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Maya Tools, Tips, and Techniques
1. Interface and Icons understanding Channel Box, Tool Box, Shelf, Viewports, etc. 2. Orthographic Views Top, Front, and Side are Orthographic views that is a 2D view with no tumbling involve. Only the Perspective view can be tumbled, with Yaw and Pitch control. All views can Pan and Dolly (Zoom). 3. Primitives Spheres, Cylinders, Torus, etc. (NURBS –non-uniform Rational B-Spline & Polygons) 4. Channel Box updating the parameters in the channel box can change the geometry composition of an object (spans & sections increasing these will make the object accumulate more detail upon manipulation) 5. Transformation Matrix Move, Rotate, Scale (Proportional/Unproportional) 6. Pivot Point the center of rotation for a particular object, can be altered by getting into pivot point mode hitting the “insert” key. Make sure exit pivot point mode upon completion. 7. F8 component/object mode: Component mode allows manipulation in Vertex level, Edit points, etc. Exit and Enter Component by hitting F8, make sure you exit when complete. 8. Hulls manipulating a row or series of vertices in an object, applies to NURBS object only. 9. Vertices (Vertex) Control Points on an object. Use for manipulating points on object in 3D space with any of the transformation matrix. 10. Outliner An organization box of objects and elements inside your Maya scene file including cameras, lights, and dynamics (located at Windows Outliner) 11. Group Node/Hierarchy edit “Group” is where you can create a group node for multiple objects. 12. parent middle mouse button click and drag an object inside the outliner allows for parenting of Parent/Child relationship; select the child first, then select the parent, then hit “p” on your keyboard to parent an object 13. Node an element or object inside Maya that could be a placeholder for geometry, lights, transformation matrix, cameras, shaders, etc. (represented by a white parallelogram) 14. Snapping different ways to place objects in the maya environment whether it be snapping to grid plane, objects, points, curves, etc. (X key is for grid snap, C key is for curve snap, and V key is for point snap) 15. Snap Align Tool use to snap object faces together with precision and also move/rotate simultaneously; pick first object face, then second, then hit enter
Display Object Display Template creates a wireframe reference of the actual node object. pull and smooth techniques. located under “Edit Curves” menu 20. however. Surface Loft surface building tool by “lofting” a series of NURBS curves (EP or CV). Surface Extrude extruding a curve along a path. adding more details. it will duplicate an object with the “mirror” function. therefore modifying the original will change the topography of the instances). Curve Fillet smooth out the two curves by creating a fillet curve in between 22. Templating.16. Artisan under Edit NURBS Sculpt Surfaces Tool. allows open/close curves to be lofted 26. Y. surface building dependent upon object pivot point and tool axis specification 24. Surface Revolve revolving a curve along a particular axis for surface formation (X. curves must be picked in order without skipping. use primarily to add points on curve 23. use the translate. Cut Curve tool use to intersect and cut two curves and delete out the remain portions that is not needed via the intersection point 21. CV curve tool Control Vertices curve. instance makes a “reference” of the original. rotate. allows creation of NURBS curve by placing control vertices at precise locations 18. Attach Curves/Open&Close curves use to attach two NURB curves together and also for closing an open NURBS curve or closing a NURBS curve. the curve or isoparm must be lying on a plane. distance or tube all of which forming a surface. “reflection” painting is also allowed to do symmetrical painting 30. EP curve tool Edit Point curve allows creation of NURBS curve by placing edit points at precise locations 19.. scale to duplicate with transformation 17. Isoparms appear only in component mode on NURBS surfaces. Surface Planar use to cap off surface. Untemplate restores it to original state . use for surface rebuilding. can have unlimited layers 31. pick the curve and then revolve. which then can be toggle for Visibility. this is a brush base technology use to sculpt NURBS surfaces in real time with a combination of push. Insert Knot first add a curve point any where on the curve and then inserting the knot will add a point to that precise curve point on the curve. Duplicate copy or instance option (copy makes new items unattached to the original object. pick the profile curve first then the path curve to use the tool 25. Use “b” key to interactively change the brush size and “m” key to change the pressure in real time. Layers maya allows creation of layers to assign any node objects into. end result becomes a “trim surface” 27. Z). Reference. preferably set to “-1” on either of the axis 28. etc. or use as a marker for detaching surfaces 29. Edit Duplicate when scale value is set to negative number.
first pick an edge and then execute command. vertex – point level manipulation of the polygon by using transform tool once selected. use the manipulator to scale. Modify Make Live select a NURBS or Polygonal object and use this tool to make the surface a “live” surface in order to draw NURBs Curves on it. do not double extrude a face 36. use to evenly split polygon on all directions 39. like template except it’s visible in shaded mode 33. however. Edit NURBS surface fillet freeform fillet use to create a surface fillet between the two surface. Reference showing an object but not be able to select it. then click on the edges that borders the whole/gap. mainly the requirements are that the curve directions must “match” 44. click object first then activate tool. append polygon tool use to fill in the hole or gap in an existing polygonal object. however the radius is not even and there’s no restriction on the surface construction curves and Isoparms. edit polygon extrude face first select the face of a polygonal object and then execute the command to bring out the faces on a local transformation axis. or move the face. Edit NURBs surface fillet circular fillet create a nice blend between two NURBS surfaces.32. rotate. polygon components right mouse click on the object to get polygon components. or even create primitives and it will be contour to the surface 42. keeps it as a reference state. click with left mouse button for the vertices of the polygon. majority of Polygon surfaces used are quads which are prevalent for video games and visual effects modeling 34. the tool divides the face according to your percentage interval 37. normals of surface must be perpendicular to create a fillet surface 43. use left mouse click to click and drag from an edge in percentage values and then drag the opposite edge in percentage value too to match it up. edit polygon cut faces tool allows interactive cut of polygon faces through a camera viewport. some results are unpredictable. hit “enter” upon completion 40. follow the purple arrow direction of selection 41. hit “enter” upon completion. a circular fillet with even radius. foundation of a model that can be build through polygon components. faces – manipulate a face of a polygon object by selecting the dot in the middle of the face and then transform. edit polygon split polygon tool reset the setting first. create polygon tool use to make a polygonal face that lies on a single plane. hit “g” key to invoke last command. edges – manipulate an edge of a polygon object by selecting the line that defines the edge and then transform 35. more controls in the channel box input for bevel 38. Edit NURBS insert isoparms use this tool to create more isoparms along NURBS U or V direction in order to give more details. first right mouse click on a NURBS object then select Isoparm and then click and . polygon primitives cube use to make basic polygonal models. edit polygon bevel use to smooth or round an edge.
can only be use after NURBS curve projection or NURBS intersect surface 52. keyframe the process of setting up special frames that marks the starting and ending point of in-between frames for animation. universal term across all animation process and software. upon completion of UV layout 48. best if use in the orthographic view that is perpendicular to the projection 50. basic animation. actual diffuse/bump/specular maps would be created in Photoshop. skeleton setup. trim edge a new NURBS component. Edit NURBs Intersect Surfaces creates a COS (curve on surface) on both NURBS surfaces that intersect one another. polygon smooth proxy create a smooth out version of your polygon object as driven with construction history. then proceed with Trim tool to cut the surfaces according to COS 51. edit polygon UV mapping planar mapping use for texture mapping on polygon objects. and Sub-divs via brush base technology of Artisan 47. must pick the surface first. edit polygon texture UV snapshot use this to create an image file as UV reference in Photoshop for texture painting purpose 49. 57. this tool help select components of NURBS. animation module (F2) the portion of Maya for setting up of character rigs. except you can alter the slide position in the channel box 55. keeping area that is specified. move the proxy aside and watch as it interactively updates the model 46.drag with left mouse button to bring out more Isoparms. edit paint selection tool go to option box of this toolset to bring up artisan brush base selection utility. Modify Freeze Transformation Tools use to reset object transformation to zero value without changing it’s world transformation in space. very useful especially for animation 56. in conjunction with UV texture editor. scripting. then activate this tool 45. etc. Edit polygons merge edge tool use in polygon mode (or polygon proxy mode within Sub-Div modeling) to merge edges together and close gaps in polygonal objects 54. existing after using trim tool 53. Edit NURBs Project Curve on Surface creates a curves on surface (COS) on a NURBS object in order to proceed to the trim tool. MJPoly Tools a plug in extension to Maya modeling module. hit “s” in Maya to set keyframe . binding. Polygons. make sure setting in the option box for this tool is set to “keep”. then the curve that would be use for the projection. Polygon Select Ring pick an edge first then select this tool to pick a ring of edges in your polygon model Select Loop pick an edge then select this tool to pick an edge loop all the way through the model Edge loop split use this like the split polygon tool. Edit NURBs Trim Tool use to cut out parts of NURBS surface according to COS.
NURBS. Channel Control found under Windows General editor channel control. therefore calculations must be done before setting time marker to the right frame 59. located under Windows Playblast (option box). this keep maya file tight and clean. sub level descriptions. NO SUBSTITUTION. Spline different curve for animation control to distinguish acceleration and deceleration in object transformations 64. . flat. allowing parenting. etc. Constrain Point make an object with transform node (skeleton. the graph editor display keyframe animation in curve formation. Playblast use to check correct frame rate lock on animation. Tangents Linear. fps (frames per second) the amount of frames that will take to equate to one second in real time. eliminating unnecessary keyframes on attributes that are not needed 61. make sure setting is set to fcheck and remove temporary file is check and save file is uncheck. Hardware Render Buffer use to quickly check render utilizing graphics card direct render.58. etc. Flat.) 60. no lag time. which can be controlled with different type of tangents (spline. test animation in fcheck and change frame rate to 30 in the fcheck window 65. Maya updates and uses frames instead of seconds. fixed. use this to limit the attributes in an object so that not all attributes are keyable. Polys. and structural hierarchy 63. found under Windows Rendering Editor Hardware Render Buffer. Graph Editor found under Windows animation editors graph editor.) lock on to another object at point 62. clamped. Hypergraph under Windows Hypergraph this is an sophisticated outliner. use this to edit the keyframes and values of the attributes in your objects.
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