts that could be with NURBS:


The headlights and the both mirrors could be easier and better with NURBS.


The wheels is something that I have to decide in the moment, because I am not sure if I will do them with NURBS or polygons.


The radioators, as well as the headlights of the back of the car could be NURBS too.



NURBS_Part 1 ( Blog Entry #4)

November 15, 2012

This post belongs to the first part of Blog Entry #4 and it is about the techniques of the NURBS in Maya. In this part, I am going to find some good NURBS examples to criticize them, evaluating their topologies and identifying common shapes and object types.

The first example of NURBS would be a very good one. In my humble opinion, I think it is very well done:


As can be seen, there are three important parts: head, legs and arms; because they have more details. I think this design would be more difficult with a polygons topology. Tools like CV curves, edit Isoparms and a long etc.

The next design could be a good example, but in my opinion it has some big mistakes:


In this design, the first thing I see is the subdivisions in the neck. There are some isoparms not very regular. In the face, for example, the topology is really good, but in some parts like the nose or the eyebrows leaves much to be desired. In fact, I think that the eyebrows are overlapped in the face.

The last design is another good example of NURBS:


As we can see, the design is very uniform with a good structure. The most difficult parts are probably the hands and the feet, and they are extremely successful. Although we can not see the head and some parts would need more details, I think it is a good example of NURBS.


4 Lesson 3: Normal mapping

November 14, 2012

In the following lesson we are going to learn how to create a normal mapping to make the mesh like a high quality one. Thus, we will need to do these functions:

  • Create and apply a normal map.
  • Display the poly count for a scene.
  • Set the Search Envelope for a target mesh.
  • Set Default Rendering mode and High Quality Rendering mode.

Before starting I am going to explain the same like in Lesson1 and Lesson2, that this is not a tutorial, it is just a demonstration that I did the lesson 3 as well I understood it.

Firstly we have to import both mesh, the high quality one and the low one. (All of these projects and archives are in the official web page of Maya. Click here if you need to download them). These are the imports:

As we can see, we have the high quality on the left and the low quality on right.  In the top left corner, we can see a tool which shows the numbers of faces, vertx, edges, etc. of the high quality one.

After that, we have to put both mesh in the same position and, with the aid of Trasnfer Maps, we can make a normal map. The next step is to set the Search Envelope. Our project would be like this:

Finally, we have created a Normal Map, so we will have a low quality mesh that it looks like a high quality one:

As can be seen in the image, the low quality mesh is on left, but it is very similar than the right one, so we have get our purpose.


3 Lesson 2: UV unfolding

November 14, 2012

In this lesson I am going to give colour to a soldier using the UV Texture Editor, like in the Lesson 1. A part of that, I will need, among other things, to complete this steps, the following functions:

  • Divide a mesh into separate parts for texturing.
  • Assign a basic checker pattern to judge the quality of a mapping.
  • Create a planar mapping.
  • Cut UV edges.
  • Unfold a UV mesh using the Unfold option.
  • Fix an unfolded mesh using the Smooth UVs tool.

Therefore, the objective in this lesson is this:

As well as the Lesson 1, this is a normal lesson following a tutorial from the official webpage (Maya-tutorials), so this is not a tutorial, is just to demonstrate that I did and understood this lesson.

This having been said, I am going to explain the most important steps to do the lesson 2:

Firstly we have to dividing the mesh in torso, arms, legs, feet and head, and apply a checker pattern to all those parts. This, for example, is the case of the torso:

As we can see, we have the perspective view on the left and the perspective UV Texture Editor on the right.

The next step would be to do the same with the other parts to the mesh. For example, the helmet would be something similar like this:

After have all the parts with the checker pattern, we could use the UV Smooth tool to interactively unfold or relax the mesh. Sometimes this tool is very useful if we only want to partially unfold a mesh. Therefore, in this mesh, we will use this tool with the eyes, nose and mouth. This would be the process for the eyes:

And this for the mouth:

After that, we have our soldier ready to put him the colours of his clothes. Similarity than with the checker pattern, we will have to import an others images and put them in the right order in the mesh’s parts. This would be a capture of the feet:

In the case of the arms and feet, we have only to do the process for one of them, because we can use the Flips Selected UVs in U direction tool to do the mirror mode.

It is not the case of the eyes, because both of them are identically the same, as we can see in the following picture:

When we have completed all the parts, we will have something similar like this:

And this, only from the perfective view:

The next lesson will be how to create a normal mapping.


2 Lesson 1: UV texture mapping

November 13, 2012

The propose of this lesson is assign a 2D texture map to a polygonal model. We will use the UV Texture Editor to visualize how the UV texture coordinates from a three-dimensional model relate to an assigned two-dimensional texture map.

Therefore, the objective is to design this cereal box:

This is a normal lesson, so it is as easy as following the tutorial that we have in our moodle. For that reason, this post is not going to be a tutorial, it will be only a demonstration that I did the lesson.

(All of this projects and archives are in the official web page of Maya. Click here if you need to download them)

That said, I am going to explain with little indications how to create a cereal box:

Firstly we have to create a polygon primitive, in this case a cube with these dimensions:

  • Width: 8
  • Height: 10
  • Depth: 3
  • Width divisions: 1
  • Height divisions: 1
  • Depth divisions: 1
  • Axis: Y
  • Create UVs: On
  • Normalize: Off

Then we are ready to use the UV Texture Editor. With this tool, we could select the image to put in the cereal box, reorder the image’s faces and getting them in the right position accorded with our primitive cube. This would be the result:

As we can see, now we have the image in the correct order accord with the cereal box’s faces. The next step would be to put the image in the properly box. The final result would be like this:

Sometimes, the images are not in the correct position, so we will have to rotate them, but in my case all the images were perfect.

Now, the next lesson will be how to apply the same tool, but in a Solider!