Mirror symmetry in Maya.

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  11 November 2013
Mirror symmetry in Maya.

Hi all, I had been learning Blender for the past year and I have just started learning Maya which seems a lot less user friendly. Anyhow my issue is that I want to model symmetrically. In the video below it demonstrates how to do this in Blender by adding a Mirror Modifier. watch the video between 10:30-11:30 to know what im talking about. The problem is I cant figure out how to do it in Maya.

I have tried using Mirror Cut and Mirror Geometry in the Mesh dropdown, but I dont know how to achieve in Maya, what I can in Blender.

Ive tried searching all over youtube and google, but it seems there's so manhy suggestions but none that simply asnwer my question...Any help much appreciated.

  11 November 2013
Hi Yomega,

To mirror geometry in Maya, you just model one half & Duplicate it over then combine it.

To do this:
Make sure all the verts along the half's center are all aligned and the center is snapped to this edge of the half (the center of the whole model).
To do this hold 'D' while in transform mode ('w') and while holding D hold the V key to snap the center to a vert that lies on the half's edge.
Then duplicate the geometry and scale it to -1 in x or z, whichever one places it to the other half of the model.

If you want see both sides of the mesh while you model, and see changes made to one side automatically update on the other side, you need to take half a base mesh. This time do a Duplicate with Options and check the instance box. Just like step 1 above scale the instanced duplicate to the -1 in x or z.
Now when you sculpt on the first half, the second half will be doing the same thing, so you can see your model in full as you sculpt.
Then when you are done modeling, you just delete the instanced side and do step 1.

When you are finished and have both halves,
Take the duplicated half that is scaled to the -1, freeze its transforms, reverse the normals, then delete the history. Take both halves and Mesh > Combine. Then select all your mesh's verts, and go to Edit Mesh > Merge with Options. We now need to merge all the verts along the two halves, since we aligned the half's edge before the duplication all the verts we need to merge lie right on top of each other, so make the merge distance variable in the merge options really small, like 0.0001 and apply.
Now you can smooth normals if needed. And Delete History

This was how I've always been shown. Hope it helps!
- Bergquist
  11 November 2013
Thanks for the reply, although your explanations I find are overwhelmingly complicated.

I played around using a mixture of the same method ideas in the Blender tute as wel as what you had suggested, and I found a way which seemed to work.

I created a box, then added a loop cut and snapped it to the centre of the box. Then I deleted one half of the box. After that I selected the box and went to Edit>Duplicate Special, and changed the scale to -1 like you mentioned...and found that it worked if I changed the Geometry type to instance.

After this I can change both sides symmetrically by using the Move Tool (w)
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by yomega: Thanks for the reply, although your explanations I find are overwhelmingly complicated.
Glad you got it working

Its funny to hear you say my explanation was overwhelmingly complicated.
Even though its just a few clicks, it was difficult to explain in writing, sorry about that. I should have just posted a quick video
  11 November 2013
when it comes to 3D, anyones explanations in writing comes across as complicated, atleast for me. With a program like Maya, it seems that the slightest bit of misunderstanding will hinder the me from achieving what I'm trying to do.

I would like to be a generalist so at the moment I have bought the Maya Bible, as well as looking at the Autodesk tutorials.Whats overwhelming is learning about modelling, texturing, lighting, rigging, mapping and workign with Nodes all at the same time. So much to learn that I kind of dont know where to start.

  11 November 2013
also, in that same Blender video if oyu watch from 8min 30 until 9min 30, you can see that in Blender it allows you to have the same reference image in split views but adjust the reference images independently as if they were two seperate reference images..

when i import a reference image in Maya, although in 2 view panels, the image is not treated the same as it is in the Blender video. If i lay the reference image on the grid in top view, then i will not be able to view the image in side view...

any insight as to how to cure this?


update: it seems (so far that i can tell) that Maya does things differently...that in each different view i just have to import the image for that view so that i end up with 2 images on the same grid which cross through each other when viewed in the perspective view.

Last edited by yomega : 11 November 2013 at 03:09 PM.
  11 November 2013
Hey Yomega,

In Maya, when you import an 'Image Plane' by going View > Image Plane > Import Image
using the small menu above each view panel, It usually sets the image to automatically be viewable in all views, but if for some reason its not doing that for you and you want that one reference image to show up in all your veiwports

You can simply go to View > Image Plane > Image Plane Attributes > yourImage

And the very first thing listed at the top of the Attribute Window is
_ look through camera
_ in all views

make sure the 'in all views' is checked instead of the 'look through camera' if you want to see just that one reference image in all your viewports. look though camera of course makes it where you can only see the image from the camera (view panel) you added it to.

But how you described doing it in your update is the way I usually have to do it anyway. For Instance if I'm modeling a face, I'll have the front face photo in the front view and so on, and often times you have to adjust them quite a bit to line everything up.

Hope this helps,
- Bergquist
  11 November 2013
Thanks Bergquist, I very much appreciate the feedback. I will look into those image plane trouble shoots.


  11 November 2013
Hmm I'm having problems with Image Planes....unlike the other day when i explained that the image would get placed onto the grid, and i could import a second image and move the images so that they aligned in perspective view....today I open Maya, and whenever I import an image it places the image so that its fixed to the background, and not placed onto the grid. While it is like this it means i also cannot move it or rescale it or find a way to place the image so that it sits on the grid.

Gahh Maya is really testing my patience. I run into an issue everytime I open it up.
  11 November 2013
Here is a screen cap of whats happening.

whereas i want to be able to achieve this- http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&r...385190203348012
  11 November 2013
Looks like you added it to the perspective viewport instead of say the front.
Don't know if this helps, but make sure you're looking through the orthographic camera you want your image plane to be attached to before adding it.
  11 November 2013
Beauty! It worked!

Far out i was tearing my hair out for hours wondering what setting I had changed and googling for a possible diagnosis. That's the problem with these sort of things is there isn't really a troubleshoot for them except user feedback. Some days I will spend hours fiddling around with stuff from tutorials and feel like I still havent learnt or achieved anything.

I dont want to come across as a brain leech, but I'm used to picking things up really quickly and Maya has been a slow progression.

Thanks again I appreciate your help.
  11 November 2013
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