Creating Subdivisional Primitives
Maya 2012 Tutorial
How to Add a Subdivisional (Subdiv) Primitive in Maya
Subdiv Surfaces can be thought of as a derivative of a Polygon object. The subdiv object is defined by a polygon cage. The actual Subdiv Surface is similar to the polygon except it is more rounded and organic.
To add a subdiv cube primitive, choose Create > Subdiv Primitives > Cube.
Subdiv objects are defined by a polygon cage object. In other words, the subdiv shape is determined by the shape of the cage polygon. To view the polygon object, choose Subdiv Surfaces > Polygon Proxy Mode from the Surfaces menu set.
To switch back to just the subdiv object, choose Subdiv Surfaces > Standard Mode from the Surfaces menu set.
To view your object in rough, medium or fine mode, select the cube and press the 1, 2 or 3 key. These keys only affect the object preview, the final render remains the same.
In addition to a Cube, you can also add a Sphere, Cylinder, Cone, Plane or Torus from the Create Subdiv Primitives menu.
Converting Subdiv Surface to a Polygon
At any point, you can convert your Subdiv Surface to a Polygon object. For more information, see topic, Converting a Subdiv Object to Polygon Object.