Eric Kilkenny

3D Environment Artist



Mastering Maya: Step by Step Guide to 3D Modeling

In this class we will be getting into the basics of using Maya, a 3D modeling tool used often to create assets and characters seen in movies and video games.  

It can be a little daunting at first, but after getting your bearings in this new creative environment, there are a lot of really exciting projects in store for us.  

This first class focuses on how to maneuver within the 3D space the modeling takes place in, how to create geometrical objects, and how to manipulate those objects to make more complicated shapes resembling the world we see around us.  Or perhaps the ones in our minds!

Class Overview Document

Project details

The project for this class is simple:


We are making a table.


Everything you learn in this video will allow you to make a fully functional, structurally sound, game-ready table.  These are the steps we will be following when we create our tables.



  1. Study the reference photo, and any other photos of tables you might find on google images, which we will use to compare with our creations.
  2. Start by creating a cube.
  3. Use the scaling tool to manipulate the cube.  We want it to take on the shape of the top of the table, by making the board thin and making it rectangular.  You can also do this by holding right-click on the table and selecting ‘face’, then selecting each individually and using the move tool to resize the cube.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the size of the table top, use the ‘insert edge loop’ tool (found under the Mesh Tools menu) to create 2 equal edge loops going lengthwise and widthwise.
  5. Hold Right-click on the table and select ‘edge’.  After this, highlight the parallel edges and hold Shift, then double click them so the edges around the table become highlighted orange, which indicates they are selected.
  6. With the selected edges, use the scaling tool along either the Z or X axis to widen the distance between the two edges, and do the same with the other 2 edges perpendicular to the first set.  The end result should leave you with a square face in the 4 corners of the table top.
  7. Hold Right click on the table and select ‘face’.  Hold Alt and click and drag to rotate your view to the bottom of the table.  Once there, select the four square corner faces by holding Shift and clicking on each one so they are highlighted orange.
  8. Select the ‘extrude’ tool (found under the Edit Mesh menu) and pull on the blue arrow to pull the legs out of the four corners.  To adjust their height, just hold Right click and go to ‘face’ the select the bottom faces of the table legs, once again holding Shift.  Then press the ‘W’ hotkey to switch to the ‘Move’ tool and move the legs upward or downward until they are a length you deem appropriate.  

Show off your table!  Post a screenshot (Print Screen button) of what you made below with any questions or comments.  


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