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In Maya 2009 New Features, George Maestri demonstrates several breakthrough updates in the latest version of this 3D modeling, rendering, and animation tool. He explores the upgrades to the interface and covers soft selection and other modeling tools. George then delves into more complex new features, including the Asset Manager for organizing objects and nodes within a scene; animation layering to blend, merge, group, reorder, override, and add to preceding layers; Maya Muscle, for creating lifelike skin motion; and nParticles, a new particle system. Exercise files accompany the course.
One of the handiest new things in Maya 2009 is some improvements to the Selection tools. Now these will help your modeling go a lot faster. The first thing I want to show you is called Preselection Highlighting and what this does is it allows you to see exactly what you are about to select before you select it. That's Preselection. So let me show you how this works on this head model. If I right click over the model and I go to face, you will see Preselection Highlighting is actually turned on for this particular model. So if I move my cursor above any one of these faces, it will highlight it. So all I have to do is just click and Shift Select and I can highlight this. Now, this is a much more interactive way than the old method.
In fact, if you want to go back to the old method you can, or if it's not turned on, let me show you where to turn it on. We can go into Settings/Preferences > Preferences and under Settings > Selection, we have an option here for Preselection Highlight. So if I turn that off and hit Save, we go back to the old method, which you can see is not nearly as interactive. Let me show you another trick for turning this on and off. Maya 2009 has added a new marking menu. So if you hit Ctrl +Shift+Right-click while in Selection Mode, you get these two menus here. One is Reflection, the other one is Select.
Let's go down to Select and right here we can turn on Preselection Highlight. I turn that on, there it is. If I want to turn it off, Ctrl+Shift+Right-click, Select, toggle it off. Very simple. Let me show you one more new feature in the Selection tool and that's called camera-based selection. So let's just go in here and I am just going to aoom in a little bit, Let's say I was actually modeling and I wanted to reshape his eyebrows or something like that. I start selecting, or maybe even rubber band select his eyebrows.
Now, if I rubber band select, normally what it will do; and you have all seen this if you have done modeling, is it will actually select the back-facing polygons, because what it's doing here is-- if we are going to Wireframe here-- it's really just selecting everything inside that box; either forward or back. So we can fix this by using what's called camera-based selection. I do this by going into my Selection tool. So I have my Select tool active and I go here to Show or Hide Tool Settings and these are the tool settings for my Select tool; now this also works for Rotate, Scale and Move as well.
So all I have here is a little checkbox here called Camera based selection. So when I do that and I select those same polygons, you will notice that it doesn't select the back facing polygons, because what it's doing is it's only selecting those polygons the camera can actually see. So for example, if I zoomed out here and I selected his entire head, I wouldn't really be selecting his entire head, because it wouldn't select the stuff the camera didn't see. So if in this case I wanted to select everything, I have to turn it on or off.
Now, this works the same for the Move, the Rotate and the Scale tool as well. So you can see how handy these tools are, particularly when you want to model polygonal objects.
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