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This chapter is from the book


Maya sometimes provides tools that are initially attractive but end up creating problems in the production pipeline. An example is Trimmed Surfaces, an unavoidable and useful tool for creating odd shapes or holes in NURBS. Trims actually do not reduce ultimate geometry, though. Instead they offer what is in effect a masking of what is underneath. Alternatively, it is useful to create the trimmed surface, use Edit Curves, Duplicate Surface Curves to pull the profile curves, and then Loft or Birail derivative surfaces if possible. Another option is to use the Trim Tool option of Shrink surface. This will reduce the Trim to actual geometry instead of "hiding" it. Holes are a bit more of a problem, but they can be re-created by breaking the surface into discrete patches, or even by trying a transparency map instead. Another problematic command is Surfaces, Planar. A Planar face is a convenient way to create odd perimeters, but it suffers from the same Trim problems. Again, try a collection of patches with a projection map to make up for it, or better yet, use a polygonal surface for such shapes. Lastly, avoid using Edit, Duplicate with the Instance option on. Instances only reduce the working file size of the model, but when going out to render, they don't offer any savings. Therefore, a false sense of security can result as your file grows to unrenderable sizes, even though the file size might be tiny. Worse, Instance copies can create problems when grouping or ungrouping.

Figure 3.13Figure 3.13

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