Maya Wisdom Collector

This page is an in-progress collector of resources and notes that have helped me start learning about the 3D-modeling software Maya, which has a free student/educator license. The bulk of my learning is happening in a Digital Ideation class I’m auditing at Pratt, taught by Michael Schafler. The videos and resources below are helping me as I do assignments. My comments will be based on Maya 2015, although some of the external links refer to older versions of Maya.

Useful Methods

  • Snapping objects in place:
    Select an object’s pivot point (press and hold “d”) and move it to a corner, center, or edge of the object, as desired (click a magnet tool or hold “v” to snap to points). Then use the pivot to snap the object into position (click a magnet tool, hold “v” to snap to points, or hold “x” to snap to grid). Make sure you are in object selection mode when doing this, not face or edge selection mode.
  • Turn on/off interactive creation:
    Press Space and select Create/PolygonPrimitives; then select or deselect “Interactive Creation”. When it is off, the object appears at the origin, which is usually the most useful.
  • Turn on/off symmetry:
    Command-Shift-RightClick brings up the “Marking Menu”, from which you can select “Symmetry” to turn it on/off, choose an axis of symmetry, decide whether symmetry is based on the Object or the World.
  • Cut off part of an object and fill the hole:
    Select the faces you want to remove and hit Delete.  Then select the border edge, press Space, and select Mesh/FillHole. To quadrangulate the new face, press Space and select MeshTools/MultiCutTool. Connect vertices across the new face with edges until there are no “T” intersections. Creating an edge that intersects existing edges will automatically create new vertices at the intersections, which is good.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Tutorial Videos

Fail Collector

  • when something goes wrong, record it here
  • oh my goodness so many things are going wrong
  • If you right-click while your mouse over blank space, then you will be presented with the CompleteTool/SelectAll thingy which doesn’t do anything and which will be confusing. Go select an object or right-click while your mouse is over an object.

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