How To: Model a Leaf in Maya

Model a Leaf in Maya

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

Step 1 Start with a Polygon Plane

Start by creating a Polygon Plane with 4 width and 5 height sections.

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

Step 2 Create the rough leaf shape

Turn on "Reflection" in the Move Tool settings, hit 3 on the keyboard to smooth the plane and shape it into a rough leaf shape.

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

The highlighted vertices are the ones that we will now connect with the Split Polygon tool.

Go to the Edit Mesh menu and select Split Polygon. Right-click on the object and choose Vertex, so you can see the vertices that you want to connect. The result should look like this:

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

Step 3 Add "teeth" to the leaf's edges

Use Edit Mesh - Insert Edge Loop Tool to insert 2 edges around each of the leaf's horizontal edges:

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

 Then shape the vertices around the leaf:

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

 Try to make the "teeth" a little bit unsymmetrical.

Step 4 Add geometry for the stem and ridge

Before we add thickness to the leaf, we'll have to add some geometry that will allow us to add the stem and the center ridge later on. 

Use Edit Mesh - Split Polygon tool to split the leaf like this:

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

Step 5 Add thickness to the leaf

In the Perspective Viewport, select all the faces of the leaf and extrude them a little, using Edit Mesh - Extrude.

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

Step 6 Extrude the stem

Select the two faces at the bottom of the leaf:

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

Extrude and adjust them until you get something like this:

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

Step 7 Finishing touches

Select the center edges, up to where the stem starts:

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

Move them a little inwards to create a ridge:

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

On the other side of the leaf, move the edges up a little:

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

Use the Mesh - Sculpt Geometry Tool to smooth the ridge a little and make it look less sharp and more organic.

Step 8 Add Bend Deformers

Your finished leaf model should look like this:

How to Model a Leaf in Maya

I added two Bend Deformers and a material, but with this I'm already getting into rigging and texturing territories... I'm going to write separate tutorials on these, so please stay tuned. 

Thanks for reading! :)

Please like my page on Facebook for updates on tutorials, and to see my work:

https://www.facebook.com/animation.daniela.benhanoch 

2 Comments

Hi , i'm new here. i need help to model a guitar using maya. As i'm new with maya, i was wondering if there is any tutorial i can follow ? I can't find any online, so i hope someone can help me ? thank you. :sad:

Extrude!!! Really, just use extrude to get thinkness. Great advise, thanks a lot, now I start to understand how to do the flowers fast and simply

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