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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.
We are going to start off by taking a look at some of the new interface features in Maya 2009. First, we are going to look at something called the panel yoolbar. But before we do that let's go ahead and make sure we have our projects all set. We do have the Exercise Files on the Desktop and so let's go ahead and set our project to Desktop/Exercise Files/Chap _01 and then the file I have opened is called Head.mb. Now, the first thing I want to show you is called the Panel Toolbar; and you can see it right here. When you open a window you will see this additional row of icons along a viewport. In fact, these are along every viewport; you can see them here. So I am just going to enlarge this Perspective viewport here and let's just go through some of these.
Now, what these do is they basically duplicate some of the more popular options that we have here in the menus. Now, a lot of times it's difficult to pull down the menu and then find your options, so a lot of the more common ones have been kind of shortcutted here. So we have, for example, Select camera, which will select the active camera, in this case the Perspective camera. Will allow you to go into Camera Attribute editor, very quickly. We can also do Scene Bookmarks. We can turn on or off an Image Plane. So if I click this little S for the Image Plane image. You can turn on and off the Grid, which I find very handy.
We can also do Film Gate, Resolution Gate. Turn those off. We can also do whether or not you have a Gate mask or not. So in another words, is this gray outside of the area where the object shows? So it's a really good handy visual device to know whether or not your object is actually going to be in the final render. You can also turn on a Field grid. We also have Safe Action and Safe Title. Then we also have some display modes here. We have Wireframe, Shaded, Shaded with Wireframe. You can also turn on and off Texturing; so this is essentially the same as hardware texturing here. So you can just flip that on and off, which is really nice.
You can also do Use All Lights. So you can turn on and off the default light in the scene or the actual lights in the scene. You can turn Shadows on and off, as well as High quality or Low quality, or Faster quality rendering. We also have what's called Isolate Select. So for example, if you have selected the eye here in this particular character, you can just isolate that very, very quickly. This is great for modeling, if you want to just get into something very quickly. We also have our X-Ray modes. You can turn-on X-Ray; X-Ray just the active components. So for example, if I have the head selected I can just X-Ray just the head and leave everything else unX- Rayed and you can also do X-Ray Joints.
So all of these are available with just a simple click and I find this very, very handy, because it's a lot faster than pulling down menus.
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