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Chapter 3
Modeling, Creating
Materials, and Rendering
W
    a high level look at modeling, focusing on some suggestions for
how to get organized as you begin the process. en we will look at a few modeling
examples in detail. Along the way, we will take our rst look at putting materials on models
and rendering them. We start with the task of building 3D models.
MODELING AS A SUBJECTIVE PROCESS
ere is no single method by which you should model. ere are almost always many ways
of obtaining a desired result. And, since Maya is a vast application that was built incre-
mentally over a number of years (and is still being built), it has many idiosyncrasies that
animators have learned to live with, and in fact, have found creative ways of exploiting. As
you gain experience and condence, you will develop your own style—and oen the most
astonishing models are made in some unorthodox ways.
So everything that follows is only meant as a possible way to proceed when you cre-
ate your rst models. I would suggest that you start with human-made objects in the real
world, things that are naturally angular, and as a result, are easily modeled with polygon
modeling. ere is nothing you cannot build with polygon modeling, although some ani-
mators prefer to use subdivision or NURBS when making smooth, organic objects.
First, we will consider some basic modeling guidelines, and then we will look at exam-
ples that will help make the overall process tangible.
Deliberate Modeling
A common mistake made by novice animators is to create “accidental models.” is is
what happens if you dont model with step-by-step discipline, craing your models care-
fully. e result is oen a model that seems random and inelegant. If it was meant to model
something that appears in the real world, it is obviously awed. If it was meant to capture
an otherworldly vision in the mind of the modeler, that vision seems muddled. A common

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