Simple modeling question - creating a recess on a poly model

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Old 11 November 2012   #1
Question Simple modeling question - creating a recess on a poly model

Hello

I modeled a rough keyboard for a client to use in a quick video presentation. They are now asking me to add a "slot" into the top of the model, like a large iPod dock to insert an iPad into (as if it were a laptop screen for the keyboard).

I know I cannot use booleans because apparently they suck in Maya. That makes me sad because that would make this super-easy.

What's the best practice for creating a recessed portion into a flat face on a polygon model? I'd want to be able to bevel/round the edges just a bit after the hole is made so I can get the specular to play off it.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #2
Use a floater and bake your normal map from it.
Won't actually add any new geometry but can give the illusion that the surface is extruded inwards.
__________________
Nightshade UV Editor (script for Maya) - Extends Maya's default UV Texture Editor with additional tools.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #3
I apologize. I don't know what a floater is.

Would you mind elaborating a bit?
 
Old 11 November 2012   #4
http://www.poopinmymouth.com/proces...ormal_float.jpg
It's a bad picture but it's the best I could find.
A floater is a separate piece of geometry (separate mesh) that "floats" above your main geometry. When rendering a normal map, the normals from the floater gets projected down on the main mesh.

The reason people use them is because sometimes it's easier to just model a new mesh from scratch instead of trying to extrude out something (or boolean) from the main mesh.

Do a test like this:
Make a plane, and a cylinder. Take one cap of the cylinder and shrink down the height a bit.
Place the cylinder close to the plane and then bake out a normal map.
__________________
Nightshade UV Editor (script for Maya) - Extends Maya's default UV Texture Editor with additional tools.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #5
I'll look into this, thanks for the reply!
 
Old 11 November 2012   #6
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