How to Use Deformers in Maya 2017
No Downloads Necessary. (It's just a high poly cylinder!)
Hey guys, this is Monica at Academic Phoenix Plus and today I wanted to show you how to deform your object so that you can accelerate your modeling. Maya has a lot of great tools that you
can use to deform your geometry quickly. You can use these for rigging and you can also use them for modeling to help your workflow go faster.
Let's go under Deform>Nonlinear and you're going to see that there's a couple of options here and the first one we're going to look at is Bend. Now what happens is if you go to your windows outliner, you're going to see that you have your mesh and you also have a Bend Handle. When you select the handle, I can move this and you can actually see it. I'm going to go ahead and undo.
What I really want to look at is over here in the Inputs and under bend. If you click here, you're going to see something called Curvature. If I middle mouse and drag onto the perspective window, you're going to see that it bends. If you select it all the way across, you can make this little loop. By the way, over here you can just type in 180 and you will get a 180 degree bend. Let's take a look at what Low Bound is. Low Bound controls the low part of the bend, and the High Bound does the same thing. That gives you a lot of control when it comes to creating shapes. Another thing is that you can move the bend handle so don't limit yourself. You can always rotate this to the correct angle
I use this method when I did the tires. When I model tires, I created the treads and then I use the Bend Deformer to revolve my tires. Take a look at that tutorial. I think it would be really helpful.
By the way, if you want to keep the deformation, you just have to select your mesh, go to Edit>Delete by Type>History. This will become permanent. if you don't like it, select the Bend Deformer and press Delete. Now it's back to its original shape.
Let's take a look at something else. Deform>Nonlinear>Flare. Let's go ahead and look at that. This time you're going to see a different type of icon. Over here, we're going to open the Inputs and you're going to see that there is a Curve. I can actually give it a little twist or little flare. Now same thing, there is a Low Bound. It can decrease it or increase it. It really depends what you want to do. Same thing with the High Bound. I always recommend that you just kind of play around with this so you can see there's a lot of really fun things you can do with this. It's really up to you what type of tool you want to use. Some people like to use this for animating squash and stretch. It's fun. All right, I'm going to go ahead and grab the Flare, Delete.
Select the mesh again, go to Deform>Nonlinear>Sine. If I move this, you can see it's just a line. However, when I go to the Inputs, I have this thing called Amplitude. If you guys know anything about the Sine Curve, you can deform your object to look like sine. Over here, we have a wavelength, so if I want to increase the wavelength, we I can make it really crazy. Or I can just kind of calm it down a little bit. Same thing, you can actually move the Sine Curve around. You can do a little bit of a drop off, and of course, a Low Bound and the High Bottom.
Now, why would you want to use this? Well, really depends if you're trying to do an ad or maybe music. Anything you see in Maya can be Keyframe. For example, if I really wanted to keyframe this… Let me go ahead calm down the sine curve. I need more mesh, that's why it's breaking. If I wanted to, for example, keyframe this, you just have to Select this, Right Click, Key Selected. Let’s move on to the next one. Select Offset, move it a little bit, Right Click, Key Selected. And you can make this happen. Pretty cool. Did you think that you were going to learn how to animate?
Just in case you don't know what that is, whenever you see this red mark, that means it's been keyframed. You can see the keyframe on the timeline over here as well. If you need to break this connection, it's really pretty easy. You can delete these frames individually, so you can always select the frame, Right Click and do Delete. Or my favorite is, select this Offset, Right Click>Break Connection. There it is. So now you can see that it is no longer red and it's no longer animated. All right, that was a little troubleshooting on animation. Let's go ahead and delete the Sine Curve and let's take a look at another one.
Deform>Nonlinear, this time is going to be Squash. As you can imagine this is going to look like Squash and Stretch, or also known as Squesh. I've used this for creating squash and stretch, especially a sphere and it's actually pretty neat. A lot of people use the squash and stretch to animate heads, all sorts of interesting things. It's actually pretty fun if you want to mess around. Expand, so how far do you want this thing to go. You can break it, be careful. You can also control where this Squash is going to be, so that's pretty neat. You got a little bit of Start Smooth and End Smoothness. And of course, the Low Bound and the High Bound, and all of this can be Keyframed, which is awesome. All right, I'm going to grab the Squash Handle, delete it.
One more time, select Deform>Nonlinear>Twist. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure this part out, but you actually get to twist. I'm going to go ahead and turn on the Wireframe so you can see what it looks like. We have a Start Angle and you can see that I'm twisting the geometry. Of course, we have an End Angle which twist this one as well. If I increase the Twist, you're going to see that it actually twists the geometry. Let me turn off that, and now you have a twist. Now, you can add more if you want to. Just because you are limited here, doesn't mean that you can't just go ahead and type numbers in. Sometimes it will let you, sometimes it won't. But if you want to push it a little further, you can always twist, and then you can get a really neat looking piece of geometry. Now obviously when you're twisting you might want to add more geometry so it doesn't break, like it is right now. But you can twist your geometries. Delete the Twist Handle.
Select your mesh, go to Deform>Nonlinear>Wave. All right, it's a different looking icon. We're going to go to Wave, go to Amplitude first. You can see that not much is going on here right now. Let's go ahead and we can either twist this object around. Whoa. Or we can actually rotate the model itself, which is very handy. So again, you can animate this, if you want to make some abstract art. You have very similar things like Offsetting like the sine, but you can see that it actually follows a wave. You've got the Drop Off and Drop Off Position. Then Min and Max Radius.
Well, that's a really quick tutorial on how to make a very simple pole turn into any shape that you want. There's actually a lot of options you can use for the deformer.
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