Introduction: How to Model a Simple 3D Plastic Cup in Autodesk Maya

Nowadays, 3D modeling has a broader use in entertainment industry and in our daily life. There is 3D modeling technique in Animation, film and in special effect. Through this tutorial, you can learn basic method and hot key to model a daily object.


Step 1: Step 1: Set the Comfortable Scene

  • Open Maya, you can see the default scene
  • Switch to the dual-screen mode. As you need to model a object in reality, it's convenient for you to see the reference image with orthographic View of object and perspective view at same time. We usually use the screen that has perspective view as our main panel to model the object.

Step 2: Step 2: Add Reference Image

  • Click button at top-left screen.
  • Click "View"--"image plane"--"import image ..." to add reference picture.
  • As a window popped up, browse and choose the local reference picture. Now we see the picture on both panels.
  • Click "Attribute Editor" Button at left sidebar. Click on "Look through camera" in the Display Options. Now there is only reference image in Orthographic Panel. Through this operation, reference image won't block your sight of view when you model objects in the perspective panel.

Step 3: Step 3: Start Roughly Modeling

  • First, you should add a polygon that is similar with the shape of object you want to model. In this case, we choose a cylinder. You can click on "Creat" on top-left menu. Then Click on "Polygon Primitives", and then "Cylinder“.
  • Select cylinder. Hold ctrl + R and drag the arrow to magnify the cylinder. You should try to let the cylinder roughly meet the shape on reference image.

Step 4: Step 4: Continuing Roughly Modeling

  • In order to adjust cylinder's shape so that it looks like a rudimentary cup, you can use "Paint" tool on the left side bar to select all the bottom faces, and hold on Ctrl + R to shrink the bottom faces a little bit.
  • Use same method to magnify the top faces a little bit.

Step 5: Step 5: Model Details of Cup

Now it's time to add some details on the object. Based on the reference image, there is several creases on plastic cup.

  • Use "Multi-Cut" tool on the top Menu to split the object base on the creases. You can click on "Multi-Cut" tool and hold on Ctrl. Thus, when you hover at the object, you can see a line parallel to top and bottom faces. You can click and make the cut at where the creases placed, base on reference image. Make four cuts.
  • Then you can model the creases one by one. Right click on the object and click "Edge" option to shift to edge mode. Hold shift + double click on the edge we cut to select the circular edges. Hold on Ctrl + R to narrow it.
  • Use "Multi-Cut" tool to add one more circular line above the narrowed circle. Hold on Ctrl + R to make it a little bigger.
  • To model all creases, repeat those three times.

Step 6: Step 6: Model Detail on Bottom Face

Usually, there is a shallow sunken on the bottom faces of plastic cup.

  • Click "Paint" tool to select all bottom faces. Then select "extruding" (This function is in "Modeling Toolkit" at left sidebar), hold Ctrl + R to shrink the faces. Now you can see a concentric circle on bottom side of object.
  • Click "Extruding" to extrude faces one more time.
  • Hold Ctrl + W and drag arrow upward to move the smaller circle up.

Step 7: Step 7: Build Inner Wall of the Cup

Then You can start model the inner wall of the plastic cup.

  • Click "Paint" tool to select all top faces. Then select "extruding" (This function is in "Modeling Toolkit" at left sidebar), hold Ctrl + R to shrink the faces. Extrude it one more time and hold Ctrl+ R to shrink the face.
  • Hold Ctrl + W and drag it to the bottom. Make sure the adjust the size so that the inner faces are smaller than outer faces all the times so that they won't collapse with outer wall.

Step 8: Step 8: Built Cup Edge

  • Right click on the object and click "Face" option to shift to Face mode. Then Hold shift + double click to select circular faces.
  • Click ”Extruding", then drag the arrow to magnify the circular faces.

Step 9: Step 9: Texture the Cup

Now the modeling process is complete. The only thing left is to textual it.

  • Select all the external faces using "Paint" tool.Right click on object and click on "Assign New Material" option.
  • As the plastic cup is kind of reflective, you can assign "Binn" material to the cup. Choose "Blinn" in pop-up menu.
  • Change color to Red in the Attribute Editor on the right side bar (the texture page should called "Blinn 1" by default.
  • Use the same method to texture all internal faces. This time switch the color to white.

Here is the final image of the cup after rendering just for reference. Enjoy!