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Subdivision Surface Modeling Tutorial
Subdivision Surface Modeling Tutorial
sdb1987, added 2005-09-06 11:23:58 UTC 61,714 views  Rating:
(2 ratings)
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This tutorial is for Maya 2.5. It will work with Base, Complete, or Unlimited. This tutorial is aimed at the
beginner to intermediate user who is familiar with Maya, but has never used Subdivision surfaces.


Use at your own risk. Author is not responsible for anything. If you can somehow damage your computer or suffer
any type of loss from doing this tutorial, you are doing something very wrong.

The first thing we're going to do is get you the FAKE Subdivision Surfaces plugin.
Point your web browser to:

This should start the download of the plugin. The next thing is to install the plugin for Maya's use.
If you are a savvy Maya user, you can place the fakeSubD.mel script into the proper place (i.e. X:/maya/.../scripts/)
If you're not sure WHICH folder to place it in, that is ok too. We will walk through 'accessing' a
MEL script that isn't in the plugins directory.

1. Launch Maya
2. Go Windows > General Editors > Script Editor
3. In the Script Editor window go Edit > Clear History
4. In the Script Editor window go Edit > Clear Input
5. In the Script Editor window go File > Open Script
6. Locate the script, and click Open
7. In the Script Editor window go Edit > Execute

Fake Sub-Division surfaces are loaded in Maya now.

Now for the modeling tutorial.

PART ONE, pulling and shaping

1.Create > Polygons Primitives Cube
2.On your tool bar at the top Select By Component Type, Turn on poly facets.

3.Select a facet and go Polygons > Extrude
4.You will see a manipulator that has the translate, rotate, and scale controls all in one.
5.Select the blue (z) arrow and 'pull' it away from the object.
6.Scale the object in all axis' (you can get the proportional scale tool by grabbing any of the other 'scale manipulator' cubes

7.Press F8
8.Press R on your keyboard
9.Scale the entire object in the Y axis (if you're not Y up, you're doing something wrong)

10.Save your file.

PART 2, dividing the surface

In this section, we're going to pull fingers out of the hand. We'll learn to create more geometry from the existing cube
And insert seams. These techniques will be used later when we use them to add detail.

1. Select your object, and go Edit Polygons > Split Polygon Tool (your cursor will turn to an arrow)
2. Left mouse button click and hold on the top edge of the object
3. Drag your mouse left and right (while holding mouse button) to 'snap' to the center point
4. Release when the center point is snapped

5. Repeat for the bottom edge.

6. Press ENTER to 'enable' the edge we just added. (NOTE: the Z key, or Edit > Undo DOES NOT
work with this tool. If you place a point in the wrong place, press Delete to remove it)
7. Once, you've pressed ENTER from Step 6, press the Y key to use the same tool
8. Create places for the other fingers to go

9. Now lets use the Extrude tool from PART 1 to pull out some fingers
10. Go into component mode (press F8)
11. Select the four faces we've created, and go Polygons Extrude

12. Pull and shape the fingers using the Extrude manipulator
13. You can also shape the fingers by moving the CV's of the poly model
14. Try to make your 'blocked in' model look as much like a hand as you can

Here's a shaded model of mine up to step 14 (I'm leaving the thumb out for now):

15. Save your file