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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.
When you work with a lot of objects in Maya, there's always the need to create groups of objects so that you have things organized in your scene. So let's take a look at grouping in Maya. I have this scene, which is my scooter. And we have a bunch of different types of objects in here. Let's go ahead into our Outliner and see what we have. We have some nurbsPlanes here, and those contain the reference images we used to build the scooter. We also have the actually geometry of the scooter. We also have a bunch of curves in here, which we'll use to build the scooter.
Now, a lot of these we can probably delete out of the scene. But typically I like to at least keep a master copy with all of the things used to build the object before I start deleting things out of the scene. And when I do that, I like to organize things. So let's go ahead and organize this scene a little bit. Now, the first thing I'm going to do is just go ahead and select at the very top of this list these nurbsPlanes. And those are the image planes I used to map the reference, so I could actually build this. Now, if I want to I create what's called a group, and that will actually group these together.
We do that by either hitting Ctrl+G for Group or just hitting the Group menu option here under Edit > Group. When I do that, watch what happens. Well, these kind of disappear. But when you create a new group, it actually goes to the bottom of the list. So I go to the bottom of my Outliner. And here I have an object called group. So if select something else here, I can select my curves or whatever, but then when I hit Group, it actually selects all three of these. So this is a great way to organize and select multiple objects as well.
Now, if I hit this plus sign to the left of this, you'll see that I have each individual nurbsPlane is located within this group. So now I've created kind of almost like a folder. And I've put all of these objects in the folder. And the folder is basically the group. Now if I want to take something out of the group, all I have to do is select it, then middle-click and drag. Now notice, as I move up, my cursor changes a little bit. When I'm in between two objects, I get a single line.
And when I'm directly over another object, I get a double line. So when I drag this up to the point where I get a single line and let go. When I drag it to a single line, I'm actually dragging it in between the two objects. And so, what that does is it actually takes it out of the group or takes it out of the hierarchy. So when I select this group now, I've only selected the two planes that are remaining. So this one here is now outside of that group. If I want to put it back in, all I have to do is select the plane, middle-click and drag.
And again, you notice how we have the double line and the single line. So I want to drag it over group so I have a double-line. And once I let go over group1, it jumps back into that group. So now I've got a hierarchy. Now, I can do the same thing for everything else. So, for example, all my curves are pretty much in the same place. So I'm going to select the bottom curve, scroll all the way up to this one called bezier1. Hold down Shift, and now I've selected all the curves in my scene. And I'm just going to hit Ctrl+G for group.
Now if I want I can name these. So I can, for example, double- click on this and type Curves. So now all my curves are that one group. Now double-click here. I can call this, for example, Ref for reference. So now this is all my reference. And these are my Curves. And rest of the stuff is my actual scooter. So if I wanted to I could, for example, select everything on the scooter and group that as well. And we can just call that ScooterGroup.
So now I have my ScooterGroup. And what's really nice is that now when I select this ScooterGroup here from the Outliner, I can actually move my scooter pretty much anywhere I want. So as you can see, grouping is a great way to organize your scenes.
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