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Overview of the Maya interface

Overview of the Maya interface provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by Geo… Show More

Maya 2011 Essential Training

with George Maestri

Video: Overview of the Maya interface

Overview of the Maya interface provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by George Maestri as part of the Maya 2011 Essential Training
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 34s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. A note on screen resolution
      1m 50s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of the Maya interface
      7m 42s
    2. Working with files and Maya projects
      2m 27s
    3. Navigating viewports
      5m 56s
    4. Reviewing the Viewport menus
      6m 28s
    5. Configuring safe frames and grids
      3m 21s
    6. Selecting objects
      4m 33s
    7. Using the Move tool
      3m 48s
    8. Rotating and scaling
      4m 31s
    9. Manipulating pivots
      3m 59s
    10. Understanding the Channel Box
      5m 36s
    11. Working with the Attribute Editor
      2m 28s
    12. Using the Hotbox
      2m 59s
    13. Working with marking menus
      3m 6s
    14. Customizing the interface
      3m 36s
  3. 59m 25s
    1. Creating polygonal objects
      6m 28s
    2. Working with polygonal components
      4m 42s
    3. Selecting polygonal components
      5m 44s
    4. Working with Soft Select
      7m 3s
    5. Using the Extrude tool
      6m 47s
    6. Keeping faces together
      2m 42s
    7. Extruding along curves
      3m 27s
    8. Using the Polygon Bevel tool
      4m 14s
    9. Smooth and subdivision surfaces
      7m 6s
    10. Blocking out a character body
      11m 12s
  4. 36m 6s
    1. Working with edge loops
      3m 27s
    2. Inserting and offsetting edge loops
      3m 38s
    3. Symmetrical modeling techniques
      5m 53s
    4. Combining objects
      3m 50s
    5. Using the Polygon Bridge tool
      2m 7s
    6. Connecting components and splitting polygons
      2m 48s
    7. Poking and wedging faces
      2m 49s
    8. Working with polygon booleans
      3m 17s
    9. Modeling with nonlinear deformers
      4m 54s
    10. Modeling with lattices
      3m 23s
  5. 1h 18m
    1. Introducing NURBS modeling
      5m 3s
    2. NURBS primitives
      5m 54s
    3. Using the NURBS curve tools
      5m 7s
    4. Creating Bézier curves
      1m 59s
    5. Creating text
      3m 51s
    6. Manipulating NURBS curves
      4m 13s
    7. Refining NURBS curves
      4m 16s
    8. Offsetting NURBS curves
      2m 31s
    9. Editing NURBS surfaces
      7m 3s
    10. Refining NURBS surfaces
      7m 22s
    11. Using NURBS Revolve
      7m 31s
    12. Using NURBS Loft
      4m 11s
    13. Using NURBS Extrude
      6m 0s
    14. Using NURBS Planar
      4m 47s
    15. Stitching NURBS surfaces
      8m 52s
  6. 35m 53s
    1. Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces
      5m 57s
    2. Creating curves on a surface
      3m 53s
    3. Projecting curves on surfaces
      7m 2s
    4. Trimming NURBS surfaces
      3m 42s
    5. Using the NURBS Fillet tool
      5m 31s
    6. Sculpting NURBS and polygonal surfaces
      5m 52s
    7. Converting NURBS to polygons
      3m 56s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Working with the Outliner
      4m 58s
    2. Grouping objects
      4m 2s
    3. Creating hierarchies
      4m 17s
    4. Duplicating objects
      4m 51s
    5. Understanding the Hypergraph
      3m 32s
    6. Working with Hypergraph connections
      2m 31s
    7. Hiding and showing objects
      2m 12s
    8. Creating layers
      4m 2s
    9. Working with selection masks
      2m 57s
  8. 40m 18s
    1. Overview of renderers
      3m 24s
    2. Understand the basics of materials
      6m 15s
    3. Creating and applying maps
      5m 13s
    4. Using bitmaps as texture
      2m 59s
    5. Working with the Hypershade window
      5m 12s
    6. Working with mental ray materials
      6m 57s
    7. Using displacement and bump mapping
      3m 14s
    8. Using the Ramp Shader
      2m 36s
    9. Using the 3D Paint tool
      4m 28s
  9. 30m 14s
    1. Texture-mapping NURBS surfaces
      5m 46s
    2. Projecting textures onto surfaces
      4m 0s
    3. Texture-mapping polygonal surfaces
      7m 0s
    4. Applying UV mapping
      8m 11s
    5. Using the UVW Editor
      5m 17s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Creating joints
      10m 2s
    2. Deforming a mesh using the Skin tool
      5m 2s
    3. Creating IK handles
      6m 48s
    4. Creating blend shapes
      5m 39s
    5. Rigging nonlinear deformers
      2m 36s
    6. Finalizing the character
      4m 45s
    7. Rigging the character to the scooter
      6m 24s
  11. 1h 5m
    1. Working with the Timeline
      4m 16s
    2. Creating and adjusting keys (keyframes)
      5m 4s
    3. Editing keys
      3m 13s
    4. Modifying keys in the Graph Editor
      5m 47s
    5. Modifying keys in the Dope Sheet
      2m 51s
    6. Creating breakdown keys
      2m 28s
    7. Animating objects along paths
      5m 54s
    8. Animation playback using Playblast
      3m 10s
    9. Animating with constraints
      6m 16s
    10. Creating animation cycles
      8m 25s
    11. Using set-driven keys
      6m 13s
    12. Adding sound to animations
      2m 24s
    13. Finishing the animation
      9m 45s
  12. 1h 2m
    1. Lights and lighting types in Maya
      7m 29s
    2. Adding depth-map shadows
      4m 13s
    3. Using Raytrace shadows
      3m 28s
    4. Understanding the basics of cameras
      7m 14s
    5. Adding depth of field
      6m 31s
    6. Adding Bokeh using mental ray
      4m 33s
    7. Using motion blur in Maya Software Renderer
      4m 10s
    8. Using motion blur in mental ray
      3m 5s
    9. Raytracing reflections and refractions
      4m 41s
    10. Interactive rendering with IPR
      3m 33s
    11. Lighting a scene
      8m 29s
    12. Batch rendering
      4m 53s
  13. 25s
    1. Goodbye

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Overview of the Maya interface
Video Duration: 7m 42s 9h 8m Beginner


Overview of the Maya interface provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by George Maestri as part of the Maya 2011 Essential Training

View Course Description

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.

Topics include:
  • Getting familiar with the Maya interface
  • Organizing scenes
  • Creating hierarchies
  • NURBs modeling for solid objects
  • Adding color to models
  • Applying bitmap textures
  • Working with mental ray materials
  • Polygonal modeling for characters and organic objects
  • Deforming with the Skin tool
  • Setting up lights and cameras
  • Creating realistic effects such as depth of field
  • Working with the Timeline
  • Creating animation cycles
  • Batch rendering
  • Rendering with the mental ray engine
3D + Animation

Overview of the Maya interface

When you open Maya, the first thing you'll see is the Maya interface. Now I'm showing you this interface at full resolution. So we're actually going to be showing you this at 1920 x 1080, so you can see all of the menu options. Let's go through some of the basic interface elements in Maya. Maya looks pretty much the same on the Mac, the PC and Linux. So this should work for just about everybody. The first thing you'll notice is that Maya does have a menu along the top, just like any other program.

So we have, for example, File, Edit, Modify. But the one thing that Maya has that other programs don't have, it has what's called menu sets, so some of these menu options actually change depending upon where this pulldown menu is set. Now Maya is so robust. It actually has too many menu options, to fit on one menu bar. So you kind of have to pick and choose which menus you want to see. So for right now I have Animation loaded, and we have all of the animation tools as menu options.

If I go to Polygons, notice how some of these change. And so when I'm doing polygonal modeling, I'll want to be in this menu set. If I go to Surfaces, which is for NURBs modeling, a different menu set shows up. Now the reason I want you to be aware of this is that if I go to menu option, and it's not there, be sure to check where this particular pulldown menu is to make sure that we're both in the same menu set. Now this pulldown menu is actually on what's called the Status bar.

And this gives you a number of options that show you the status of the scene, and also gives you some additional options. Here we have some very simple Load and Save options, Create a new scene, Open a scene, and Save the current scene. These are just duplicates of what's in the File menu. Now along here we have what are called Selection sets. Here, we have what are called Select options. So we can select by object, which is basically selecting any particular object in the scene.

If we go to the right here, we can select by component, which is the vertices and the edges inside of objects. And if we go to the other side of this, this allows us to select by hierarchy. So, for example, if I click on the body of this character, I can select the entire hierarchy that he is in. So typically, we're going to keep this on object, but as we get into modeling we may go into Select by component type. Once we have these selected, we can also create what are called Masks. Mask allows us to select certain types of objects, but not others.

So, for example, I could not select joints in an object, or curves or something like that, and this will allow me to more easily select things in the scene. So, for example, if I was just working with a character, and I just wanted to deal with the joints, I could go over here, turn all objects off and just turn on the joints, and I'd only be able to select those particular objects. So in this case, this character has a joint in his arm that we can select. But I'm going to go ahead and make sure that that's all objects on, and then all over here we have what are called Snapping options.

So this is really helpful in modeling or in positioning anything in your scene precisely. So we can snap to grids. We can snap to curves. We can snap to points. And also notice, as I hover over these, a little help menu comes up, which is kind of nice. Little bit further along here we have our Render options, and we'll get into those a little bit later. Then over here to the right, we actually have some configuration menus here. So this actually turns on what's called the Channel Box and the Attribute Editor right here.

If we click here for tool settings, this actually brings up the settings for whatever tool I'm using. So, for example, if I'm doing a move of an object, I'll have the options for that particular tool, or if I'm doing a modeling operation, those options will come up here as well. And we can just toggle that on or off. Along the right side, let's just go down from little bit further. We have what's called the Channel Box and the Attribute Editor, so if I click open the Channel Box, this basically shows me where objects are located.

So, for example, if I click on the head of this character, you can see where he's located, what his rotation is, and so on. Now below this I have what's called the Layer Editor. And this actually has three panels here, one for Display, which is what I'm viewing here, one for Rendering and one for Animation, which we'll get into a little bit later. But right now for Display, this actually allows me to turn things on and off. So I can actually turn on and off the background, for example, if I want a closer view of my character, or something like that.

Now in addition to this, we also have what's called the Attribute Editor. So if I click on this little tab, this brings up all the attributes for the object that's selected. So, for example, the head of this particular character has a number of different things that have been done to him. And these are all listed here, and again, we'll get into these later. I'm just showing you where stuff is at. Now if I want to, I can click on this again. And that will go away. And it gives me a much bigger screen. So if you need more real estate, just go ahead and click here, and that will give you a little bit more to the side.

Now let's go back over to the left side of the screen, and we have what's called the tool bar. Now this basically allows me to select things, select with a Lasso tool. You can also do what's called Paint select. And we also have our Move and Rotate and Scale. So, for example, if I select this object here you can notice how when I've got this, I can actually move the object. I can rotate it and scale it, if I want, and we'll get into those as well.

Now little bit further down, we have what are called our Preset layouts. Now this we can actually have just a Single Perspective View. This gives us a Four view. This gives us different presets of different ways to view your screen. This is really just kind of a convenience. This is not something that we actually absolutely need to use. Now along the bottom, we have our Time slider. So all I have to do is click and drag, and you can actually slide your animation. We also have, down here, we have what's called a Range slider.

So right now this particular animation is going from frame 1 to frame 96. If I wanted to kind of zoom in on my Timeline, all I have to do is just grab this, and I can zoom in on my Timeline. And I can also pan that window by just grabbing here in the middle. So each one of these ends is a zoom point, right there and there, and then, if you grab in the middle, you can just move that window around. And if you stretch it out, you can do that as well.

Now also notice that as I change it, notice how these two sets of numbers change. The outer numbers is the actual length of the animation. The inner numbers is how much of that you're actually seeing. Now along the bottom right, we also have our playback options. So I can actually play this, and I can play backwards, if I want, and I can also step through it a frame at a time or keyframe at a time if I want. Again, we're going to go into all of these options a little bit more deeply.

So this is a brief overview of the Maya interface. I know there's a lot to absorb with Maya, but as we work through all the functions, you'll become a lot more comfortable and start knowing where everything is at.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Maya 2011 Essential Training .

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Q: The Chapter 2 exercise file dog_reference.mb appears blank when opened in Maya. I can't see the dog image. What do I do?
A: Make sure you are working with the most current version of the exercise files for this course from the site. Try downloading the files again. If the image still doesn't appear, make sure the project folder is set to the matching (Chap02) folder in the exercise files.
Also check to make sure you have "hardware texturing" enabled under the viewport's Shading menu.





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