Maya Basics Practice

Wacom Pen Modeled from
“Modeling Essentials: Modeling a Wacom Pen”
Rocket ship modeled from

‘Hard surface, Building a rocket model’

Maya works mainly with meshes, you directly move the points and lines of a object which is good for objects / anything man made where a program like ZBrush is more like modeling a lump of clay, you push and pull on the mesh to create shape, this is good for more organic models.

Figured out how to snap objects by using these buttons.

Select the object.
Press the W key (shortcut for Move Tool).
Press the Insert key (or D key) (turns on Pivot edit mode).
Press and hold down the V key (shortcut for Point Snap), move the Pivot center to the lowest point of your model, once it snaps into place, drop it and release the V key.
Press the Insert key (turns off Pivot edit mode).
Press and hold down the X key (shortcut for Grid Snap), move the object upwards using the Y handle, once it snaps into place, drop it and release the X key.
Go to Modify > Center Pivot

Step Snap setting in rotate tool settings is useful to easily rotate by a certain amount of degrees. I have set mine to 10 Degrees. Need to hold J for Snapping or Shift+J for Relative BEFORE rotating. I was holding J afterwards and didn’t know why it wasn’t snapping. oops

The Tutorial also stressed the Importance of projects, especially if you are going to be moving between computers.

After the “Using brush tools to sculpt meshes” tutorial on LinkedIn Learning I had a play with the sculpting tools and the soft selection tool and changed the appearance of the preset head from the exercise files, nothing special but It did help me get a better grasp of how the tools work and what they can and can’t do, for example I used the ‘Foamy tool’ to lift the vertices on the head to create a kind of horn however it may be better to do this by adding cylinders and modeling them to the desired shape and then using the combine option or Boolean > Union to avoid stretching points too far and getting a jagged or a extremely pointy outcome.

Can also use mesh – combine edit mesh – merge

Combine and separate are more like a grouping and can be easily separated where it seems Boolean combines the meshes / vertices and deletes the excess so can be messier to work with
* Mesh > Combine Vs. Boolean > Union. Difference? (2007, June 11). Retrieved from *

Target weld and bridging also appears to be a useful tool to connect objects

I don’t understand what the Quad Draw tool is used for

Some random bits of information I found Interesting

Where to turn on / off Interactive Creation

Alt + Shift + D to delete history

I found the ‘Select Inverse’ Option useful Ctrl + Shift + I

F Key to fill selected object to the frame

Edit > Group to group objects

NURBS and Poly
NURBS is constructed of curves patches where Poly is made of flat planes, NURBS can create a curved surface with less information where Poly is more flexible so NURBS would be used for more simplistic objects.

Cones and Cylinders have “Subdivisions Cap” “and Round Cap”

Soft select B key to change radius of soft select for organic modeling

Mesh > Combine and Seperate

holding CTRL unfreezes a frozen segment of a mesh.

Target Weld Under Mesh tools

crease tool to control smoothing

Maestri, G. (2019, January 15). Maya 2019 Essential Training. Retrieved from
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