Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Streamlining the Maya interface, part of Advanced 3ds Max and Maya Integration.
- Let's look at streamlining the interfaces of Maya and 3DS Max. In our first movie, in a chapter on harmonizing preferences. The idea is to try to make 3DS Max and Maya more like one another so that you don't have a jarring experience. I recommend actually streamlining both of the interfaces down to a semi minimal state. When learning a new program or when moving between several programs, it's helpful to have a simple interface so that we're not distracted by too much extraneous information.
In Maya, let's just sort of get rid of a lot of these icons up here. First of all, you'll see up at the very top is the status line. Some of these buttons are indispensable and you have to have them there all the time. For example, your render buttons and snaps and so on. Some of these things are kind of not really obsolete, but very little used anymore. For example, these buttons are different component modes. Over here, we have a section to choose object mode versus component mode and so on.
There are a lot easier ways to enter those modes. Mainly from the right click marking menu. We can just collapse these sections down so that we're not looking at them. Here, for example, we've got our instruction history section. I'm going to collapse that as well. Below the status line is the shelf. There's almost nothing in here that isn't also in the menus. The shelf buttons are pretty much all just redundant to all other parts of the interface. Additionally, 3DS Max does not even have a shelf.
It did at one point, but it was removed. Therefore, if we want 3DS Max and Maya to be more similar to one another, then we can just hide the shelf completely. That's done from the display menu. Display UI elements. Then we can turn these on or off either from this menu or from the Maya preferences. We can turn this shelf off. Additionally at the bottom, you'll see that there are a lot of animation controls. These are very powerful. However, I'm not working on animation at the moment.
To save screen space, we can go ahead and hide these as well. Back up in display UI elements, you'll see time slider and range slider. Turn those off. Finally, in Maya, inside each panel is a panel tool bar. This will allow you to, for example, change shading modes for the view ports. Again, these are all redundant and these commands can all be either done through a keyboard shortcut or through these menus in each panel, the panel menu.
If you wish to hide the panel toolbar, there's a keyboard shortcut for that or it can be done from Maya preferences. The shortcut is control, shift, M. That will hide or show the panel toolbar. Now I've got Maya stripped down to the essentials of its interface. Just to make sure that this gets preserved, I'll go ahead and save the preferences. File, save preferences.
- Managing and tracking assets
- Setting up a shared texture library
- Streamlining user interfaces
- Using Maya mode hotkeys in 3ds Max
- Harmonizing scene units and frame rates
- Rendering procedural textures to bitmaps
- Translating scenes with the FBX file format
- Correcting materials, lighting, and surfaces
- Using the Send To command
- Baking animation to keyframes
- Saving a geometry cache
- Distilling complex animation with Alembic