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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.
Now as you start modeling more and more things in Maya, you're going to need to be able to organize your scenes. Up until this point, we've just been kind of modeling stuff in the scene and we really haven't been doing much organization. Probably the most centralized place where you can organize things in Maya is called the Outliner. You can get to it one of two places. One is just as a separate window. You can go into the Outliner. And the other is through a viewport. So, for example, if I went into a four view here, I could actually-- let me go ahead and close this.
I can make one of the panels into the Outliner itself. So there is really a couple of ways of doing this. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and turn this back into a Top view. And let's go ahead and float the Outliner. Here we go. And I'm going to go ahead and open this up. So what your Outliner shows you is basically everything that's in the scene. So you can see I've got my scooter pretty much modeled. And it's actually got a lot of parts in it.
So if I scroll down, you can see there's a whole bunch of stuff here. And a lot of it kind of needs to be organized. Now, we need to organize things in Maya for one of two ways. One is so it's easy to access and also so that the objects itself kind of tie together. So, for example, if I grab the HandleBar and I wanted to rotate that, well, I want to make sure that the handle bar rotates the whole front end of the scooter. So you can also create assemblies within the Outliner. So let's take a look at some of the basics of the Outliner.
So as you can see, basically everything is listed here in the Outliner. And you can see that different things actually have different little icons. So NURBS surfaces will show up like this. If it's a Polygonal surface, it'll show up with this little icon. NURBS curves show up like this. So each different type of object will have its own little icon. And then next to each one is a little plus sign. Now, that actually shows you what's underneath. Now, that could be just a subobject, or it could be whole hierarchies of objects.
And we'll get into that in little bit. Then we also can display just the main objects or do we also want to display what are called the shapes, which is what that little plus sign goes? Do we want to display attributes? So, for example, for a NURBS plane, you could actually display all of the attributes for that NURBS plane. And I think that's pretty heavy on the display. So typically I turn that off. We can also display as to whether objects are connected, that sort of stuff. We can also show certain types of objects.
I only want to see NURBS objects. I can just show the NURBS objects. So let's say I want to see just the cameras in the scene. You can just show just the cameras. Or if I want to see cameras and polygonal objects, you can do that. So this allows you to kind of filter through everything in the scene by type of object. And of course there's a Help menu that shows you how to use certain things. Now there're other things you can do in the Outliner. One is you can actually rename stuff.
So, for example, if I selected this front tire, you'll notice that it's actually named Torus1, which is how I originally created it. If I want to I can double-click in this and type in the name, FrontTire, okay. Now, I also, if I wanted to, I could actually do that here, just change that name as well. So there're two different places where you can change the name of an object, and they both sync up. So, for example, if I wanted to change the name of this rear wheel, I could just go RearTire as well.
Now, the nice thing about the Outliner is it allows you to pick objects by name in the scene. Now, if I want to, I can use my Shift+ Select tools to select multiple objects or if I Ctrl+Select, I can pick individual objects. So Shift+Select allows me to pick a range. Ctrl+Select allows me to pick and choose one by one. So that's another way of selecting multiple objects. You can select them by name. Now, this also brings up another important point I need to make, and that is put descriptive names on everything.
So, for example, yeah, I can see that this is a fender here, but when I'm in the Outliner, a lot of times you'll have things that say nurbsCurve, duplicatedCurve, and I have no idea whether nurbCircle5 is here, here, or here. But if I actually give it a descriptive name, then I know immediately what it is. So, for example, I know that this is my hubcap and I know that this is that ring in front of my headlight. So by giving things descriptive names, you're really making it much easier to go through your scene later, debug it, and work with it.
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