We all need good reference when modeling - here’s a quick tutorial to get your image planes set up for modeling.
There are multiple ways to bring an image into Maya, but the best way for reference purposes is to use a free image plane:
- Begin by adding a free image plane Create > Free Image Plane and load up your side image
- Scale and rotate it into position. It's handy while rotating to hold J before rotating to snap to degrees. Make sure to scale your imageplanes using the center handle so it is not deformed
- Repeat for your front image
- Ensure that your features are all lined up between the two image planes . You can use plane objects to check this, and you can also adjust the free image planes if needed
- I prefer to bring in an existing mesh to start. For example you can use the head from the Content Browser Windows > General Editors > Content Browser as it's already setup with real dimensions
- Scale up your reference image planes to align it with the mesh. You can also disable image planes in the show menu, so you can better see the final result
- Now that your reference planes are built, select them and create a new Display Layer. Set that to Reference (R) - this will ensure that it won't be selectable and you can turn your reference planes on and off easily.
It’s that simple, now you’ve got your model reference set up and can model away safely
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