Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

# Creating Primatives and Text in Maya 4.5

• Print
Break down the world around you into its primitive form to create complex images in Maya. You will learn how manipulating primitives in a variety of ways serves an important role in many 3D programs.
This chapter is from the book

### This chapter is from the book 

As premade geometry sets that simplify the creation of more complex shapes, primitives are the building blocks of 3D modeling. To understand this, just take a look at the objects around you: Everything in nature, no matter how complex, can be broken down into a few primitive shapes—something you can do right now with the objects in front of you. Is the object you're looking at built around many cylinders like a metal chair, or is it a squashed cube like a door or a wall? Many objects combine a number of different primitives. Take, for example, the bicycle: Its wheels combine a cylinder (for each spoke) and a slim torus (which defines the tires' shape). Likewise, you can use a number of primitives to create a detailed face from a simple sphere, or employ just a few well-placed cubes to construct a building.

Because they can be manipulated in a variety of ways, primitives have become an important part of Maya and other 3D programs. NURBS primitives can speed workflow because the curves have already been drawn and, in many cases, have been replaced with surface geometry. You can stretch, cut, scale, translate, trim, and rebuild them, making them essential to your workflow and great time-savers as well.

Maya includes three primary types of primitives: NURBS, polygons, and subdivisions. To help you understand which type is appropriate for the task at hand, this chapter takes a close look at NURBS (Figure 3.1) and polygons (Figure 3.2), explaining the strengths and weaknesses of each. Subdivisions, a more advanced topic, are covered in detail in Chapter 8.

Figure 3.1 The NURBS primitives (top to bottom): sphere, cube, cylinder, cone, plane, torus, circle, and square.

Figure 3.2 The Polygon primitives (top to bottom): sphere, cube, cylinder, cone, plane, and torus.

NURBS curves, surfaces, and primitives are an important part of Maya modeling. You can use NURBS objects to produce long, smooth surfaces (such as car hoods) or sharp, angular surfaces (such as stop signs). NURBS objects make it possible for you to adjust the look of a surface by manipulating just a few weighted control points (Figure 3.3).

Figure 3.3 NURBS surfaces are changed using weighted control points.

Each of the NURBS curves and surfaces has an associated degree that controls the smoothness of the NURBS object. A surface degree of 1, or a setting of linear, will produce a straight connection between each control point, creating a very angular surface (Figure 3.4). As you raise the degree of the NURBS object, you create a smoother curve and surface (Figure 3.5). The higher the degree of the curve, the more points are needed to define it. For more about NURBS degrees, see Chapter 7.

Figure 3.4 A surface with a degree of 1, or setting of linear.

Figure 3.5 A surface with a higher degree will appear smoother.

NURBS, or nonuniform rational B-spline, describes objects whose shapes are defined by mathematical equations. Luckily for us, Maya takes care of most of the math behind the scenes. B-spline refers to the underlying curve that defines all NURBS objects. When creating a NURBS object, you use multiple curves to produce a wire representation of the surface's appearance. After using curves to lay down the shape of the surface, you add a skin atop the curves to create the final surface: This process of creating a surface that extends from one curve to the next is called lofting (Figure 3.6).

Figure 3.6 The top object has curves only; the bottom object has curves plus a skin.

You can break down NURBS objects into separate components that work together to define the shape of the NURBS object. Components include (among others) CVs (control vertices), edit points, and hulls—each of which can be manipulated to sculpt the surface or define the curves' shapes. (You can manipulate components together or separately to change the shape of an object.) For more information on NURBS components, see Chapter 7.

• 🔖 Save To Your Account

### Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

## Overview

Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

## Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

### Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

### Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

### Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

### Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

### Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

### Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

## Other Collection and Use of Information

### Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

### Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

### Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

### Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

## Security

Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

## Children

This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

## Marketing

Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

• Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
• Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
• Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
• Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

## Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

## Choice/Opt-out

Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

## Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

## Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

## Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

• As required by law.
• With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
• In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
• To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
• In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
• To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
• To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
• To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
• To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.