Introduction to Maya - Modeling Fundamentals Vol 1
This course will look at the fundamentals of modeling in Maya with an emphasis on creating good topology. We'll look at what makes a good model in Maya and why objects are modeled in the way they are.
# 1 07-12-2012 , 05:12 AM
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Better way to scale faces?

Take a look at the attached image. We have a 6 sided cylinder whose side faces have been extracted out (with keep faces together off). On the left side of the image we see that the top face has its scale tool aligned with it perfectly so that we can scale the face narrower (shown directly below it). On the right side however, we see that a face pointing in the 60 degree direction has the scale tool aligned much differently. There is no way to scale this face to get the same result as the face featured on the left side of the image.

I realize I could rotate the pivot around, but there seems to be no way to specify exactly how far I want the pivot to rotate. When it comes to these situations I have to eyeball it and I don't like doing that.

I realize I could rotate the entire object 60 degrees then freeze the transformations and that would effectively make the 60 degree pointing face the top face - enabling the scale tool to display how I want it to, but what if my object has 20 faces I want to scale? This method becomes time consuming quickly.

I have also tried the Transform Component tool, but this gives bad results.

I'm sure there is a solution out there somewhere. If I can solve this problem, my time wasted during modeling will go way down because this problem has plagued me for years. It will be like the first time I discovered snapping.

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# 2 07-12-2012 , 05:16 AM
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I should also note that trying all the options in the scale tool are of no use here. Local, Object, World, etc don't rotate it like I want.

# 3 07-12-2012 , 12:12 PM
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1. select the face
2. select the scale tool R-key
3. goto tool settings and select - Set to Edge
4. select an edge radiating out (ie perp to the direction your wish to scale)
5. scale.

Now this will work for 1 radial arm. If you are trying to create a symmetric shape you will have another problem and that is once you scale one arm, you have altered the two adjacent arms at the hub and the edges on the top for those two arms are no longer parallel.

Can you describe the final shape you are trying to get too?

If you are trying to create a symmetric shape Maya does not have Action Centers like LW, Modo, and Max so you cannot do it is a single step.

You would have to isolate one arm and scale it. With the pivot at the center you'd press shift-d and then rotate the duplicate arm 60'. Then press shift-d to repeat the duplicate and rotate operation four more times. Finally, you'd combine everything and fill in the central hub section.

Maya's modeling tools have not been updated for a very long time and Autodesk appears to not consider them to be a priority. The other option for this problem would be a script but the time to write that would not be worth it really.


"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Sir Isaac Newton, 1675

Last edited by ctbram; 07-12-2012 at 12:23 PM.
# 4 08-12-2012 , 11:54 AM
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Ah, so that's how it's done. Thank you very much for that. I spent some time looking at the resulting MEL script that is generated after scaling faces this way. I tried comparing the values to see what was different and what was the same. I failed to come up with a script. I don't understand what I'm doing well enough to make one.

Either way though, you're right about modeling one section and duplicating it. I do agree that it seems like the best way to go about doing this.

One thing I found interesting is that the Transform Component tool aligns the pivot point the way I want it for extruded faces. It can do this even after the history is deleted. I wonder how it knows to align it correctly for extruded faces, yet not the faces I have selected in the image I posted? If there was a way to replicate this effect, it would be interesting. Though I'm quite happy to simply model one section and duplicate it for now. user added image

Once again, thanks for the help.

# 5 08-12-2012 , 05:22 PM
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when you extrude multiple faces each face has it's own pivot (think of it as local action centers). If the piece is oriented correctly the faces will all scale in a similar way. However, this is not always the case at odd angles.

What would be needed is either an option to turn on radial symmetry or to allow action centers with symmetry as in other packages.

I can see both sides of the argument in that it would be nice to have more options and tools like action centers, fall offs and radial symmetry. On the other hand if you start getting to many specialized tools then trying to remember all of them becomes a impediment to productivity.

I guess the Maya philosophy is to keep the tool set just large enough to get the job done and give users the ability to create new tools as needed through the API. Which works, I guess, for studios that can hire programmers and people that have time to write code.


"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Sir Isaac Newton, 1675
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