Creating Sections in Maya

From TOI-Pedia


This tutorial covers creating sections in Maya models. The result will be a set of curves. There is also an option to render sections, using the Clipping Planes of a camera, but these can't be exported that well.

Creating sections in Polygons in Maya

Your geometry will be modified to prepare it to make sections, so save a copy of your scene before proceeding. You don't want to do this using your (only) original file!

Creating sections works best when your geometry is combined (mesh > combine) into a single object.

You can use our Polygon Section MEL Script or do it manually:

For most cases it's recommended to switch to top or side view to create a section. Sections can be created using the Cut Faces Tool. Go to Edit Polygons > Cut Faces Tool > OptionBox. Choose Interactive Cut for Cut Direction.

Click Enter Cut Tool. The mouse pointer changes to a sharp pointer which is used to 'draw' the section line. When shift is pressed, the tool will snap the lines in 45 degree increments.

Of course you can also use one of the other methods for the Cut Faces tool.

Once a cut has been made, you can still change it by clicking the PolyCut in the Channelbox and selecting the Manipulator tool.


In Component mode, select the lines (edges) of the created cut. These can then be used to create curves using Duplicate Surface Curves. Group the curves so you can select them easily in a later stage.

Creating sections in NURBS in Maya

For NURBS geometry there are several ways to create sections.

Note on Intersect Surfaces: If you select many surfaces, the last selected is the target surface. For example, if you select 10 surfaces, the first nine are intersected with the tenth.

When using Intersect Surfaces, make sure you only select NURBS surfaces. Use the select filters:


Or use the Show menu in your viewport: Show > None and then Show > NURBS Surfaces.

Both tools will create Curve on Surface geometry by default. It can be turned in to regular curves, using Edit curves > Duplicate Surface curves.

In the Option Box of Intersect Surfaces you can specify to create '3D world curves' instead of 'Curve on Surface'. You can skip the Duplicate Surface Curves step in this case.

Exporting the section

If you want to export your section to AutoCAD, refer to Export Maya to AutoCAD.

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