C 15, we have learned by doing. Each chapter presented a series
of hands-on examples. We did not neglect conceptual knowledge; it’s there, intertwined
with the examples, because it is best to learn why you are doing something as you learn
how to do it.
But here, we step back. e goal is to take all of the conceptual material covered so far
and create the sort of framework that will hopefully “stick to the mental ribs” because we
already have an intuitive, detailed understanding of just what an application like Maya can
do. First, we consider the overall task of putting together a simple scene.
A BEGINNER’S PROJECT: BASIC, TOP-DOWN ARCHITECTURAL MODELING
A good place for a beginner to start is with an architectural scene, either indoor or outdoor.
Both are well suited for polygon modeling, as buildings tend to be angular. ey are also
naturally top-down modeling eorts, with a main scene that can be easily decomposed.
When building architectural models, one common approach is to block the main scene out
rst, with basic shapes like cubes and cylinders to mark the relative positioning and size of
objects in the scene. en, as the models that will be used in the scene are built in separate
scenes, we can bring them into the main scene and replace the crude place-keepers.
Architectural scenes also lend themselves to component-based designs, with basic building
blocks that can be heavily reused in a given environment.
Textures can be reused as well. is makes it easier to put together a complete environ-
ment. It is also important to take care not to overdo the reuse of components and textures,
and thereby create an overly homogeneous, churned-out appearance. Sometimes it is help-
ful to use some human characters or critters in a scene to give it some scale.
Reuse of components and textures can extend over multiple animation projects. Sets of
cameras and lights can also be reused in similar scenes. Outdoor architectural scenes oen
need similar sets of cameras and lights. e same is true for interior scenes.