Chapter 8
The Fuzzy Border between
Modeling and Animating
    border between techniques used to model and techniques used to
animate models. is makes sense, as part of animating a model oen calls for alter-
ing its geometry. In this chapter, we are going to look at a few examples that underscore this
duality. Along the way, we will also take a look at Maya Fur and Hair (nHair, actually), as
well as Maya’s Ocean dynamics eect.
Lets look at the Shatter tool in Maya. It breaks a surface into pieces in a controlled, yet
semirandom fashion to create the look of something breaking. First, we set up the scene
using NURBS.
Smooth Modeling for an Egg
In Figure8.1, we see a NURBS egg. It was made by rst creating a NURBS sphere, then
going into Control Vertex mode (with a right click), as seen in Figure8.2, and then select-
ing some of the control vertices (CVs) and pulling on them, as shown in Figure8.3. is is
an intermediate state created while pulling on a number of CVs. en, with each successive
pull, fewer CVs were pulled, until it formed a smooth egg shape.
Cracking the Egg with the Shatter Tool
Now, we go to the Dynamics menu, as shown in Figure8.4. In Figure8.5, we go into
Surface Patch mode in NURBS modeling (with a right click). In Figure8.6, we select a
patch. en, as seen in Figure8.7, we choose:
Dynamics Main Menu → Eects → Create Shatter
e result is shown in Figure8.8. e tool has taken that patch of egg and broken it
into smaller NURBS patches. e settings for the shatter tool (which you can access by
236 3D Animation for the Raw Beginner Using Maya
clicking the box to the right of the Create Shatter menu
item) can be seen in Figure 8.9, and, in particular,
they control the shard count. e shards are clumped
into semirandom chunks—just what we need for our
cracked egg.
In Figure8.10, we move some of our chunks away
from the egg surface. Finally, we apply a white Blinn.
us, we can take a modeling technique—the shatter
tool—and use it to animate a cracking egg. All we need
to add is the keyframing of the fragments in dierent
A Chick and Fur
Next, we create a NURBS sphere and change the tab
selector to Fur; this pulls up the Fur shelf. e Fur shelf
provides a set of prefab shortcuts that can be used to quickly put fur on a character or
With the new sphere selected, we choose the yellow fur, and see the result in Figure8.11.
But keep in mind that the view in the design window in the Main Window is always an inexact
rendering of what is actually a 3D vector model. It is particularly dicult to quickly render
fur, and so what we see in Figure8.11 is actually quite dierent from what we will render.
FIGURE 8.2 CVs of a NURBS sphere.
FIGURE 8.1 A rendered egg.
The Fuzzy Border between Modeling and Animating 237
In Figure8.12, we have tucked the chick into the egg. In Figure8.13, we adjust some of
the attributes of the fur, in particular, its length.
e nal render is shown in Figure8.14. To apply fur to a model, you can use either
polygon or NURBS modeling. In Chapter 13, we will look at the UV Texture Editor as a
tool for carefully engineering the way a material is applied to a model. Cleaning up the
(u, v) texture grid of a polygon model can also make fur look a lot better.
Maya Fur and nHair: An nDynamics Effect
Now we look at a more sophisticated example. is involves the use of both fur and hair.
FIGURE 8.3 Pulling on NURBS CVs.
FIGURE 8.4 Dynamics menu.ti.
FIGURE 8.5 Surface patch mode.
238 3D Animation for the Raw Beginner Using Maya
FIGURE 8.8 Shatter result. FIGURE 8.9 Shatter settings.
FIGURE 8.7 Create shatter tool.FIGURE 8.6 Select a patch.
FIGURE 8.10 Aer moving shards. FIGURE 8.11 Sphere with fur.

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