Maya Column Tutorial

For our second Maya task, we were asked to create a column. I began by making the base of the column, I made a cube polygon and set the ‘y’ scale to 0.15. I then moved the pivot to the bottom of the vertex in the middle of the shape, this allowed me to move the shape up to the surface with accuracy by using the ‘snap to grid’ feature.02-mayalt-interface-overview-12Once the base was created and in the right position I made the pillar itself, for this I needed to use the cylinder shape, I then applied the following settings to the shape in the channel box:

Radius = 0.4
Height = 8
Subdivision axis = 32
Subdivision height = 1
Subdivision caps = 1

I once the pillar was created I had to put it in place, for this I used the same method as the base, starting by moving the pivot point to the bottom of the shape and then moving the shape upwards.


Screen Shot 2016-09-18 at 20_25_30I then finished the column shape by adding a ‘Torus’ shape to the top of the pillar. This gives the authentic greek column look to the shape.screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-20-28-55.png

Maya Lighting: Arnold Robot

In Maya this week we learned the basics of lighting in a 3d space, our activity involved lighting up a model robot that was provided for us on this website:



To light the robot we used the ‘Three-Point Lighting Technique’: The three-point lighting technique is a standard method used in visual media such as video, film, still photography and computer-generated imagery.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 09.20.35

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 09.17.57

To start lighting you open the ‘Arnold’ tab on the toolbar, once you have this open you can add light to the scene. The robot model and backdrop are already in place so for this activity we needed to move the lights and make sure they are pointing in the right direction.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 09.17.31
I Positioned the lights to create the ‘Three-point lighting’ effect







image2015-7-8 16-11-53
This is the finished render of the Arnold robot



Project Setup, Asset Management and Topology.

How to set up a project in Maya:

To start off you need to select File > Project Window, once in the project window click ‘New’. The project window will display all of the default project locations and names, you can clear all of these by selecting Edit > Clear Settings.

Enter the name for your current project in the ‘Current project text box’. Then select a location for your project file by clicking the browse icon to the right of location. Click ‘Accept’ to save your changes and close the project window, project directories and sub-directories will be created if they don’t exist.

Asset Management in Maya:

Asset management is a key skill to use in any industry, it saves time and increases the workflow. If you have proper asset management you will be able to locate all of your assets and understand what they do, when working in a 3D environment this is important because it can get confusing trying to find certain objects or figure out what one of your assets does.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 10.22.44

The importance of Topology:

Topology in 3D is the layout of the model, how the vertices and edges form together to create a mesh. Having good topology is important because it can affect the frames per second of your project and also the rendering times, certain problems will arise when rendering if you have poor topology.

Shapes Animation

Before I started animating I have to set the FPS (Frames per second), to do this I went to Window > Settings > Preferences and then set the frames per second to 24. After this, I made three shapes (a cube, a cone and a sphere) and positioned them on one side of the grid, spaced apart. The goal of the animation is to have all three shapes reach the other side of the grid at different times, the cube after 1 second, the sphere after 2 seconds and the cone after 3. shapes

To start off with I added the keyframes that mark the starting and ending position of each object. To make the starting keyframe you have to click on the timeline at the bottom at frame 0, you then click object you would like to animate and go to the channel box in the top right. Once you see the details for the object simply right click ‘Translate X’ (Because the object will travel on the x-axis) And then click ‘Key Selected.zTo make the finishing keyframe you select 24 on the timeline (1 Second of animation) and then input a number into the ‘Translate X’, in my case I put -10 because that is where the Cube would end up, and then you simply click ‘Key Selected like you did before.

I then repeated this process for the other two shapes, the starting keyframe would stay the same as the cube as all the shapes start in the same place. However, the ending keyframes are put on frame 48 for the sphere and 72 for the cone, this is done so that each object finishes moving a second after the last.

Maya Spaceship


Today we learned the basics of Maya and used these skills to create a simple spaceship design, my spaceship started off as a simple cube which I manipulated with the ‘Extrude’ tool under the components section of the ‘modeling toolkit’.


To start the design I simply moved the cube into the air and widened it by selecting two opposite sides and extruding outwards. From this I now had multiple faces that I could extrude in any direction, I decided to make the spaceship quite linear so I extruded the front of the cube lengthways and started to add sloping extrusions that give the spaceship a more realistic shape. I then wanted to add depth to the ship so I extruded several faces outwards again and added more details and slopesCapture3


I noticed that the bottom of the ship was a bit chunky so I decided to add more depth and detail by creating a new line with the ‘Multi-cut’ tool. This allowed me to extrude halfway through the spaceship. I then used this to create further detail and depth.Capture4

The finished design came out quite nicely, I would like to add more detail in the future as I learn more in Maya.Capture6


Maya Basics

These are some shortcut keys that we have learned in Maya to help speed up our workflow:
Q: General selection
W: Move tool
E: Rotate
R: Scale
D: Allows you to change the Pivot point
Magnet Tools (Snap tools) are used to move objects by snapping them into place such as ‘Snap to grid’
‘Snap to grid’
The ‘outliner box is a helpful window that allows you to find objects and cameras.
Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 09.53.44

Channel Box:

Using the channel box you can apply settings to keyframes and objects you have made.



Here are some keywords that are important to learn for future reference.

-Edges (two vertices joined together)
Non-uniform rational basis spline


  • Root joint
  • Parent joint
  • Sibling joint
  • Child joint
  • Current joint.

how to rig pic skeleton

Maya uses a ‘Cartesian’ grid system
Maya can be used in many different environments;
  • Gaming
  • Film and tv
  • Art
  • Military

Jobs and Industries that use 3d Design/ Models


There are many industries that use 3D modeling, with the recent uprise of the 3D printer, 1000’s of jobs are now available for 3D modelers and designers. This includes:

  • Entertainment. One of the most obvious places you can see the use of 3D modeling growing is in the entertainment field. 3D design is used in every modern television show or film.
  • Gaming. The gaming industry is worth over $100 Billion by 2017, this has provided millions of jobs with many of them including 3D modeling.
  • Architecture. Architects use 3d modeling programs to put their ideas into a 3D space, this allows them to see mistakes they might have made or add new features that would have been hard to plan on paper. They also have the option to 3D print their designs and display them.

Automotive Industry:

How is 3D used in the Automotive industry? What are the jobs available?

The automotive industry, along with many others, has had a severe impact with the rise of 3D printing. Mechanical components that previously needed many machines and a lot of time are resources to create can now be printed by one machine all at the press of a button. This has given the industry a large boost in production and efficiency.

An image of the ‘URBEE 2’ in production, this car is made using only 3D printed components.

Although this may have made certain jobs and roles in the industry obsolete, it has opened the door for new jobs such as; 3D printer operator, component designer, and 3D modeler. Including all the potential jobs in the future if the production of cars completely made up of 3D printed components takes off; spare part retailers, advertisers,  and many new opportunities for current 3D designers to make improvements and enhance the industry.