Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Menus, hotbox, and marking menus, part of Maya 8 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Now let's talk a little bit about menus within Maya. We've played a little bit with the menus along the top, we've learned about menu sets and we've learned a little bit about the File Open menu. Now, one thing about menus is that they can be torn off and floated within Maya. So for example, if you working with polygonal modeling, for example, which is the menu set that we have selected now, we could take the Edit Mesh menu and just click on this little double bar at the top of the menu list and it instantly floats.
So now we can just select our tools here. We don't have to keep going up to the menu bar in order to get to the tool. Now, another thing about menus is that you'll notice that a lot of these options have this little, tiny box to the right of the menu option and if we click on that box, it will go ahead and give us options for that particular tool. So if you want to change the options before you implement the tool, for example if you're creating a sphere and you want to give your sphere a certain number of subdivisions or something like that, you can change that by just doing the tool options, by clicking that little box to the right of the menu option.
Now, another thing that can be floated is submenus. So for example, we have a lot of different editors here. So if you wanted to float your rendering editors, you could just float that. So really almost any pull-down menu can be floated within Maya. Another way of accessing menus very quickly within Maya is to simply hit the space bar within a viewport and that brings up what's called the hotbox. Now, the hotbox has a couple of functions, one of which is just all the menu options.
So for example, we have File, Edit, Modify, Create. Now I can get to these really anywhere within a viewport. So I don't even have to go up to my menu bar or over to a floating menu. It's right there and that's very handy. So just hit the space bar and you've got access to almost every menu within Maya. There's also some additional things on this menu that can become very handy, things like how to view objects, show and hide different types of objects. This is your viewport menu here. We also have recent commands.
So whatever the last 10 or so commands that you've done. So you can actually just go and keep repeating commands. Along the bottom here, we have what is the menu set that's currently selected. Now, we can change that by moving over to the hotbox controls and if we click on that you can actually see that we can show any one of these menu sets that we have. So we can show polygons, rendering, animation. One of the things I tend to do is just to show all and what that does is we let go and then hit the space bar again, it brings up all the menus.
So really every menu set that I have is available now really at my mouse point. So wherever my pointer is, I can get to the menus. Now, there's one more little option that we have in the hotbox and that's let's go ahead and hit the space bar again and keep it centered and then left-click on that and you'll see that we can actually change our views. So right now I'm in a perspective view. So if I wanted to, I could just go over here and go into a top view or a side view or a front view and what you can do is you can get very fast with this.
What you can do is just hit the space bar and just almost gesturally switch views. So just hit the space bar and click Perspective View and you can very quickly go from view to view. Now, this little glyph here is probably as fast of a method, but again it's whatever you're comfortable with. Now, there's one more option here and that's Hotbox Style and that really just turns on what we have now, which is the zones and the menus and we can turn off menus and just show the zones, which is really just our perspective views and that sort of thing or we can just show what's the center zone.
So again, we don't have to have all of these options available. I typically keep it on this because that way you can pretty much get to anything. Now, there's one more set of menus that I want to talk about and those are called marking menus. Marking menus are context specific. So it depends on what type of objects you have in the scene, what's going on in the scene at any given time. Let me show you a little bit about how they work. Let's go ahead and open a scene. So we do File, Open Scene.
Or if we want, we can do that from the hotbox. We can do File, Open Scene and if we have our project set, let's just go ahead and open that file called Table that we had open before and I'm going to go ahead and click in the perspective window and I'm going to enlarge it by hitting the space bar very quickly. If we hit and held it, it would show the hotbox, but if we just tap it, it actually maximizes that window and I'm going to go ahead and turn on shading. Let's go ahead and do that from the hotbox here, smooth shade so I can see what's going on, and I'm going to navigate my way into the scene a little bit so I can have a little bit more of a closeup.
So a marking menu, which is what we're talking about, all you have to do is right-click over an object. So let's right-click over this chair and you'll see this menu comes up. We have Object Mode, UV, Edge, Vertex, Vertex Face. As you'll learn later, these are options for editing polygonal objects. So this is a polygonal object and these are all the options I have for selecting parts of that polygonal object. If we click over this piece of fruit, you'll see a different set of options comes up.
That's because this object is made differently. It's a NURBS object and it instead of polygons it's made of patches and isoparms and those sorts of things, which we'll learn about. Also you'll notice this menu has some additional options. It allows us to select the object, select the object in its hierarchy, it also let's us do things like do paint select or do sculpting on the object. You can also template the object, which is really handy for when you're doing things like tracing and that sort of thing. Plus a bunch of other options, which we'll get to as we work through the lessons.
So those are a bunch of different ways to access menus within Maya. Now let's move on to selecting and moving objects and transformations within Maya.