In this quick tip, author Abed Ibrahim will show you a great way to create a simple 3D puzzle in Maya. Although simple in approach, this valuable technique can be used in a variety of projects, ranging from very simple puzzles to extremely complex scenes, or even animations.
Additional Files/ Plugins:
Open Maya and create a New scene, then switch the camera to the "Top View" and Zoom in.
Switch to the (Surfaces Menu) by pressing "F4", then go to Create > EP Curve Tool.
Draw out 7 points while pressing and holding "X" on the keyboard, to snap the points to the gird. Then press "Enter".
Now press "3" to smooth the curve. Then "Right" click and choose "Control Vertex". Try to closely match the following shape.
Press "Insert" and move the "Pivot" to the first point on grid, by pressing and holding "X".
Now press "Ctrl+D" to duplicate the curve shape, and rotate it 90 degrees on the "Y" axis.
Repeat the process for the next two curves to complete the shape. Then go to Edit Curves > and open the Option Box for "Attach Curves".
Adjust the settings to the following. and then press "Attach":
- Attach method: Connect
- Multiple Knots: Keep
Delete History and center the shape to the center of the grid, and then delete the old curves.
In the "Persp View", go to Surfaces > and open the Option Box for "Bevel Plus".
Modify the following settings in the "Bevel"(1) and "Output Options"(2) tabs, then press the "Bevel" button.
Delete History and hide the Curve, then in the "Top View", snap the pivot to the lower right corner and to the grid point (as shown).
Press "Ctrl+D " to duplicate the puzzle piece, then rotate it 90 degrees on "Y" axis.
Now press "Shift+D" twice to duplicate the shape with the transform attributes.
Repeat the last three steps until you get the desired puzzle size.
Select all the puzzle pieces, and switch to the Polygons menu (F3), then go to Mesh > Select > Combine.
Open the "Hypershade" menu from Window > Rendering Editors > Hypershade, and choose your image file (texture.)
Select all the faces at once (from the "Side" or "Front" views, and then Assign the image to them.
Choose "Planar Mapping" from "Create UVs" menu, and adjust the UVs through the Attributes and the Manipulator.
We're done! You can Render your scene using either Mental Ray or Maya.