Maya Plugin Power: Miscellaneous Tools Stitching with Seamour
This month, VFXWorld continues a series of six excerpts of the Course Technology book Maya Plugin Power, which will give VFXWorld readers to learn how to take advantage of the myriad of plugins available to Maya users.
There are a fun set of useful Maya plugins from a company called ticket01. One of these tools is called Seamour. It helps to create a variety of stitching effects on a surface. This beats the hell out of a bump map when real geometric detail is needed. Here is a look at creating seam stitching.
Check out Course Technology site for additional information and files.
You can certainly save a lot of time with this plugin compared to a weak workaround. SmartDuplicate is handy and gets the job done. It is simple, powerful, and supports the duplication of multiple instances with different object types all at the same time. Let’s look at another plugin from Ticket01 that has similar characteristics as Wire and SmartDuplicate but has a more narrow niche application. It’s called Seamour.
Stitching With Seamour
Seamour, which may or may not be the combination of the words seam and amour, or a love affair with seams, creates stitching geometry. This plugin performs a tiresome function that you rarely see modeled but is a nifty addition to a model, giving it a new level of realism. Let’s use Seamour to generate some stitchery.
On the companion DVD in the Chapter 9 folder is a scene called stitches_1.mb. The loaded file should look similar to Figure 1. A quick render will make it look like Figure 2. Installing Seamour is simple. Executing the installer program is easy and is no fuss. After installation, make sure the plugin is loaded and recognized by Maya. This can be done by going to the top of the screen in the Maya menus and selecting Window > Setting/Preferences > Plug-in Manager. Make sure that both the Loaded and Auto load boxes are selected next to Seamour.mll. There should now be a Ticket menu at the tope of the screen. If you have installed Wire and SmartDuplicate, they will be present in the Ticket menu as well.
Seamour creates a shelf that is very helpful for accessing the tools. Your interface may not have the tool shelf open. This can be accomplished from the Maya menus. Select Display > UI Elements > Shelf, as shown in Figure 3. The Seamour shelf should appear.
Open the shelf to reveal the various Seamour tool icons, as shown in Figure 4.
Making a seam straight down the middle of our cloth is quite easy. It’s best to do this in wireframe mode in the top orthogonal view. Follow these steps for a quick and easy seam.