A project in Maya could have a very limited scope or could have a very large scope. Maybe you have many versions of a single model, and you put those all into a separate project folder structure. Or maybe you have a project for an entire short film that has hundreds of scenes in it. Just remember that you can organize the project folder however you want. Again, you can have very small project folders, or you can have very large ones. But you always have to have a project folder.
My recommendation actually is to have a lot of project folders, because you can always merge them. You can always, you know, take assets out of certain project folders and put them into others, as we will see later in the course. But the first step, as always, is to know where your current project is, and to create a new project if needed. So that's the first thing that we're going to do here is we're going to create a new project. If you don't have access to the exercise files that come with a premium lynda.com subscription, then that's what you'll need to do now, is to create a project folder for this course.
And to do that, you'll want to go into the File menu, and choose Project Window. And currently, this just displays the current project. because we saw in the last movie, the current project is the default Maya project, it's located in the current user's documents Maya projects folder. Let's create a new one. We'll click over here, New. And we get just the default name New Project, we want to give that a descriptive name. Let's call it tips and tricks project. I do like to use the word project in the name of the folder or directory itself, that way I know it's not just any old folder, that it's a special folder, it's a Maya project.
Additionally, I don't recommend you use white spaces in your project folder name. As you see here, I've used underscores. Technically, it is okay to use white spaces, but it's just a good idea to get in the habit of never using white spaces in Maya. Because there are a lot of things in Maya that will break if you do. Like for example, you can't use white spaces in the names of objects or nodes in Maya. And if you ever wanted to run some sort of script on this folder then it probably would need to have underscores rather than white spaces. And we also need a location.
I'll click over here to set the location for the new project folder I'm going to create. And I just want to place it on my desktop. So click on Desktop, and click Select. And then click Accept here. So you see the location's been filled in, and I click Accept. And that's all there is to it. I just use the default folders in that window. If I needed to, I could have put in custom folders, like, for example, if I needed to access a textured library that was on some sort of network attached storage or something, I could do that. But in this course, we're going to use self-contained project folders.
In other words, all of the assets are going to be completely encapsulated inside that one folder, which makes it eminently portable. We could move it to a different drive or a different computer, even a different operating system. And all the internal links would be preserved. It also makes it very easy for us to archive, as we will see later. Alright, so let's check in and see what we've got. If I minimize Maya and minimize this output window, you'll see we've got a folder here called Tips and Tricks project. And if I open that up, then we will see that we've got those curiously named folders there. Okay, so we've created our project.
And if I go back to Maya and go back into that project window, File > Project Window. It now reads out the current project as Tips and Tricks project.
- Managing projects assets
- Versioning scenes
- Importing, exporting, and sending scenes to other applications
- Referencing files
- Populating a master scene with assembly references
- Loading and unloading modules
- Setting options for new scenes
- Customizing Maya's interface