Making A Sofa

I followed this tutorial in MayaLT 2020

Maya Sofa Tutorial

These are my facetious notes from the steps.

Start with a cube.



-Polygon Primitives


Adjust the cube dimensions

-Tutorial uses channel box but I can only access this through Attribute Editor

-Attribute Editor tab

-PolyCube1 Tab

-Polycube History

-Change width: 10

-Change Height: 2

-Change Depth: 10

Smooth the edges and further details.

Set the shape on the ground or zero

Two ways to do this

Use the transform tool


Its a little less accurate.

Use the Transform Attributes function. For more accuracy. If I want an absolute height or location.

Attribute Editor tab

pCube1 tab

Transform attributes drop down

Translate Z (The middle number)

Change to 1.0

It will be at zero in the viewport XYZ plane

So this step seemed to just familiarize the audience with moving the object not that it had to be at zero.

He moved it to maybe 3 so it floats to manipulate the edges.

I changed the Z axis to 3 using the second method.

Bevel the edges

Select the edges

Modeling Toolkit tab

Object tab

Edge Selection

Click the viewport

CTRL+SHIFT+A to select all

Feedback: The object turns orange

Components drop down menu (still in the Modeling Toolkit)

Bevel icon

Seems like a lot but this is the easy way than typing it out.

After you press Bevel it looks like this.

Detail the edges

Dialog box





Smooth the object

Press Q to finish the edge manipulation

Click the viewport


Feedback: Object turns orange

Modeling Toolkit

Object Tab

Mesh Drop Down


Add middle detail

Add subdivisions

Edge loops

Select object


Edge loop tool

Click the box

Dialog box


Multiple edge loops radio button

Number of loops


Close the dialog box


For whatever reason when I did this step I have extra horizontal vertices.

I’m going to get rid of those first.

Pick a corner so you can see if the loop will be highlighted

Modeling toolkit

Edge mode

Find a loop you want to highlight

It will turn red.

left click twice

The whole loop around the object will be highlighted

Then press delete to remove it from our project

I’ll do that until my shape resembles the tutorial

Lets try it again the goal is 25 more squares in our shape



Inset edge loops

Dialog box

settings above

Okay that’s not working

I can guess to add more squares and change the dialog box settings to 1

then insert more lines

I’m going to do that

Easier. Somehow my shape is different still.

Its not completing the loops

Add details

Move tool

Highlight the four squares in the center

Move them up or on the Z axis


I just pulled the yellow arrow up

Hightlight the grid around the four center boxes

Lift from the yellow arrow again to make it look fluffy. This seems like our seat cushion.

Add additional details

We need it to be fluffy and lumpy.

Modeling toolkit

Vertex mode

Highlight some vertexes to push down

Move tool

Yellow arrow push down until the cushion sinks some.

Mine added more polygons as the cushion sank.

SEE. There’s like two or three steps he’s doing that he’s just flying through.

I’m going with it.

Its fine.

Everything’s fine.

Its just a seat cushion.

Create the sides

Top menu


Polygon primitives


Move tool

Red arrow

Move it from under the cushion

Widen the new cube

Scale tool

Blue box on the new cube

stretch to the dimensions of the cushion

Feedback: the blue cube turns yellow after the first stretch

Alternative: Scale with Transform Attributes

Right side box

Attribute Editor


Transform Attributes

Scale: Y (third row, last one maybe the biggest number already)

Change value: 14

Change scale Z to raise the height to 5

Attribute Editor


Transform attributes

Scale Z


Change X to 2 to get it thicker

So, the scale row should read in Transform attributes





He changed the attributes again.

New Transform attributes





He changed it again




Then, he did a bunch of viewport changes. No idea. I think he’s trying to make the object bottoms level

I don’t know quite what he did and didn’t explain it.

I laid the new object against the cushion with the move tool

Then, I did what he did but didn’t explain. He wanted the new sofa back slightly below the cushion but not below the grid.

Okay. Now we’re pretty close to the tutorial.

Okay. I also just noticed he’s using Maya 2017 and I’m on Maya 2020 I think. Maya LT. So. The menus and shortcuts may have changed.




He keeps using this Subdivisions drop down that I honestly couldn’t find until about 40% completed.


It’s here

For equal edge loops to make more squares on your object. Remember? The way I did it would not complete the edge loop so the lumpy part did not work correctly.

Was not a crisis I just couldn’t match the same geometry as the tutorial.

Switch to wireframe view

Build the curve of the sofa back

I can’t get the whole thing to fit on screen. Haha.

I also locked the camera in orthographic mode

In Maya. How do you unlock the orthographic camera mode?

Alt + P unlocked the camera

This is the setting that changes in the menu. I think.

In Maya. How do you move the camera to fit the object in frame?

Hold ALT + MMB

Okay back to wireframe mode

View > View along > -Z

This helps make the curve

-Z makes the model in the same position as the tutorial

Vertex Mode

Selection Tool

Select a vertex in the upper left corner

Pull it down by pulling the mouse towards you

Try to make an angle or imagine it to be one

This way feels wonky because, it is-.

Then, do it again for the other corner because, it is a square.

we did add some subdivisions so its like having 5 squares that all have to be a curve now.

Its confusion but I got pretty close just dragging the vertex down in vertex mode

Do the same to the right corner points

Except push away from you to pinch the angle and elevate the corner

Take that new corner in the middle and highlight it.

This will select all the vertices that are along that edge so we don’t have to grab each one and drag it down.

Try to bring it down and curve out that clunky part.

That’s pretty cool it matches the tutorial.

Press the 3 key to Smooth the object we just curved.

WHAT! I like it.

The tutorial wants the less cartoon-y post modern with the edges.

I tried to go back. I can’t only forward. Haha.

He keeps doing two things at the same time. Or saying and doing something else. Its frustrating.

Delete the history

Top menu


Delete by type


Make a copy



CTRL+C now


Transform attributes

Rotate axis


Move tool

Push it to a sofa arm location

Scale tool

Make the outside edge of the arm a little bigger than the cushion

I moved the yellow box to shrink only the Y axis then I’ll switch to the move tool to shove it in place

That’s not going to work. The top of the sofa arm is pointed now. So. I’m going to push back over to the other side

HOLD + Left CLICK on the yellow arrow and drag it left to the other side of the cushion.

The arms are too tall.


Use the green and the yellow to thin it some and shorten

Then switch to the move tool to place it slightly lower

This looks like a more reasonable sofa arm placement

He kept saying CTRL+D to duplicate

  • That is the correct key combo to duplicate but doesn’t work on my keyboard. Hm.
  • It does work through the menu

Top menu

Edit > Duplicate

It makes a duplicate in the same location

Use the move tool to push it over to the other side of the cushion

Then use the Attribute Editor

Rotate Axis

Y axis

Change to 180

Adjust the back

Scale tool

Yellow box to make it parallel with the sofa arms

Make the bottom

Top Menu

I switched to wireframe mode

To line up the bottom and get some good dimensions

-I feel like everyone’s model is going to be slightly different so the dimensions are going to be a bit off.

You can change the box dimensions in the Attribute Editor

Scale Row




The green box is our bottom

I changed views in wireframe to dial it in some.

My bottom is not going to match your bottom or the tutorial bottom.

Its important to scale your bottom

Know how to change the dimensions to match the sofa top

Go on with life

ERMAGERD! He did it again. Two action and then the second one first. Extrude the bottom then add the bevel.

Extrude the bottom

Switch to face mode

Change the camera to view the bottom of the sofa

Modeling Toolkit



It does add another cube

We can delete the line before we bevel

Edge Mode

Double click the new edge to highlight the loop

Press delete


I don’t know if an extra edge will screw up the Bevel component

Press 4 for Wireframe mode

Select all the edge of the bottom box.

Modeling Toolkit

Components drop down


Segments row


Kinda fancy

Scale tool

Added some depth to it.

Add the feet

Switch to wireframe

Add another cube

So move it into a corner


Increase the overall size

Move tool

Push it back into the corner

Above twice the size now

Kind of matching the loop of the sofa bottom

I switched to vertex mode and just selected the upper right and dragged it in

Switched to Edge Mode

Placed an edge loop here to bring in the bottom.

Basically what he did without as many polygons.


I’m simple

Okay swap to the bottom

Highlight the edges

Scale and it will reduce the square face and add some shape.

Now I’m going to go back into wireframe mode

duplicate this leg three more times

put them in the other corners

rotate them to look okay

you can remove a step by duplicating and throw it back to the same corner

Then duplicating rotate 180 and then duplicating again and throwing it back to the other corner

So. That’s how you do feet if they are more complex


I realize why in 3D everything is very uniform not to exclude the misshaped humans but because asymmetry is incredibly hard to manipulate and maintain

in 3D. Its way different than 2D art where you could have this creepy monster or human and once placed you just have to maintain perspective. So. To shorten the process Everything is symmetrical and then details are added on top of the object. I think.


That’s what all these tutorials seem to point too! Haha. Everything is a block or a bunch of blocks. Then, it’s a sofa.


One last thing.


In Maya. How do you change the wireframe color?


Windows > Settings preferences > Color Settings > Inactive tab > Objects drop down menu > Polygon surfaces > slider to white > Save


Then change General tab > 3D Views drop down > Background  to a blue color for a blueprint look