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Another great new modeling tool in Maya 2011 is called the Spin Edge tool. Now what this does is it takes an edge and allows you to change its orientation or spin it around the model. Now, I have a Maya file open and this file has a simple plane. Now, what I've done is I've actually used Connect Components to draw two diagonals across this plane, and this will give me some additional edges so we can illustrate the Spin Edge tool a little bit easier.
So, in order to do this, we need to select an edge. So, I'm going to right-click, go into Edge mode, and let's go ahead and select this edge. Now, we can get into the Spin Edge tool in two ways. One is through the menu. The other is through the Keyboard Shortcut. Let me show you where it is on the menu. Under Edit Mesh, we have Spin Edge Forward and Spin Edge Backward. But this tool really works much better as a keyboard shortcut.
And the keyboard option is Ctrl+Alt+Right or Ctrl+Alt+Left and that means the Left arrow. There on the Mac, you're going to using Control+Option+Right/Left. So let's go ahead and use the keyboard shortcut rather than the menu, so you can see how this works. So, I'm just going to hit Ctrl+Alt+Arrow key. So, I'm just going to Arrow Right, Arrow Left, while holding down Ctrl+Alt or Control+Option. And you can see how that spins. Now, if I actually go over to this edge, you can see this is a little bit easier, you can see how it kind of spins around and actually gives you a number of different options.
Maybe an edge like this, you can see how it can spin clockwise or counterclockwise, just depending on which Arrow key I press. There's something like this might not spin as much, because it's on a triangulated edge already. It really works a little bit better on ones where you actually have the option for multiple ones. But you can see how this works and you can see how it really gives you much wider control over your edge orientation, and they can help you get yourself out of little modeling jams that you've gotten yourself into.
So go ahead and memorize these two keystrokes, because I'm sure this is going to come in very handy if you ever do any sort of polygonal modeling.
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