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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 has a number of context-sensitive menus as well. So these are menus that change depending upon what sort of object or situation you are in. These are called Marking menus. Let me show you how these work. Basically a Marking menu will show up anytime you right-click over an object. So here I have a couple of objects in the scene. I have two spheres, one made of Polygons, one made of NURBS, and a Light. So if I right-click over the blue sphere, you will see that a number of options show up.
Here I have all my different Component options, or different ways to Edit and Reshape this object. And as we get into modeling, you will see how this works. But also we have a menu down here. Now, this allows me to Select the object, Select the object's Hierarchy. That means if it's in a group with other objects, you can select everything. Also, it allows me to do something such as change my Materials and Material Attributes. In other words, what sort of color this object is. So, for example, if I right-click here over Material Attributes, you can see that this is a blue sphere, and here I am in my Attribute's Editor, so I can actually change that color to whatever color I want and so on.
And that's simply by right-clicking over that and going to Material Attributes. There are also ways to Assign New Materials and that sort of thing. Another really important one is what's called Templating. So if we go here to Actions, we have something called Template. Now, this is great if you are wanting to trace over an existing object, or 3D object. You can just Template it, and what that does is it kind of takes stuff away, and it turns it this kind of pinkish color. And what happens is is that now that that object is templates, I can't select it or move it.
It's just kind of there in the scene as a template that I can use to either trace over or use as reference, so it doesn't get in the way. Again, if I right-click over this, I can go and Untemplate it as well. So if we go to a different type of object, such as this NURBS sphere, as opposed to this Polygonal sphere, the NURBS sphere has slightly different options. If I right-click over this, you will see these options here are a little bit different, because this object is built a little bit differently.
Now, down here, along this menu, I have pretty much the same options. So here, for example, I have Isoparm, Hull, Control Vertex. If I right-click over my Polygonal sphere, I have Edge, Vertex, Face, which are the way that these are constructed. Now, some objects may not have as much over their Marking menus. So, for example, if I click over Light, I just get the menu. I don't get any options as to how to edit it. So it really depends upon what object you right-click over as to what Marking menu will show up.
But as you start to use Maya, you definitely want to rely on Marking menus, and we are going to be using them a lot. So just know that they are there and know how to get into them.
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