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This chapter is from the book


The workshop contains quiz questions and exercises to help you solidify your understanding of the material covered. Try to answer all questions before looking at the “Answers” section that follows.


  1. Why is it important to have orthographic designs when modeling a character?
  2. What is the attribute called that adjusts the transparency of an image plane?
  3. A copy of a polygon that is mirrored but takes on all of the changes to the original is called what?
  4. Name a few areas where good edge loops are important.
  5. What is a pole?


After this Hour, you probably have many ideas for characters you’d like to create. Try to start with a very simple character and model him or her (or it) from scratch. Avoid starting with a polygon primitive. If you get stuck, open up any of the intermediate files in this Hour’s source files to see how I’ve created my model and then try to follow some of the choices. Do not be too ambitious; if you bite off more than you can chew, you can get stuck—and discouraged.


  1. Drawings with perspective will give a distorted view of a character and make it impossible to follow the designs working in a front or side panel in Maya.
  2. The attribute is called Alpha Gain, and it can be adjusted in the Attribute Editor for an image plane. Remember that to see the transparency in the Persp panel, the “renderer” must be set to Viewport 2.0.
  3. A “mirrored instance.” This “link” between the polygons is preserved even if you delete history, but not if you combine the two halves.
  4. Eye sockets, cheeks, mouths, muscles, and any area that has well-defined, curved detail.
  5. A pole is any vertex that is at the intersection of more than four edges. This happens most often when you extrude faces, or have non-four-sided faces in your mesh.
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