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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Maya

Creating a Magpie Cart in Maya: Part 1

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating


The original concept art is from MaevaBroadbin: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/3gJ6D

1. Modelling the Cart

Step 1

Open Maya. Select the perspective camera from Outliner, named persp, set the Focal Length to 88 as this number is the closest focal length to human eyes.

Step 2

Create a base as guide. Create a cube as the body of the cart and another cube as the roof.

Step 3

Create cylinders as wheels guides.

Step 4

Now start to model the actual modelling. Create a cube as the wall. With the help of Insert Edge Loop Tool, insert some edge loops.

Step 5

Press Ctrl-1 to isolate the selected object, insert edge loop at the edges as bevels. The smaller the distance between edges, the sharper the edge.

Step 6

Select the faces at the back and delete.

Step 7

Insert two more edge loops, select the middle faces and move backwards.

Step 8

Insert more edge loops as bevel. Move the vertices left and right so that it won’t look rigid.

Step 9

Press Shift key with Right Mouse Button > Multi Cut tool and draw edges for window, then delete the window faces.

Step 10

Create another cube. Delete the faces at the back.

Step 11

Insert edge loops as bevel for every in-between edges.

Step 12

Select all the edges in between of bevels, then move inwards.

Step 13

Insert more edge loops as bevel, move the vertices left and right like Step 8.

Step 14

Create a cube and shape it like this. Delete the faces at the back.

Step 15

Previously, I was using the three-edge-bevel method to do bevel. This time, we will be using five-edge-bevel method. Insert edge loop as three-edge-bevel first.

Step 16

Delete all edges in the middle of bevels.

Step 17

Select each edge of the bevel, scale bigger or smaller to create unevenness.

Step 18

Insert edge loops again to make bevels.

Step 19

Select Insert Edge Loop Tool options. Choose Multiple edge loops and change the number to 1.

Step 20

Then insert edge loop in the middle of every bevels.

Step 21

Using Multi Cut Tool, connect all the middle edges together.

Step 22

Repeat Step 14-21 for the door frame.

Step 23

Create a cube as a desk’s guide.

Step 24

Create another cube and use the 5-edge-bevel method.

Step 25

Duplicate the cube in Step 24, make some changes on the shapes and thickness so that it won’t look stiff and rigid.

Step 26

Create one more cube and shape it like the following image.

Step 27

Insert edge loops as bevels.

Step 28

Delete the bevel edge like the following image.

Step 29

Using Multi Cut Tool, connect the edges to prevent N-Gon.

Step 30

Use 5-edge-bevel method for other bevels.

Step 31

Repeat Step 26-30 for the opposite side of table’s wood.

Step 32

Create a cube at the side of the cart and use 5-edge-bevel method.

Step 33

Duplicate the cube in step 32 and adjust the shape to create unevenness.

Step 34

Duplicate the wood plank of Step 33, rotate 90° and move to the back of the cart.

Step 35

Make the wood plank longer to fit the cart size. 

Note that you can not simply scale the model as it will make the bevels out of shape. You can, however, move the vertices to fit the length of the cart.

Step 36

Duplicate the selected wood plank twice and move to the back of cart.

Step 37

Select the wood planks at the left, hold D and X to move the pivot and snap to the centre of grid.

Step 38

Ctrl-D to duplicate and change the number of Scale X to -1.

Step 39

Create a cylinder as the window. Change the number of Subdivisions Axis to 6 and Caps to 2. Delete the faces at the back.

Step 40

Adjust the vertices to fit with the border.

Step 41

Delete the faces in the middle. Select the inner border edges and extrude for a thickness.

Step 42

Use three-edge-bevel method for this window frame.

Step 43

Move the pivot point the the centre of grid (D and X), duplicate the geometry and change Scale X to -1.

Step 44

Create a cube for door. Adjust the shape and add edge loops. Delete the faces at the back.

Step 45

Insert edge loops as bevel for vertical edges. Move the edges in the middle of bevel inwards.

Step 46

Use three-edge-bevel method for door geometry.

Step 47

Create a cube for door frame and use five-edge-bevel method.

Step 48

Repeat previous step for the whole door frame.

Step 49

Create a cylinder and change the Subdivisions Axis to 5.

Step 50

Select the edges that need bevel, Press and hold Shift keyclick with Right Mouse button, and choose Bevel Edge. Increase Segments to 2 and turn off Chamfer

Adjust the number of fraction.


  • The five-edge-bevel is more suitable for handmade object especially like this model, while three-edge-bevel is more to machine-made which is neat
  • The five-edge-bevel is also suitable for stylised animation film which can create more organic feel
  • Always remember to freeze transformation for every object, unless you need them for other purpose
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