Next select Surfaces > Revolve and leave it set to the default options. Now, we have a base shape to work with (Fig.06).
Since this shape is a NURBS surface, we need to convert it to a Polygon mesh. So go to Modify > Convert > "NURBS to Polygons Options". Set the options to the following and then hit Apply:
- Type: Quad
- Tessellation method: General
- U type: Per span # iso params
- Number U: 1
- V Type: Per span # of iso params
- Number V: 3
The reason we want the U, V to be set (1, 3) is because we don't want our poly shape to lose much of its detail while still as a Low Poly. If you compare the poly version to the original NURBS surface, you can clearly see that we have lost some of the curvature, but don't worry as we can apply a mesh smooth on it later (Fig.07).
Also, we no longer need the NURBS surface, so simply just delete it.
Now under Edit Mesh select "Insert Edge Loop Tool" and add some new edges around areas as you see in the following image. Then, use Select >Select Edge Loop Tool to select the new edges we just made and simply hit "R" and scale them towards the inside a bit. The reason we added these edges is to give more depth to those areas, as you can see from the reference image (Fig.08).
Here is what you should have by now.
While the middle object is selected, press "3" on your keyboard to see the poly in smooth preview. Press "1" to go back to normal mode. Please note that this feature is only available for Maya 2008 and higher (Fig.09).
Select half of the object and delete it, then "Duplicate" the other half as an instance (Fig.10).