I’m a max user but in this topic, I will share my 12 tips and trick in Maya that I learned over the years. my job is game-oriented but these tricks can help you to be a better modeler in Maya .
1.REMESH AND RETOPO NODE
there’s a node inside of Maya we can easily use it for retopology .every time we use tools like boolean we get very bad topology and we have to clean up the mesh.
in the mel script editor run ( polyRemesh; ) it will take few seconds and mesh will be triangulated which we need to perform quadrangulate operation after that to lower the polygon count we go to attributer editor and find polyremesh1 and in the reduce threshold crank it up to 70 for a cylindrical shape like this one in the image down below and we better-set interpolation type to hybrid.
finally, we run (polyRetopo;) for further refinement and better topology. in this setting we only need to play with target face count duplicate the mesh and set one face count to 2000 and another one to something low like 80.now we have both low poly and high poly without move a single vertex.
2.USING WEDGE TOOL
we can use the wedge face tool for creating curves from a face. but in order to make this tool work, we have to be in the multi-component mode to select a face and an edge all together .after selecting the last face of the mesh we have to use another mesh edge to determine how far curve to go I demonstrate this function in the images down below.
first, we create a box just to use its edge then select the face that needs to be curved and select an edge form the mesh we just create.
3.QUICK ACCESS TO MANIPULATOR
when creating primitives click t key on your keyboard and it will show the manipulator tool instead of going to channel box and change the values. we can change the tools setting using t key.
4.USE CTRL SHIFT
a quick way to access tools setting is by holding ctrl and shift.
for example, using connect tool holding ctrl and shift we are able to change between segments and slide and pinch and moving the middle button to change the values very quickly.
5.MULTI CUT TOOL
the multi-cut tool is one of the most powerful and diverse tools that exist in Maya and have many useful functions.
holding shift on an edge will insert a vertex right in the middle of that edge and holding shift and dragging the vertex gives us a percentage to move it.
holding ctrl and shift we can access to quad draw.
holding ctrl we can add edge loop to the mesh very fast and holding ctrl and middle mouse button we can add edge loop exactly in the middle of the loop.
the multi-cut tool can also act like a slice tool in 3ds max we can cut through the whole mesh by dragging outside of the mesh.
holding ctrl and shift after adding a vertex we get angle snap where we can cut a perfectly straight line in the mesh.
instead of going to the shelf tab, there are a small and handy custom shelf lives right beneath the modeling toolkit that might come handy. going all the way down on toolkit and dragging up the dots then we can ctrl shift middle mouse drag any tool to our MTK custom shelf.
7.USE EDGE FLOW
using the edge flow tool comes very handy to maintain the flow of the mesh sometimes we add many edges to the mesh that can lead to bad curvature flow of the mesh we can select the problematic edges and use edge flow tool.
8.CREATING ROPE USING CURVE
create a cv curve then create 4 cylinders at the start point of the cv curve select the top faces and delete the rest polygons by ctrl+shift+i to invert and hit delete.duplicate and combine all 4 cylinders .now go to outliner and select the curve and hold shift and select faces in 4 cylinders (if the pivot is on the cylinder extrude will not work try select cylinder face again) shift right click and select extrude. from config, editor add a twist to extrude panel and twist it 2000 times and put divisions to 25 and finally smooth the mesh.we can still modify it by using curve.
9.USE CREASE SET
for creating high poly we need to add edge loops to support the hard edges of the mesh and therefore to maintain the form. as a hard surface artist, we need to add a lot of support edge loops or bevel the edges but when the model has both cylindrical and hard edges and the topology is not good to maintain the shape bevel or adding edge loop is very time-consuming .the fastest way is to use crease tool hit windows modeling editors and select crease sets and select all the edges except the edges we want to be round .for making crease set work flawless we need to add a few edge loop between the hard edges.
left mesh with bevel and right mesh with crease set)
we can transfer a tool setting to another part of the mesh by using configure editor and copy its attributes and select other faces and extrude it, go to configure editor and paste the attribute.
11.DISPLAY WITH EDGE FACE TOGGLE like 3ds max
when we smooth the mesh and we don’t want to get interrupted by the displaying of the mesh edges we can hide them by going to show tab and uncheck selections highlighting but a faster way is using a script. save this script in the custom script and create a shortcut for it.
string $wires =
displayPref -q -wsa; if ($wires == “none”) displayPref -wsa “full”; else displayPref -wsa “none”;
using symmetry in Maya is very common but it’s not going to work if the object is not at the center of the world .theres another way go to status line click on the roll down symmetry and choice topology now u have to select an edge that is in the center of the mesh.