Modeling with an Image Plane
Maya 2012 Tutorial
How to Model with an Image Plane in Maya
Image planes are used as reference images as you create your model. The reference image can be created with pencil and paper, then scanned and saved as a jpg. You can also create your top, front and side views in programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator.
In this example, we have created a reference image in Illustrator. Once the reference images are in place we can begin the modeling process.
Follow the steps in the topic, Using Image Plane as Reference Image. You should have a reference image in the top, front and side views. The images are positioned 15 units in the negative direction to allow you room to build your model.
Add a polygon cube to the workspace by choosing Create >Polygon Primitives > Cube (include options)
In the cube options, set the Width, Height and Depth to 1 and the Divisions in each direction to 1. Click the Create button.
In the front and side view, use the Move and Scale tools (w key and r key), move and resize the cube to match the image.
To add the upper part of the object, choose Edit Mesh > Insert Edge Loop Tool (Polygons menu set). In the side view, click the cube to add a loop. Press the q key to exit from the Insert Edge Loop Tool.
Right-click your object and choose Face from the menu. Click the smaller top face and choose Edit Mesh > Extrude from the Polygons menu set.
Click and drag the y arrow to raise the face to match the template image. Click-drag the scale rectangle to resize the upper face to match the image. You may also need to use the Move tool (w key) to position the face.
Click the front face of the base and use the Scale and Move tools (w key and r key) to resize the object base.
Accurate Drawings Make Accurate Objects
You will find that the accuracy of your drawings makes a big difference as you model your scene. In this example, we created a drawing for one object. As your projects become more complex, the drawings will include several objects. The most helpful drawings show an object's top, front and side view.