Maya: Quad Draw

Maya: Modeling Fundamentals

In This Class You’ll Access…
Welcome to the Quad Draw page, this page explains all the features of Maya’s Quad Draw tool. Quad Draw is quickly becoming the must-know tool for modern modeling workflows. It’s considered the industry standard for manual retopology tasks.

Retopology allows you to change and add to your mesh by snapping new polygons to an existing mesh. It’s helpful for turning sculpts into animation-ready objects or reflowing your meshes. You can also use Quad Draw when there’s no snapping at all; it’s excellent for bridging and patching holes with quads.

This page focuses on core functionality in short easy to understand demonstrations.

Running Time: 1:04 hrs
Software: Maya 2018
Instructor: Andrew Silke

Class Time: 1:04 hrs

1. Fundamentals (25 mins)

1.1 – Page Overview (3:58 mins)
1.2 – Quad Draw Basics (4:04 mins)
1.3 – Basic Functions (2:34 mins)
1.4 – All Create Methods (4:48 mins)
1.5 – Delete Cut Merge (3:05 mins)
1.6 – Tweak Move Modes (2:58 mins)
1.7 – Relax Modes (3:01 mins)
1.8 – Delete History Note (58 sec)

2. Snapping And Symmetry (8:34 mins)

2.1 – Snapping Meshes (2:39 mins)
2.2 – SubD Live Note (2:26 mins)
2.3 – Symmetry Modes (3:29 mins)

3. Fast Workflow (10 mins)

3.1 – Fast Workflow (3:46 mins)
3.2 – Snap Issues (1:23 mins)
3.3 – Toggle Vis Workflow (1:16 mins)
3.4 – Toggle Vis Setup (3:50 mins)

4. Responsiveness, Non Live (10 mins)

4.1 – Non Live Features (2:03 mins)
4.2 – Speed Up Tips (5:29 mins)
4.3 – GPU Mesh Cache (3:23 mins)

5. Extra Options (9:06 mins)

5.1 – Customise Look (1:42 mins)
5.2 – Surface Offset (2:49 mins)
5.3 – Conform Offset (1:29 mins)
5.4 – Snap To Backfaces (53 sec)
5.5 – Marking Menu (2:13 mins)
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  1. Boris Akpama
    February 21, 2018 at 3:06 am ·

    Can you make a course about topology please ? About facial topology and your philosophy about how you mix topology and anatomy . Thank you

    • Andrew Silke
      February 21, 2018 at 10:59 am ·

      Hi Boris, yes for sure, the next Croc page will focus on some topology. I’d like to do bunch of topology pages at some stage. Will see how it goes.

  2. arifnbd
    February 25, 2018 at 4:36 am ·

    Yes..would like to see a complete retopo course with a model which will be ready for animation.

    • Andrew Silke
      February 25, 2018 at 11:05 am ·

      Yes Mohammad, those pages are definitely happening. Croc, Stryocaraus (both in Advanced) and this tortoise (in Intermediate) too. Croc will be first, the others I’ll see how I go with time. Human facial topology and general topology pages too, even hard surface if I can get to it.

  3. mattneputin
    February 3, 2019 at 7:21 am ·

    What do you think of autoretopo tools like those in 3d coat? Can someone just use those?

    • Andrew Silke
      February 3, 2019 at 1:18 pm ·

      Hi Matt, for sure you can just use 3dCoat. Blender also has some interesting retopo tools. I’ve never used 3dCoat, I’ve seen a couple of video demos though. I think Maya’s strength compared to the other programs is it’s relaxing and sliding features. Though it’ll have weaknesses in other areas. I’d love Maya to have a “fill hole with Quads” for example, Modo and Blender both have those, perhaps 3dCoat too. C4d there is a plugin version.

  4. Andreas Alomar
    February 24, 2020 at 11:31 am ·

    In visibility 3.3 Mesh vis Timeline. When you talk about it, there’s no prior setup you just hit the 3 keyframes and it works. On my timeline nothing happens at all, all objects sit there unselected. Being able to select with the mesh not there and still connect quads would be perfect over uneven surfaces. But I just can’t seem to do. Is there a step I’m missing?

    • Andrew Silke
      February 25, 2020 at 12:57 pm ·

      Hi Andreas, that should all be explained in video 3.4, let me know if anything there is unclear?

  5. Andreas Alomar
    February 26, 2020 at 5:30 am ·

    Thank you Andrew, I was just super frustrated for a few days and didn’t know what to do, thank you so much man

  6. Andreas Alomar
    February 28, 2020 at 7:36 am ·

    Hey Andrew I have a big question. Watching your workflow on the turtle shell, It seems that your Quad Draw brush can select Verts , Edges and Faces THROUGH the mesh even though it’s under the turtle shells mesh. Whenever I try and select any vert if its not exactly on top of the mesh then I can’t touch it and I have to slide my mouse around for 30 seconds or so hoping to catch something I can extrude. Most times if I’m clicking around to add points if one happens to be slightly under the mesh Maya ignores it and will make a quad out of something on the OTHER SIDE of the face I’m making.

    The long short of it is. Is there anyway to increase the sensitivity , or radius or whatever to allow me to constantly select my quads without this being an issue? Some settings to fiddle with, anything helps.

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