Symmetrical Modeling Tips&Tricks for Maya (plus MIGS recap)

By - - Maya
11 mins

Well I'm back from Montreal and I miss it already.  It's a great city and I've made some good friends there over the years.  I had an awesome view from my hotel room as you can see...

as well as some excellent food...


Poutine  =  Fries + Melted Cheese + Gravy  =  Mmmm...  (I'm pretty sure I could actually feel my arteries clogging as I ate it)

Otherwise...  MIGS was pretty active this year. I don't have any numbers but it appeared to be well attended. Autodesk had several sessions in addition to the two that I presented. Mark Stevens (VP Autodesk Technology Group) hosted a very interesting panel discussion about "The Role of Middleware in Game Development" with Dave Fracchia (VP of Technology at Radical Entertainment), Martin Walker (CTO Artificial Mind and Movement) and Yanick Roy (Studio Director at BioWare). The big take away seemed to be that middleware has indeed become a very important part of game development but that it doesn't always necessarily save a company time or make the dev cycle any shorter, but more importantly middleware can allow a developer to refocus valuable cycles in other areas.  The consensus was that in addition to the direct implications, by freeing up resources, middleware can therefore actually indirectly help improve the game in many other ways.  Another common view was that it is and will continue to be very desirable to have tighter integration between middleware components and the authoring and content creation tools that developers have already built their pipelines around.

I also had the opportunity to spend a day at A2M (Artificial Mind and Movement) creators of the hit game Wet.  They are actually one of the largest independent game developers around with over 500 employees.  My friend David Lightbown (Art Tech Director) coordinated meetings with various artists and technical artist to discuss Maya.  I showed them some cool Maya stuff and, thanks to Sylvain Cote, I also got a sneak peak at some of the cool custom tools they've created in Maya.  He has really done some super cool stuff!  I'm always amazed to see the things that smart people like Sylvain do to rip Maya apart and put it back together.  I just wish I could bring the tools back with me and put them right into Maya proper, but sadly they are proprietary :(

So for my tip of the week I'm going to discuss some symmetrical modeling options in Maya as well as a bonusTool that I wrote a while back called MirrorInstanceMesh which can be used for mirroring polygon edits across a symmetrical object.  I've shown bits and pieces of some of this stuff in past posts for other topics but I figured I'd bring it all together into a single post.  OK... I won't blabber on any more I'll just cut to the chase.  Here's the movie...



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Published In
  • Maya
  • Bonus Tools
  • Tips and Tricks
  • Usefultools
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| 7 years ago
I dunno about others but I usually place my cursor over the point which I wanna move when I don't wanna loose track of it, so gesturing is actually detrimental in this case. But, I mean MMs are good since they give people options in the way they wanna work. I've been Maya user since version 1, so I've tried a lot of techniques to figure out what works for me. I did script a few MMs myself, and the majority of requests from co-workers were about simple toggle scripts. The only MM I still use is the Save command, which I placed among Vertex/Face/Edge context to remind myself of saving every time I switch between components. :)
| 7 years ago
edgeArchitect - a nice trick with MMs tough is that you can access the menu items simply by gesturing. Meaning that you never have to actually see the menu. If you Shift+CTRL and quickly swipe up (north) with your RMB, it will toggle the reflection on/off without ever having the full menu pop-up. This can also be done via the w hotkey btw. Hold "w" and LMB gesture up and it will very quickly toggle that option on/off.
| 7 years ago
Problem with these marking menus is that they block the view of a model and distract from the work process. Anything that blocks the screen during the work process calls for a lunch or at least a coffee break. :)
| 7 years ago
edgeArchitect - you can also toggle it on/off quickly using Shift+CTRL RMB marking menu. Just hold Shift+CTRL and swipe/gesture up with your RMB and it will toggle symetry/reflection on/off.
| 7 years ago
Here's a quick toggle script I made to make the switching easier: global proc rv_symToggle(){ int $symState = `symmetricModelling -q -symmetry`; if ($symState != 1){ symmetricModelling -e -symmetry 1; } else {symmetricModelling -e -symmetry 0;} }; rv_symToggle();
| 8 years ago
Woo, cool~ Thanks a bunch!!
| 8 years ago
squatch - hold both CTRL+Shift and click the RMB. This will give you options/settings for whatever tool is active.
| 8 years ago
Thanks for the tutorial~ How do you open that marking menu at 3:37 for the insert edge loop tool settings?
| 8 years ago
Thirstypilgrim - sorry I meant which version of Maya?
| 8 years ago
I have windows XP SP3, so I downloaded the windows 32bit. Is that the correct one? It seemed as though most of the other tools worked, but the one I needed, the symetrical mesh modeling tool demonstrated above, gave me this error. Thanks for you attention, Thirsty
| 8 years ago
Thirstypilgrim - what version of BonusTools are you using?
| 8 years ago
ERROR: Cannot find procedure "bt_mirrorInstanceMesh
| 9 years ago
| 9 years ago
yea good tool. I think the guy below has something good to add. The seam is kind of annoying for us. the mirrored instance seems a bit of a hack. Mirror for all poly tools out of the box should be standard i second that. this instance mirror copy then merge back together 1990 workflow is pretty slow and outdated. even with scripts that can help you speed it up. when you combine your model back together you sort of loose all the history of the inserted edgeloops for example. so its not great, but acceptable.
| 9 years ago
Hey Steve! The last time I saw u during one of yer presentations in Baltimore, U mentioned yer desire to see the reflection option for all Maya Poly Tools. That discussion inspired me to write something similar ( an auto mirror scriptJob ). Please check it out and pillage anything usefull. I was using instances as well @ first but there r a few issues ( distracting hard origin seam, freeze transforms are not possible without an additional hack ) thanks for all yer hard werk -Roger Klado
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