View Full Version : NURBS/Surfaces?

01 January 2010, 05:00 PM
I've been using maya now for about a year and I'm taking my first modeling course. Watched all the tutorials the school library had and I can use every Polygon related feature in Maya, Mudbox and Zbrush. My question is about NURBS, all I ever really use them for is creating polygon objects quickly, but learning these are becoming a headache and much slower than anything else I've done hard surface or organic out of Polys.

Well the question is what jobs out there use NURBS professionally? Not games, but I assume film (although I've only seen them used with animation) and architecture (also Pixar/Dreamworks for everything). I have my goals, but I'd like to be at least prepared for any job that comes along.

Do I have to use the tools or can I simply cheat and convert Polys> Sub-Divs> NURBS?

There a program that lets you paint them in real time cause they can't be UV mapped and texturing them is painfully tedious.

I've also heard you can't easily make characters with NURBS, they're normally in many pieces and that there is not much more to do than to rig it carefully?

01 January 2010, 04:54 PM
NURBS is used for a few but very important niches. Mostly in design for manufacturing. Think automotive bodywork, aeronautic bodywork, ship hulls. In fact NURBS was developed primarily for these industries, which needed mathematically accurately defined complex freeform shapes and forms.

It's worth noting subdivision surfaces came after NURBS and regular polygons, I don't know its history but at the end of the day it's the animation industry that became the heaviest users.

NURBS is fairly old, has many limitations, but ulimately still remains the best at what it does. That's why, to this day, if you see the latest new car releases, the big swooping exterior that you can see, was designed using NURBS.

However I believe its day are slowly growing numbered, they may not be around for another decade.

Nevertheless, as it stands, NURBS are still king for complex shapes that need to exist in the real world. And for that reason alone, I had to learn them and quite frankly am strting to love them :)

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01 January 2010, 04:54 PM
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