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Creating a Magnum Mecha Character in Maya: Part 1

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this new tutorial series, I’ll show you how to create an awesome Magnum Mecha Character using Maya. This unique series will take you through the entire process of modelling, texturing and rigging the magnum mecha character.

1. Setting up Reference Images

Step 1

Open
Maya.

Open Maya
Open Maya

Step 2

Go
to View > Image Plane > Import
Image
as shown in the following image.

View  Image Plane  Import Image
View > Image Plane > Import Image

Step 3

In
the Open window, selected Front.jpg file and click on Open button to import the image in the front
view port. 

NB:-
The reference images of the robot have been supplied with the tutorial.

The reference images
The reference images

Step 4

Jump
in the side view port and once again go to View
> Image Plane > Import Image

View  Image Plane  Import Image
View > Image Plane > Import Image

Step 5

In
the Open window, selected Side.jpg file and click on Open button to import the image in the
side view port. 

Open window
Open window

Step 6

In
the perspective view port, you can see both reference images are intersecting
each other. So, you need to place the images properly. 

In the perspective view port
In the perspective view port

Step 7

With
both reference images selected, move upward and place them on the origin of the
grid as shown in the following image. 

With both reference images selected
With both reference images selected

Step 8

With
the front reference image selected, place it back in Z axis and with the side reference image selected, place it back in
X axis as shown in the following
image.

Place it back in Z axis
Place it back in Z axis

Step 9

With
the first image plane selected, go to its attribute editor and then turn off Display radio button. Repeat the
process with the second image plane also.

Display radio button
Display radio button

Step 10

In
this way, the reference images setting process has been completed. You can see
the reference images in their respective view ports as shown in the following
image.

Image setting done
Image setting done

2. Starting Foot Modelling

Step 1

To
begin with the foot modelling, go to Create
>
Polygon Primitives > Interactive
Creation
and turn on its check box. 

Create  Polygon Primitives  Interactive Creation
Create > Polygon Primitives > Interactive Creation

Step 2

Create
a cylinder on the grid of the perspective view port as shown in the following image.

Create a cylinder
Create a cylinder

Step 3

With
the cylinder mesh selected, set the values of Subdivisions Axis to 8
and Subdivisions Height to 2.

Subdivisions Axis to 8 and Subdivisions Height to 2
Subdivisions Axis to 8 and Subdivisions Height to 2

Step 4

Go
to the Shading menu in the panel
menu bar and turn on X-Ray option to
see through as shown in the following image.

Go to the Shading menu
Go to the Shading menu

Step 5

With
the cylinder selected, click on the right mouse button and select Vertex option to jump in the vertex
selection mode. Alternatively, press the F9 key on the keyboard.

Vertex option
Vertex option

Step 6

With
the necessary vertices selected, modify the shape of the cylinder mesh according
to the front and side reference images as shown in the following image.

Modify the shape of the cylinder
Modify the shape of the cylinder

Step 7

With
the cylinder selected, click on the right mouse button and select Face option to jump in the face
selection mode. Alternatively, you can press F11 key on the keyboard.

Face option
Face option

Step 8

Select
the top faces and press Delete key
to delete these faces.

Delete key
Delete key

Step 9

With
the top border edges selected, go to Edit
Mesh >
Extrude. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl-E for extruding the selected
edges.

Edit Mesh  Extrude
Edit Mesh > Extrude

Step 10

After
applying Extrude command, you can see the extrude gizmo appears on the selected
edges. Click on World/Local key button. 

Extrude command
Extrude command

Step 11

Click
on any gizmo box and then drag it onto the center box to scale down as shown in
the following image.

Click on any gizmo box
Click on any gizmo box

Step 12

To
add more details to the foot, go to Mesh
Tool >
Insert Edge Loop.

Mesh Tool  Insert Edge Loop
Mesh Tool > Insert Edge Loop

Step 13

With
the Insert Edge Loop selected, insert several indicated edge loops as shown in the following
image.

With the Insert Edge Loop selected
With the Insert Edge Loop selected

Step 14

After editing and modifying the vertices, it looks like as
shown in the following image. 

Editing and modifying the vertices
Editing and modifying the vertices
Smooth shaded preview
Smooth shaded preview

Step 15

Moving
further, create a polygon cylinder with Subdivision
Axis
as 8 and Subdivision Height as
1
.

Subdivision Axis as 8 and Subdivision Height as 1
Subdivision Axis as 8 and Subdivision Height as 1

Step 16

Jump
in the front view and arrange its vertices according to the leg shape.

Jump in the front view
Jump in the front view
Another view
Another view

Step 17

Select
the top faces and press Delete key
to delete these faces.

Delete key
Delete key

Step 18

To
add more details to the leg, go to Mesh
Tool >
Insert Edge Loop.

Mesh Tool  Insert Edge Loop
Mesh Tool > Insert Edge Loop

Step 19

With
the help of Insert Edge Loop tool, insert
three edge loops as shown in the following image.

Insert Edge Loop
Insert Edge Loop

Step 20

Press the F9 key for vertex selection mode and then edit the vertices according to
the front and side reference images.

Press F9 key
Press F9 key

Step 21

Jump
in the perspective view and with the top boarder edge loop selected and then go
to Edit Mesh > Extrude. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl-E key on the keyboard.

Edit Mesh  Extrude
Edit Mesh > Extrude

Step 22

After
applying Extrude command, you can see the extrude gizmo appears on the
selected edges. Click on World/ Local key button. 

Extrude command
Extrude command

Step 23

With
the help of Insert Edge loop command,
insert an edge loop as shown in the following image.

Insert Edge loop
Insert Edge loop

Step 24

With
the help of Insert Edge loop command,
insert the indicated edge loops as shown in the following image.

Insert Edge loop
Insert Edge loop

Step 25

With
the subdivided faces selected, use Extrude
command to extrude the selected faces little bit inside the Z axis.

Extrude command
Extrude command 

Step 26

Delete
some unwanted faces as shown in the following image. 

Delete some unwanted faces
Delete some unwanted faces

Step 27

Go
to Mesh Tool > Append to Polygon tool to create
polygon in the gap area.

Mesh Tool  Append to Polygon
Mesh Tool > Append to Polygon

Step 28

With
the help of Append to Polygon tool,
click on the parallel border edges one by one to create polygon in the opened
border area as shown in the following image.

Append to Polygon
Append to Polygon

Step 29

With
the help of Insert Edge loop command,
insert edges around the corners to make hard edged surface.

Insert Edge loop
Insert Edge loop 

Step 30

In
this way, the detailed hard surface modelling is completed.

Detailed hard surface modeling
Detailed hard surface modelling

Step 31

Following
the same way, perform the hard surface detailing to the opposite side of the
mesh also.

Perform the hard surface detailing to the opposite side of the mesh also
Perform the hard surface detailing to the opposite side of the mesh also

3. Creating Knee

Step 1

To
begin with the knee of the robot, create a cylinder primitive and place it
around the knee area as shown in the following image.

Knee of the robot
Knee of the robot

Step 2

Set
the values of Subdivisions Axis to
12
and Subdivisions Height to 1.

Subdivisions Axis to 12 and Subdivisions Height to 1
Subdivisions Axis to 12 and Subdivisions Height to 1

Step 3

With
the cylinder selected, go to Show >
Isolate Select > View Selected and turn of its check box. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl-1 button to apply isolation
command on the selected object.

Show  Isolate Select  View Selected
Show > Isolate Select > View Selected

Step 4

With
the upper and lower faces selected, press Delete button to delete these
faces.

Delete button
Delete button

Step 5

Create
a sphere polygon object with Subdivisions
Axis
as 12 and Subdivisions Height as
12
and place it according to the reference images and as shown in the
following image.

Subdivisions Axis as 12 and Subdivisions Height as 12
Subdivisions Axis as 12 and Subdivisions Height as 12

Step 6

Keep
the values of Subdivisions Axis to
10
and Subdivisions Height to 8.

Subdivisions Axis to 10 and Subdivisions Height to 8
Subdivisions Axis to 10 and Subdivisions Height to 8

Step 7

With
the sphere selected, press Ctrl-1 button
to isolate it. Select the upper and lower faces and delete them as shown in the
following image.

Ctrl1 button
Ctrl-1 button

Step 8

With
the upper and lower border edges selected, apply Extrude command. With
the help of Insert Edge Loop tool,
insert edge loops as shown in the following image. 

 Extrude command
Extrude command

Step 9

Unhide
all hidden objects. Go to Shading >
Wireframe on Shaded and check on turn on its check box
option.

Shading  Wireframe on Shaded
Shading > Wireframe on Shaded

Step 10

With
the cylinder selected, insert edge loops. Select the faces and apply Extrude
command to extrude the faces as shown in the following image.

Extrude command
Extrude command

Step 11

After
extruding the faces, insert edge loops around the corners for creating hard
edged surface. 

Insert edge loops
Insert edge loops

Step 12

In
this way, details have been added to the object. Press 3 key on the
keyboard for smooth looking hard surface as shown in the following image.

Details have been added
Details have been added

Step 13

Jump
in the side view and create a sphere polygon with Subdivisions Axis as 16 and Subdivisions Height as 12.

Create a sphere polygon
Create a sphere polygon

Step 14

Jump
in the perspective view port. Select the indicated upper and lower faces as shown in the
following image.

Select the indicated upper and lower faces
Select the indicated upper and lower faces

Step 15

With
the indicated faces selected, press Delete
key to delete them. After deleting the faces, it should look like as shown in
the following image.

Delete key
Delete key

Step 16

With
all upper and lower border edges selected, apply Extrude command and
extrude the edges as shown in the following image.

Extrude command
Extrude command

Step 17

Insert
several edge loops for creating hard edged surface using Insert Edge Loop
and Multi Cut tool as shown in the following image.

Insert Edge Loop
Insert Edge Loop

Step 18

Insert
three more edge loops as shown in the following image.

Insert three more edge loops
Insert three more edge loops

Step 19

Jump
in the face selection mode and select the faces in loop and extrude them out a
little bit as shown in the following image.

Face selection mode
Face selection mode 

Step 20

Keep
inserting edge loops and offsetting them a little bit for various corners for
creating hard edged surfaces.  

Keep inserting edge loops
Keep inserting edge loops

Step 21

After
pressing 3 on the keyboard, you can see the smooth shaded preview in the
view port. 

Smooth shaded preview
Smooth shaded preview

4. Mirroring Object

Step 1

Being
in the face selection mode, select the half faces in X axis and delete them. With the rest half mesh selected, go to Edit > Duplicate Special and click on its option box.

Edit  Duplicate Special
Edit > Duplicate Special 

Step 2

In
the Duplicate Special Options
window, set the value of Scale X to -1 and then click on Duplicate Special button.

Duplicate Special Options window
Duplicate Special Options window

Step 3

It
creates a mirrored mesh on the other side. With both meshes selected, go to Mesh > Combine command to combining selected.

Mesh  Combine command t
Mesh > Combine command t

Step 4

Jump
in the vertex selection mode and with the center vertices selected, go to Edit Mesh > Merge and click on its option button.

Edit Mesh  Merge
Edit Mesh > Merge 

Step 5

In
the Merge Vertices Options
window, keep the Threshold value as 0.0001, turn on Always merge for
two vertices
and then click on Merge
button.

Merge Vertices Options
Merge Vertices Options

Step 6

After
mirroring and combining the ball mesh, place it according to the reference
images.

After mirroring and combining the ball mesh
After mirroring and combining the ball mesh

Step 7

In
this way, the foot modelling is
completed. 

Foot modeling is completed
Foot modelling is completed

Conclusion

In
the next part of the tutorial, I’ll show how to model pelvis and adding more details to the leg.