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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Maya

Model, UVMap, Texture, Light and Render Leather Shoes in Maya - Part 1

This post is part of a series called Create Leather Shoes in Maya.
Model, UVMap, Texture, Light and Render Leather Shoes in Maya - Part 2

Hey guys, in this tutorial I am going to share with you the process of modeling a formal pair of leather shoes. We will first make a low poly model and then add details to that model. I will start with the sole of the shoe and then move further. I’m using a reference image of a shoe which will help me make the perfect shape, though I will follow my own designs.

Reference Image

reference Image

Step 1

Let’s start. Open Maya and set the project folder. In the side view, click on View>Image Plane>Import Image, then open the side view of the shoe. Similarly, open the back image of the shoe in the Front view.

Step 1 Image
Step 1 Image

Step 2

Open the Attribute Editor (press Ctrl + A), while selecting the image planes one by one in the Perspective view. Click on imageplane01, where the arrow is pointing.

Step 2 Image

Then put a value in the center column ( Y-axis), so that the image planes can spread out a bit and you can do the modeling with ease. These values can be in negative amounts.

Step 2 Image

Step 3

Now Create a Plane and increase its subdivision width and subdivision height as needed.

Step 3 Image

Right-click and go to Vertex mode and then adjust the vertices according to the shape of the shoe’s sole.

Step 3 Image

Step 4

Now jump into the Side view to adjust the shape of sole according to the side image.

Step 4 Image

Step 5

Now let’s extrude the sole. Jump into the Perspective view and press 5 to turn off X-ray mode. Select all the faces and Extrude them downward (Edit Mesh > Extrude.) This gives an overall thickness to the sole.

Step 5 Image

After Extruding the sole, select only the heel faces and Extrude them once more. Our low poly sole is now complete.

Step 5 Image

Step 6

Since we have made the sole, we don’t really need the bottom view now. We will use the Top view only. Therefore we will delete the bottom view image plane. Go to Window > Rendering Editor > Hypershade > Utilities. Then select the image plane and Delete it.

Step 6 Image

Step 7

Now Import the new image view and open the top view of the shoe. Now you know how to import an image plane. When you import the image, the image plane may seem quite large compared to the shoe's sole. In this situation you can adjust its size by increasing or decreasing the values of Width and Height.

Step 7 Image

Because we are now using the top view of the shoe (which is for the right leg), we therefore have to flip the sole so that it can match with the image correctly. Go to Edit > Duplicate Special, set the scale X value as -1. Now move the older one (1) and place the new one (2) on the image plane. As you can see the sole mesh is not perfectly matched with top image plane, however we have to model the shoe yet and you know that we are using these images just for reference.

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Step 8

In the Perspective view select the top faces of the sole and Delete them.

Step 8 Image

After deleting the face,s select the border edge and extrude it inside. To Extrude the border edge, go to Edit Mesh > Extrude.

Step 8 Image

Step 9

Go to the Side view, select the border edge and extrude it upwards.

Step 9 Image

In the Side viewport, select some vertices and move them downward as shown.

Step 9 Image

Step 10

Now go to the Top view and adjust the mesh accordingly.

Step 10 Image

Extrude once more and adjust the geometry like we did in the last step.

Step 10 Image

Step 11

Extrude the border edge one more time and also keep deforming the shape of the shoe accordingly.

Step 11 Image
Step 11 Image

Step 12

Now let’s cover the paw area of the shoe. Select both sides and then Bridge them as you can see in the figure below. To bridge the borders, go to Edit Mesh > Bridge.

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Step 13

Now select the edges as shown the figure below.

Step 13 Image

After that go to the Side view and with the edges selected, move them upward and also Rotate them a little bit from left to right. This makes a fine slope.

Step 13 Image

Step 14

Now select the only the center edge and then Move it upward a bit to give it a rounded shape like a shoe.

Step 14 Image

Now go to the Side view and then also Rotate it from left to right.

Step 14 Image

Step 15

While still in the Side view, modify the mesh as you can see in the image below.

Step 15 Image

Step 16

In Perspective view, select some of the top edges on the shoe and Extrude them as shown.

Step 16 Image

Step 17

Now Select two vertices from the side view and move them down a bit.

Step 17 Image

Then select three vertices from the Top view and modify them so they're a little bit rounded, as shown.

Step 17 Image

Step 18

Create some distance between these three selected edge loops because we don’t want any dents on the shoe surface. Therefore it is very important to create a gap between them.

Step 18 Image

Step 19

Go to Edit Mesh > Insert An Edge Tool, and insert an edge as shown in the image below.

Step 19 Image

Step 20

Now we have to fill the hole. Select the edge loop shown below by double clicking on the edge and the go to Mesh > Fill Hole, to fill the hole.

Step 20 Image

Then go to Edit Mesh > Split Polygon Tool, and use this tool to connect the edges as shown.

Step 20 Image

Step 21

Now we have to adjust the mesh flow so that there won't be any dents in the mesh.

Step 21 Image

Select the edge loop that you can see in the Figure below.

Step 21 Image

Then go to Edit Mesh > Slide Edge Tool, and move this selected edge loop left a bit with the help of the Slide Edge Tool.

Step 21 Image

After that select the other one and move it also by using the Slide Edge Tool. This distributes the mesh flow evenly.

Step 21 Image

Step 22

Now Select some edges on tip of the shoe and slide them backward with the help of the Slide Edge Tool.

Step 22 Image
Step 22 Image

Step 23

Now select the shoe and press ‘3’ to check the smoothness of the shoe. Press ‘1’ to unsmooth the shoe again.

Step 23 Image

Step 24

Now Select the edge loop highlighted below, but deselect the shoe’s toe edges.

Step 24 Image

By using the Slide Edge Tool, slide this selected edge a bit upward as you can see in the image.

Step 24 Image

Step 25

Now go to Edit Mesh>Split Polygon Tool and create an edge on the shoe as shown in the following image.

Step 25 Image

Create the same edge loop on the opposite side of the shoe.

Step 25 Image

Step 26

Now select the faces I have shown in the image below.

Step 26 Image

Step 27

Go to Edit Mesh > Duplicate Faces and click on the option box.

Step 27 Image

The Duplicate Face Options window appears. Here check On the Separate Duplicate Faces option and then click on the “Duplicate” button.

Step 27 Image

This action makes a duplicated mesh of the selected faces. Now select the duplicated face and move it away.

Step 27 Image

Step 28

Once again select the faces as I have selected them in the image below and Delete them.

Step 28 Image

Now put the duplicated mesh into the empty place.

Step 28 Image

Now select some vertices from both sides and scale them inside a little bit.

Step 28 Image

Step 29

Now go to the Side view, and insert an edge loop to modify the separated geometry.

Step 29 Image

Since we have two separate entities now, we can hide or unhide whichever part we need as per requirement. To isolate the selection press Shift + I. And if you want to make the invisible geometry visible again go to Show > Isolate Select > View Selected.

Step 29 Image

Step 30

Now the basic model of the shoe is almost done.

Step 30 Image

But the top part of the shoe seems too broad. So select the vertices of that part.

Step 30 Image

And with the Scale tool, reduce the width of that part a bit.

Step 30 Image

Step 31

Now the main and basic part of the shoe model is ready. You can make all the further improvements in the design of the shoe as per your requirement.

Step 31 Image

Step 32

Now we will create holes for the shoe laces. Pick the Split Polygon Tool (Edit Mesh > Split Polygon Tool) and make 3 square shapes on both sides.

Step 32 Image

After that we have to adjust them to straight in line and make holes by deleting the faces of squares we just made.

Step 32 Image

Step 33

Let’s create the shoelaces. Create a Cylinder, set the Subdivision Axis to 8 and the Subdivision Caps to 2.

Step 33 Image

Squeeze the Cylinder into a shoelace shape.

Step 33 Image

And place it in the shoelace hole as I have shown in the following figure.

Step 33 Image

Now select the cap faces of the cylinder, then go to Edit Mesh > Extrude and keep extruding it to the other side of shoelace hole as you can see in the image. Extrude it in a curved line like a shoelace.

Step 33 Image
Step 33 Image
Step 33 Image
Step 33 Image

Now our shoelaces are ready.

Step 33 Image

Step 34

Hide the back part of the shoe. Select the front part of the shoe and select all the faces except the sole, and then go to Mesh > Extract. This splits the sole apart from rest of the mesh.

Step 34 Image

Step 35

Now isolate the sole. Select and cover its top surface which was deleted, by using Bridge (Edit Mesh > Bridge.)

Step 35 Image

Step 36

Bring the back portion of the shoe back. Now we have to improve the shape of the shoe’s back part.

Step 36 Image

Step 37

So this time isolate the back part and Select all the faces.

Step 37 Image

Now Extrude all the faces inside to create depth because a shoe is not made of only a single leather layer. This is required to give it a little bit of thickness.

Step 37 Image

Step 38

Similarly select the front part of the shoe and make it an isolated selection. Then select all the faces and extrude them inside too.

Step 38 Image

Step 39

Congrats! Our low poly shoe is now ready.

Step 39 Image

Step 40

Now all we have to do is add some detailing to the shoe. We will start with the sole, so Insert 4 edge loops in the sole as shown.

Step 40 Image

Select two face loops and then extrude them inward.

Step 40 Image

Step 41

Add supporting edges where you want hard corners.

Step 41 Image
Step 41 Image

Step 42

Now we have to add the detailing to the back part of the shoe. Similarly add supporting edges to harden the corners.

Step 42 Image

Step 43

Now add supporting edges to the front part of the shoe to make hard corners where ever you want.

Step 43 Image

Step 44

Additionally I have made a simple logo to cling onto the shoe. To make the logo Create a Box with two horizontal and one vertical edge.

Step 44 Image

Step 45

First of all press Shift + Alt + D, to Delete all the history; it will help to reduce the file size. Select the whole shoe and press Ctrl + G to make a group of all the parts together. Now with the shoe selected, go to Edit > Duplicate Special, and make a duplicate on the opposite side. Finally our pair of shoes is ready. Now in the next part of the tutorial, we will do Unwrapping, Texturing and Lighting of the shoes.

Step 45 Image

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