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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.
Maya's Hypergraph window is probably one of the more important windows you need to know in Maya. It's actually kind of similar to the Outliner that allows you to organize your scene and visualize the organization of your scene. But it also goes a lot deeper. So, let's take a look at it. We can find it under Window, and there are actually two options here: Hierarchy and Connections. Now, they both actually launch the Hypergraph just in different modes. So, we are going to take a look at Hypergraph:Hierarchy mode first. This is really just a way to look at the hierarchy of your scene.
I am going to go ahead and reposition this, so we can see it. If we actually highlight this window, you'll notice that, well, we've got a lot of blocks in here and these are actually our hierarchy. Now, if we want to actually navigate this, we navigate this just like a viewport. So, we hold down the Alt/Option key Right-click to zoom, Middle-click to pan. Now, there is no orbit, because it's a 2D window. Now, if I zoom out a little bit, you'll notice that I have several different hierarchies, and these are the ones we set up before. So, for example, if I select Scooter, that actually selects the whole Scooter hierarchy.
If I can zoom in here and see there is my locater, there is my group. Then within that group are all of these surfaces. Now, if I move all the way down here, you can see this is all the Steering setup that I had for this particular scooter. Now, if I want I can actually use this very similar to the Outliner in that, I can actually reorganize my hierarchy. It's actually almost exactly the same as the Outliner. All I have to do is just middle-click and drag. So, if I middle-click over this and drag it away from the hierarchy, you'll see it creates its own separate hierarchy.
So, this is actually completely outside of the Scooter hierarchy. In fact, if I wanted to, I can take a look at it in the Outliner. You can see now I've got two separate hierarchies. In fact, if I wanted to, I could middle click and drag this in the Outliner and you can see how it instantly updates in the Hypergraph. So, again, I can just middle-click and drag over any node and it'll go ahead and refresh. Now, when you have a lot of objects in the scene, you'll need to be able to zoom.
So, we have a couple of nice zoom options here and they're pretty much labeled. We can frame all, we can frame just the selection, we can frame the hierarchy or just the branch of that hierarchy. Now, these two buttons here, these actually determine the modes. These are actually the same modes we see here, Hierarchy and Connections. So, this one puts it into Hierarchy mode, which is where we are. The other one puts it into what's called Connections mode, which we'll get to. This actually shows you how an object is constructed.
Now, in addition to being able to frame things, we can also create bookmarks. So, if you have a very complex hierarchy, you can create those spots so you can jump between. We also can go into Options, and we have some very nice display options, what type of things do we want to display. Under Show, we also have some very similar options to what we had in the Outliner. What type of options do we want to show? Do we just want to show Ggeometry? Do we just want to show NURBS or polygonal objects, and so on? So, we can hide and show nodes by object.
So, those are some of the basics of Hypergraph:Hierarchy. So, in that mode, it's actually a really good replacement for the Outliner. For some people, having that visual representation makes it a little bit easier. Now, either one, works just fine. It's just really whatever your preference is.
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