Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing the interface, part of Maya 2015 Essential Training.
Let's take a quick look at how to customize the Maya interface. Now, by default, Maya has a lot of tool bars and a lot of stuff surrounding the viewports. Now, if you want to buy yourself more real estate or want less clutter you can actually turn things on or off. We can get to this by using the Display menu. So, if I click on this, you'll see I have a number of different options for how to display things. Now, one of the things in Maya, is that we can actually tear off menus. So, if you go into the very top here, you'll see this dotted line.
Now, with any menu you can just click on that and it will tear off. Which is nice, because then we can just look at this menu. Now, we can display the grid. We can turn it on or off. And you can see here. Or, the next option here is for what's called a heads-up display. Now, this is just a lot of different types of things that you can put into your viewport so you can see things. So, for example, if I do Object Details, it will give me all of the details of any object I select. So, you can see how these change a little bit, just depending upon the type of object.
And we can always toggle these on or off. Now, more importantly are the UI elements. So, if I want, I could turn off different types of UI elements to make the interface less cluttered. So, for example, this MEL script line here, I'm not going to really be typing in commands in the near future. So I can actually turn that off. So I can actually go to the command line here and turn that off, and notice how that buys me a little bit more real estate.
If you're not going to animate, you might want to turn off the time slider and the range slider or you could just leave the time slider on. It really just depends on how you want to work. And again, you can always turn these on or off very quickly. So, for example, if you don't want to see the cells, you can do that. And again, the interface opens up more and you have more viewport space. Now, I'm working on a very tight screen so I need a little bit more space, so sometimes I may turn things on or off.
Just to get a little bit more screen real estate, so don't be confused by that. Now, in addition to all of this, we have things in the Display menu that allows us to hide and show objects. We can also make things visible only to certain cameras. There's really a lot of power in this. Now, I'm not going to get into all of this. Now, in addition to this, we also have what are called our Preferences. So we go into Window > Settings Preferences, and we have a number of different menu options here.
Probably the most important one is the Preferences window. So if I click on that, you can see this is my Preferences window. So we can go through and we can set preferences for just about anything in Maya and there's no way I can go through all of this but let's go ahead and take a look at some of them. So, for example, we can turn on or off our interaction mode. Basically, we're going to keep it to Maya. We also have UI elements and this again is just exactly what we have in the Display menu here. We can actually turn on or off our range slider or our command line and then we can also hide or show things such as our attribute editor and so on.
We can also turn on what's called the view queue. Another one is help. How much help do you want Maya to show? Now, one of the things that I'm noticing here is that when I'm in this window here and I'm hitting five and four, this menu keeps coming up. Now, I really don't like that interrupting my flow, so I like to turn that off. So, if I go to Interface > Help, I can turn off In-view Messages. So if I turn that off, then I go back over to my viewport just by left-clicking on it, you could see now, I don't get that menu.
If I turn it on, again, click over there. I can turn it on or off. So, this is really nice, and then you can also have your Popup Help here turned on or off, so if I hover over something and my Help shows up, I can turn that on or off as well. And then you can also determine the language of your Help, and whether or not you're going out to the web for the Autodesk Help web pages. Now, in addition to this, we have some other options here. We have our display options, so on and so forth.
Kinematics, we have what are called settings. Now, this actually is real important, if we go to Settings here we can set the units that Maya is using. In this case, we're using centimeters, but we can change that to inches, feet or yards or whatever we want. And we can also set the timebase for our animation. So if you want to animate at 24 frames a second, that's the default, but you can change it to 30, 25 or really whatever you want. So now that we understand some of the basics of the interface, we can start diving in to actually navigating our scenes.
- Getting familiar with the Maya interface
- Creating hierarchies and layers
- Creating polygonal objects
- Working with subdivision surfaces
- Extruding a mesh
- Smoothing geometry
- Lofting and extruding with the NURBS curves tools
- Converting NURBS to polygons
- Creating and applying texture maps
- Applying UV mapping
- Adding lights and cameras to a scene
- Creating realistic effects such as depth of field
- Batch rendering
- Animating in Maya
Skill Level Beginner
1. Getting Started in Maya 2015
2. Organizing Maya Scenes
3. Creating Polygonal Models
4. Editing Meshes
5. Refining Meshes
6. NURBS Modeling Techniques
7. Refining NURBS Models
8. Creating Materials
9. Applying Textures
10. Rendering in Maya
11. Animating in Maya
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