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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.
A scene in Maya consists of a number of different objects. So, for example, in this room we have furniture. And all the furniture in the room is a separate object. Now if you want, you can select stuff in your scene object-by-object. So, for example, if I wanted to selected couch all I have to do is left-click on the couch, or if I want to select the table and so on. So selecting objects in Maya can be as simple as just pointing and clicking. If I want to select multiple objects, I can hold down the Shift key and select as many different objects as I want.
Now notice when you select an object it also shows up here, so you can see that actually every object has a name. This one is called ExecDesk. This was called Officechair. This one is called Couch2, and if I select multiple objects notice how just the last one selected is showing up here. Also notice how the last one selected shows up as green. Every time I select a new object it shows up as green, and the other ones go to white. Now this will be important later on, so just remember this.
Now there are other ways to select objects. We can do a rubber band selection, so if left-click above here and just drag down, it will select whatever is inside that rubber band. If I want, I can also do what's called a lasso select. So here, I have my Select tool, and I can also do what's called a Lasso tool. So if I want, I can just left-click and drag, and just lasso-select whatever it is I want it to select.
And again, the Shift key works with that as well. So if I wanted to Shift+Select with the lasso, I can do that. There is a shortcut key for the Select tool, and that's the Q key. In fact, this is actually part of another set of hotkeys that you really need to know. They're called the QWERTY keys, so there is really the top letter row of the keyboard. So it's QWER. So Q brings you into select mode, W brings you into move mode, E brings you into rotate mode, and R brings you into scale mode.
Now we are going to work a little bit more with just select mode, but I wanted to show you those, because these are going to become very important as you start working with Maya. So let's go ahead and go back to our Selection tool. I am going to hit Q. And there are other ways of selecting objects. One is to restrict what you select, so if we go up along the top here to this status bar, you'll notice that we've actually have all of these little buttons are on. And this allows me to select anything in the scene, but if I click here and I say All objects off, it means I can't select anything, because I'm not allowing myself to select any particular object.
But if I wanted to, I could, for example, turn one of these buttons on and be able to select surface objects. But notice here, there is a bunch of lights at the top here, and those are not being selected. That's because I'm not allowing myself to select that object. So, for example, if I turn off surface objects and go over here to rendering objects and right-click over it and make sure that Lights are on, that means I can actually select lights, but not surfaces. So that means I can actually just select only the lights.
So this is another way to restrict what you select to make it easier to select objects within a more complex scene. Now another way to restrict selection is to use what are called layers. Now I am not going to get into how to configure layers, but this particular scene does have them open. So what I can do is I can actually turn on and off layers here by just hitting the V button for visibility. I can also hit what's called this button here, which actually turns it into a template, which allows you to kind see it, but not select it.
If I go to R, it allows me to actually shade it, but not select it. And then again, I can actually select it. And again, I am going to go ahead and turn All objects on here, and you can see that you can select all of this. So those are some of the various ways that you can actually select objects within Maya.
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