Refining surface components

By default, a subdivision surface displays up to three levels of detail (0, 1, and possibly 2). The 0 level is the least refined. You can increase the level of detail for a selected region to at most 13 levels. Though increasing the number of levels allows more precision, it also slows Maya processing. You’ll accomplish most of your modeling needs at levels 0, 1, and 2.

If you display level 2 vertices on the hand, you’ll notice that there are no level 2 vertices near the fingertips. To create the indentation of a finger nail, you need more vertices than levels 0 and 1 provide. In the next steps, you’ll add level 2 vertices at a fingertip so you can create a fingernail.

To create more precision in the fingernail region

  1. Switch to level 1.
  2. Right-click the surface and select Edge from the marking menu.
  3. Shift-click to select the edges that surround the region where you’ll shape a nail.

  4. To increase the amount of detail at the selected edges, select Subdiv Surfaces > Refine Selected Components. Additional surface curves appear in the fingernail area, indicating you can edit with more precision.

  5. In the scene view, right-click LeftHand and select Vertex from the marking menu. This displays additional level 2 vertices in the fingertip region.
  6. Select Modify > Transformation Tools > Move Tool > . In the Tool Settings window, turn on Normal, then close the window. You can thereafter use the Move Tool manipulator to move vertices in a direction normal (perpendicular) to the surface.
  7. Select the vertices in the nail region.

    NoteBe careful to select only those vertices in the nail region. You may need to tumble the camera to ensure that all extra vertices are de-selected.
  8. Drag the Move Tool’s N manipulator down slightly to form the depression of a fingernail bed.