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Understanding the Channel Box

From: Maya 2011 Essential Training

Video: Understanding the Channel Box

There are going to be times in Maya where you'll need to type in numbers, where you'll need to move things in very specific amounts, or rotate things very specific degrees, and so on. It's these times when you'll need an interface called the Channel Box. Now the Channel Box is typically located to the right side of the screen. So if we select an object we can actually turn on the Channel Box right here. So we have the Attribute Editor and the Channel Box. The Channel Box is actually right on top of the Layer Editor, but it's really just the top half of this window.

Understanding the Channel Box

There are going to be times in Maya where you'll need to type in numbers, where you'll need to move things in very specific amounts, or rotate things very specific degrees, and so on. It's these times when you'll need an interface called the Channel Box. Now the Channel Box is typically located to the right side of the screen. So if we select an object we can actually turn on the Channel Box right here. So we have the Attribute Editor and the Channel Box. The Channel Box is actually right on top of the Layer Editor, but it's really just the top half of this window.

In the Channel Box, you'll notice what we have is we have numerical values for all the translation, rotations and scale of the object. Also, if you scroll down, now if you have a bigger screen you may not have to scroll down, but you'll also see the operations that have been used to actually create this object. And a lot of times you may be able to open those up to access additional parameters. But right now we're just going to look at rotation and translation and scale.

So if I were to, for example, move this object around, let's say I wanted to rotate this chair, so if I hit E to Rotate you can notice how I can rotate it along each individual axis. Now also notice in the Channel Box how those numbers change. So, for example, if I rotated it any number of different degrees, you'll see that my Rotation values are all changing as I manipulate it. Now if wanted to I could actually just type the numbers in right here.

So, for example, if I want to rotate on 0 degrees I can do that, and I can actually do that for all of them to set it back to 0. Now if I wanted to rotate these all a very specific amount, I can highlight all of these and type in a number. Let's say I wanted to rotate it 45 degrees in all directions. I just highlight them all, type 45 into one box, and it rotates all of them. And again, I could do the same just to get them all back to 0. So I highlight them all by left- clicking and dragging over all of them and just hit 0, and it goes back to wherever I want.

Now this works the same for anything. So, for example, if I wanted to move it, I could move it in one unit back, or I could move it to put that right back to 0 and so on. Now there is another way to manipulate these values, and that's by actually dragging in the Viewport. So, for example, if I took Rotate Y and I position my mouse over here, over the Viewport and I middle-click and drag left and right, notice how it becomes almost like a virtual slider.

So I can actually rotate that and actually have it kind of like a number, and actually know exactly which value I am rotating. So if I wanted to rotate it along the X axis, again, I am just middle-clicking and dragging. And I am just going to go ahead and undo this so we can go back here. Now if I want I can also, in the Channel Box, turn on or off my manipulators. So this button here turns on my manipulators or turns them off. And here, this switches between slow, medium, and fast channel sliding.

So if I were going this way or this way, and I wanted to go faster I just click this, and that actually spins it a lot faster or spins it very slow. And typically, you want to keep it on medium. And this actually determines what's called Linear and Hyperbolic, which means if you slow down, it will rotate slowly, and if you move your mouse a little bit faster, it will rotate more fastly. So it's kind of more like an accelerator button or something like that. So those are some of the basics of how to work with the Channel Box.

There are additional things that you can do in the Channel Box. So, for example, if I go over this Translate X, if I right-click over it you will see there is a whole bunch of additional options that I can get to in the Channel Box. Now when you get into animation you'll see that you can actually set Key Frames here. We can also Cut, Copy, and Paste values. So if you have a value in one channel and you want to paste it to another channel, you can do that here as well. You can also lock channels.

So, for example, let's say I didn't want to move this particular chair. So, for example, I want the actual chair itself to be kind of frozen in space and only able to rotate. So what I can do is I can Shift+Select all of these channels, right-click over them and just go Lock. And what happens now, you can see these are all kind of grayed out, and now when I select this, and I go to move it, it's grayed out. I can't move it. So this is a great way to kind of restrict how your objects are moving is by locking or unlocking specific channel.

So, for example, here if I just Unlock Z, and I go to move it, I can only move along that Z axis. So as you can see, the Channel Box is very handy when you want to type in precise numeric values. It's also a great way to adjust parameters using kind of like a slider mentality, when you middle mouse click and drag. So I'm sure you'll be using the Channel Box a lot as you use Maya.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Maya 2011 Essential Training
Maya 2011 Essential Training

115 video lessons · 26234 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 34s
    2. Using the exercise files
      26s
    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
      25s

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