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In Maya 2011 Essential Training, George Maestri demonstrates the tools and feature set in Maya, as well as the skills necessary to model, texture, animate, and render projects with this deep and robust piece of 3D animation software from Autodesk. This course takes an in-depth tour of Maya's interface, including navigating and manipulating objects in 3D and customizing the workspace. The course also covers object creation and modeling basics, shading and texturing, surface mapping techniques, character rigging, and lastly, rendering and final output. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now when you use Maya, you usually are animating to a very specific output. A lot times you'll be animating for film output or video output, and you'll be animating for a very specific aspect ratio. Now your screen, or your viewport may not match that aspect ratio. For example, here I am on a fairly wide screen. So my perspective viewport is actually pretty wide. But let's say I was animating for just standard NTSC Television. I would have a 4x3 screen that I actually need to render for.
So what Maya does is it allows you to actually restrict your viewport so you can actually see exactly what will be rendered. A lot of this happens through the View menu, under Camera Settings. So, for example, we have what are called Gates. There are two types of gates. One is the Film Gate, now this is really for people who are using film, and this is exactly what will be shown on the film. If you know anything about film, you'll know that the Film Gate is not exactly the same as the resolution that we're using.
So if you actually wanted to go for the Resolution Gate, what that does is actually shows you exactly what will render. And in this case we're set for 640x480. So in this case we have what's called the Resolution Gate, and when we actually set the Resolution Gate, it puts up these little green bars that shows you exactly what will render. Now if you want to see that a little bit more clearly, you can turn on what's called the Gate Mask, and what that does is it actually kind of masks out the size.
You actually have a much clearer view of exactly what's going to be in the final rendered output. Now in addition to this, anybody who has done animation or has done work with motion graphics or television, you always know that we have what's called Safe Actions, which is here, and we also have Safe Title, which we can do here, and this would just give us our Safe Action and Title. And then in addition, anybody who's actually worked with animation will know what a Field Chart is, and this actually would give you an actual animation field chart, and that's actually a 12- field Field Chart, for those who actually know what that means.
Now a lot of this is actually accessible through this View menu as well, so you can actually turn on most of this. You can turn on Safe Title. You can turn on Safe Action. You can toggle your Field Chart right here. You can also toggle your masking, as well your Film Gate and your Resolution Gate as well. And there is one more that you actually can toggle, and that's called the Grid. You'll notice here it has a little grid here, and sometimes when you model it's nice to have that grid as kind of a measurement point or kind like a piece of graph paper under what you are modeling, so that way you have some reference as to size and shape.
So those are some of the ways that you can configure your viewport in Maya, so that you can animate for a very specific aspect ratio, and you know that you're actually going to be outputting what you see on the screen.
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