Maya Modeling Basics: Airplane pt. 1

Uploaded by slorpthegillman on 02.10.2008

Hello this is Andrew Klein, this is the third video series in my principles of 3D modeling
set of videos. In the first two videos we looked at creating some very basic forms by
using polygon models and in the first video itself we looked at using polygon cubes to
create a simple chair from a reference image. In the second video we looked at using NURBS
geometry and polygon geometry to create a toy and again based on reference. In both
of those two cases however I was looking at an image and trying to compare the model that
I was making in 3D and an image that I had open in a separate image viewer program. Well
this doesn’t take full advantage of Maya’s functionality and that’s one of the things
were going to work at in this third video series which is building an airplane by using
a polygon box modeling method. Now to produce this airplane I’ve actually downloaded a
set of orthographic images. They are actually blueprints of this image you see here is the
Arsenal VG 33. You can find lots of blueprints for aircraft and spacecraft type things all
over the internet and there are plenty of sights to find images just like this. I’ve
chosen this airplane for the purposes of this tutorial because it is sort of a simpler design
but it has all the necessary features we need to talk about in this tutorial. Very interestingly
it has of course front and back wings, a rounded fuselage, and also a propeller up front which
is going to be interesting to add in. What I want to do with these blueprints is I want
to put them in Maya so that I can draw right on top of them. Now when working with image
planes inside of Maya I don’t want you to get confused with some of the terminology
I’m going to be using today. We’re building an airplane what you see on the screen is
going to be “image planes” depicting an airplane we might also use “polygon planes”
to help model the form so don’t get confused with the different uses ages of the word plane
throughout this. Now looking at what we’ve got started I have a black and white image
and you’ll actually notice in the very top line that my image is actually a grayscale
8 bit image. Now this can actually pose some problems for me when I import this into Maya.
Maya prefers RGB 8 bit images even though doesn’t have any color to it we want to
convert it to RGB 8 bit. So I’ve got this open and loaded inside Photoshop and I’m
going to go to “Image” and choose “Mode” and from the dropdown menu switch this from
grayscale to RGB and I’ll leave my bit depth at 8 bit. Well one of the things I like to
work on when setting these up is that if I have a high contrast black and white image
that goes into Maya it sometimes becomes very hard to work on top of that image. So what
I like to do is actually gray this out a little bit. That will really tone down the contrast
of this image and help me see on top of what I’m doing a little bit easier. I’m going
to go to “Image” and then “Adjustments” and choose “Levels” or use the hot key
Ctrl L. You can actually see from my levels slider that it’s all in the black and all
in the white and there’s really nothing in-between which is going to be not to helpful
for me. Using the bottom slider, which goes black to white using a gradient, I can actually
push these values closer to the middle. Taking the black and making it more gray and taking
the white and making it more gray. If I clamp this into a more medium gray range it’s
going to be much easier to work on top of when I get it back inside of Maya. So I’ll
hit ok and there we go. Now a couple of things you’re going to want to see when putting
together your image planes and setting them up for Maya. First of all the orientation
of this image is absolutely correct and this goes to show and we’re going to see this
when we get back inside of Maya, you have to be really on top of which direction the
image of your airplane is pointing. In the last two tutorials of this series I’ve made
it clear that you want the Z axis facing towards the screen , your X axis going from side to
side planar with the screen, and you want your Y axis going up and down. Essentially
I want the nose of my airplane pointing forward in the Z axis and you’ll find that is the
case with our nose pointing forward, like you see here and our nose pointing to the
left as you can see in this airplane on top. So if our side view points to the left and
if our top view points down and with our front points forward we’re going to be quite all
right. So what I’m going to do now is I’m actually going to crop this image into 3 separate
images so that I can use it inside of Maya. I’m going to switch to the “Crop” tool
in the tool box. That’s the third one down on the left side of the toolbox inside Photoshop
and I’m going to drag a selection over the top airplane and you know what I’m not actually
going to be modeling the landing gear so I’m going to cut this just above the landing gear
there and when it’s got its selection just hit enter and I’ve got an airplane. Let
me go ahead and choose “File” then “Save as” and if I just find the location of where
I want to save this I should be fine. Now I’m going have a folder called “Airplane”
that I already established on my desktop. We’re going to go inside of there and I’m
going to save this as a “.jpeg” and I’m going to call this “Side”. Well I want to get the other to so I’m going
to go back through my history and go back to my previous operation which is “Levels”
and then I’ll just choose a crop box over the middle airplane that’s the “Top”
view and hit enter and let’s save this as “Top.jpeg” again I’ll hit Ctrl Z or
go back in my history to the previous action and once again crop the bottom airplane and
this is the front view so I will call this “Front” and hit save. Now I’ve got three
airplanes in which to work with. So that has been our first video we’re going to close
out of Photoshop and in the next video we’re going to actually take a look at our settings
inside of Maya. Thanks.