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Modeling Advice

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Daniel Hybiak
Modeling Advice
on Mar 6, 2013 at 10:43:03 pm

Hi again (sorry been bugging this forum alot, trying to learn Maya at hyper speed, lol)

I'm trying to model a baby crib, but, like many other models I've attempted that are more complex, I'm getting stuck at the methodology behind making it. For example, I start with tracing the profile of one leg (legs are kinda curved and fancy), then extruding along a curve as polygons. But then I start running into issues: when I close the gaps, the "gap polygons" have no edges, it's just one big N-gon. So then I start manually adding edges. Then I need to make the leg have more subdivisions to keep the roundness, so manually adding edges across. Then I need to make the center area where the "rails" are (the jail bars, if you will, lol). But when I every other face, it doesn't fill in the gaps on the side (so instead of being left with rectangles acting as the bars, I have what looks like shredded paper on both sides with no connection between them).

In short, it just feels like I'm doing something wrong. So I was interested if somebody could give me a brief breakdown of how you would approach modeling such an object, just so I have some kind of a reference to work from when developing my modeling workflow. I don't expect a detailed step by step, just a quick summary (should I use curves at all? should I make every single wooden piece separate and attach them? any advice to minimize work if I need to change the shape of the bars or posts or something in the future?)

Thanks for your help again! =D

Here's a reference I'm trying to use for the model.

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Shane Meck
Re: Modeling Advice
on Mar 7, 2013 at 6:01:15 pm

Daniel, I don't know what you mean by "close the gaps" or "gap polygons", but it sounds to me like a common beginning modeler's error: getting bogged down in details too early in the process.

First I'd extrude the basic overall shape, as if the whole crib were one solid block of wood without holes and nowhere to put the baby. Then I'd try dropping in another rectangular solid for one Boolean Difference to subtract out the roof and the sleeping area (I say "try" because Booleans in Maya are very hit-or-miss, but if you get lucky they save a lot of time).

Last, I'd model the slats separately by modeling one and duplicating it as many times as you need. Then try booleans to remove the areas where the slats go. If that doesn't work because of Maya's Boolean issues (often the model will just "disappear"), then you'll have to delete groups of faces on the sides of the crib and then manually place your slats in those areas. Then close and stitch up any leftover holes with Fill Hole, Bridge, and, if necessary extruding edges.

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