Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Overview of the Maya interface, part of Maya 2016 Essential Training.
- Let's start off by taking a brief look at the Maya interface. Now, Maya has a lot of functionality. And because of that it has a lot of stuff in the interface. But, the interface itself is very well organized. So if we understand the organization and how things are laid out, we'll understand the package a little bit better. So let's start off at the top-left corner. And you'll see that we have a menu bar along the top. Now this has a lot of the standard things that you're familiar with. Such as a File menu that allows you to open and close files.
An Edit menu that gives you functionallity such as Cut, Copy and Paste. We also have a Create menu. Allows you to create any number of different types of objects. A Select menu, allows you to select and deselect things. As well as a number of other ones such as Modify, Display and Windows. But as you get passed the Windows menu you'll start to see ones that are a little bit more custom. In this case we see one that says Mesh. Now Mesh is a modeling function. And that's because we have the modeling menu set active.
Now we have this little pull-down menu here. And this allows us to actually change how our menus are. So if I go over to Rigging, notice how these menu options change. If I go to say, Rendering, they will change again. So we have actually more functionality than we can fit on the menu with Maya. So, if there's something that you don't see or can't get to, the first thing we wanna do is just make sure you're in the right menu set. Now, you can also create custom menus sets. But for right now, we're just gonna use the stock ones.
So I'm gonna put this back to Modeling. Now, along this second line here we have our menu selection here. We also have some graphic ways to do common functions such as this one here, which will create a new scene, open a scene or save a scene. We also have an undo and a redo. In addition to this we have Selection Masks. Which allows us to select by type of object. And we also have our Snap options. Which allow us to snap the different things as we're creating things. Here we have some rendering commands.
So if we want to render a scene all we have to do is press one of this buttons and we can render an image. Now along the right here we have some additional functionality. We have one here called the Channel box and we can toggle that on or off. We also can toggle on or off what are called our Tool settings. And these are ways that we can select or move different types of objects. So, whatever tool you have active, you can change your options here and we can toggle that on or off. We also have what's called an Attribute Editor. And when we toggle this it actually shows up here as a tapped panel.
So here we have the Channel box which will show you your objects position, rotation and scale. And the Attribute Editor allows you to dig deeper into that. And we don't have a thing on the screen right now. So, we'll get to use this a little bit later. And then finally we have another one for what's called the Modeling toolkit, which allows us some additional modeling features. So I'm gonna toggle that off and let's just go back to the Channel box. Now here we have what are called Shells. And these are standard lists of commands and they're graphic.
So if you wanted to say for example, create a sphere or a cube we could do that here. And so each major function of the package has its own shelve. And you can create things just from the shelve. Now this is a very handy way to get to have functions very quickly. I use this a lot. Now you can also create your own custom shelves. And that's a really great way to add in custom functionality. Now, along the left-hand side of the interface, we have our Select tool. So we have a standard Select.
We also have what's called the Lasso tool. And a Paint Select tool. We also have our standard Move, Rotate and Scale. So, if you're manipulating objects you'll be using a lot of these. Now a little further to the left we have our Layouts panel. Now, I'm on a reduced resolution screen. So, there are some layouts that are not showing here. But let me just show you how this works. We have our standard layout here, which is just a 3D view. If we click on this one, it changes it to another layout.
And in this case we have a 4 view. We have a top, front and side view in addition to our perspective view. And then we have other ones here. This one gives you what's called an Outliner with a perspective view. This one here is for animation. It gives you an animation curve and so on. So I'm gonna go back to my standard layout here. But you can very easily just switch between layouts right here. Now along the bottom we have a couple of different panels here.
One, we have our Time slider. So when you start to animate, this is how you will scrub though the animation and know which frame you're on. Now, below that, we have what's called the Range slider. So this is the total length of the animation as well as how much of that we're seeing. So I have this little slider here and this selections allows me to slide through the entire animation. Now the outer numbers from one to 200 are the total length of the animation. And the inner numbers are what we are seeing.
So in this case it's from one to 120. Now all I have to do is just click on one of these boxes here and I can actually change that. Click on this tab here and I can change what portion of that we see. And then I can slide it here as well. Now along the bottom here we have what I call a Milk man. So if you want to you can actually just type text-based commands into Maya. And then finally, along the bottom here, we have a Help line. And this is great because all you have to do is just hover over any tool and it will tell you what it does.
And then when you start to use that tool it will give you hints as to how to procede. So if you don't really know how to do something just go ahead and look at this bottom line here, and it may give you enough of a hint to get you going. Now along the right we have a couple of buttons here. This button here says Animation Preferences. But if we click on this it actually gets us to actually all the preferences. It just kinda defaults to Animation Preferences. But we can go into all of our other preferences. And we'll get to these in just a little bit.
And then we also have one here for the Script Editor. Now we're not gonna get into script editing here. We do have some courses on scripting in Maya. But, this is really how you can get into the guts of Maya and actually program Maya. So this is a really great way to create simple commands or even more complex commands. So as you can see this is a pretty cohesive layout. And as we start to work with Maya you'll start to get the hang of how to use this interface.
- Getting familiar with the Maya interface
- Selecting and manipulating objects
- Creating hierarchies and layers in scenes
- Creating polygonal objects
- Extruding a mesh
- Working with subdivision surfaces
- Sculpting a basic landscape
- NURBs modeling
- Creating and applying materials and textures
- Adding lights and cameras to a scene
- Adding depth of field and motion blur
- Animating in Maya