Symmetric Modeling with an Instance Object

Symmetric Modeling with an Instance Object

Maya 2012 Tutorial


How to Create a Symmetric Object Using an Instance Object in Maya



Modeling symmetric objects can be simplified by modeling only half the object. The other half is an instance object that mirrors the original geometry.


Step One

Add a polygon cube to the workspace by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Cube (include options).

Step Two

In the options set the Width, Height and DepthDivisions to 2. Click Create to add your cube.

Step Three

In the front view, right-click the object and choose Face from the menu.

Step Four

Marquee select the left have of the cube and press Delete.

Step Five

Right-click the object and choose Object Mode from the menu.

Step Six

Select the object and choose Edit > Duplicate Special (include options).

Step Seven

In the options, set Geometry Type: Instance, Scale x to -1 and Number of Copies: 1. Click Duplicate Special to add your instance object.

Step Eight

Right-click the original object and choose Face from the menu.

Step Nine

Select one of the end faces and choose Edit Mesh > Extrude from the Polygons menu set.

Step Ten

Click and drag the extrude arrow and notice that both shapes are affected.

Step Eleven

Press the q key to exit the Extrude tool, then right-click the object and choose Edge.

Step Twelve

Click one of the upper edges and use the Move tool (w key) to move it in the y direction.

More Ways to Create Symmetric Objects

In addition to instance objects you can also create symmetric objects by mirroring or activating the Move tool's Reflection mode. For more information, see topics, Symmetric Modeling with Mirroring and Symmetric Modeling with Move Tool Reflection Mode.

Making Seam Points Coplanar

If you are modeling an object by moving vertices (i.e., a character's face), you can easily end up with seam points that are non-coplanar. To fix the problem before mirroring, right-click the object and choose vertex. Marquee select all the seam vertices and choose Window > General Editors > Component Editor. Click-drag all the values in the vertex.x column and enter a value (i.e., 0). All the vertices now have the same x value.

Don't Forget the Pivot Point

In this example we mirrored the object by setting the scale to -1 (Step Seven). The mirroring worked because the object's pivot point was at the left edge of the object. To use this trick the object's pivot point needs to be located at the mirror edge. For more information on moving an object's pivot point, see topic, Moving Object's Pivot Point.

Combining the Two Halves

Once you are finished modeling, you will need to combine the two halves of your object. To join the two objects, choose Mesh > Combine from the Polygons menu set. To merge the vertices and edges, choose Edit Mesh > Merge. career skills