Learn the basics of the Maya 2017 interface. In this movie, we take a look at the Maya 2017 interface and understand the organization of menus and dialog boxes in the software. George gives a tour of the interface which includes the menu bars, viewports, and standard panels in the Maya Default interface.
- [Voiceover] Let's get started by taking a quick tour of the Maya interface. Now Maya has a lot of features, and a lot of functionality. As you can see, there's a lotta stuff in the interface, but it is arranged fairly logically. So if you understand the general layout of Maya, you should be able to navigate it fairly easily. Now we're gonna start off with the menu system. I'm gonna go up to the top left hand corner, and as you can see, we have standard menus here. We have a File menu, it allows you to open and close scenes. We have an Edit menu, gives you cut, copy and paste.
We also have a Create menu, which allows you to create any type of object in Maya. Now with all of these menus, notice how we have a double dotted line at the top. If you want, you can move your mouse down, and left click on this, and it will tear off the menu. And this can be very handy if you're using one menu set a lot. You won't have to go up and keep pulling it down, you'll have that right there in the interface. Then we could always close this by hitting the red button here.
Now in addition to File, Edit and Create, we also have Select, Modify, Display, and Windows. Now these are always in the Maya interface. Now if we go to the right of the Windows menu, we start getting into what are called custom menus. So in this case, I have the Mesh menu available, and that's because I'm in the Modeling menu set. If I use this pull down menu, you'll see that we have a number of different menu sets.
And if I select a different one, notice how the top menu changes. So in this case, I'm in the Rigging tools, which allows me to rig a character, or if I go down to, say, Rendering, this will allow me to render an image. So the takeaway here is that Maya has more functionality than can appear on the menus. So if there's something you can't find, go ahead over here, make sure that you're in the proper menu set for the task that you're doing. Now to the right of this pull down menu, you'll see we have some graphic icons.
This one gives me the ability to create new scenes, open scenes, save scenes, as well as undo and redo. Now if you hover over these, notice how a little help box comes up, which kind of gives you a hint as to what the tool does. Now moving further to the right, we have some masks here, that allow us to select objects by type. We also have some snapping options here, allows you to snap to the grids, or objects together, that sort of thing.
Over here, we have a bunch of rendering commands, so this allows you to render your scenes. Now this pull down menu here allows you to sign in to Autodesk, so, if you have an Autodesk account, you can sign in right here. Now over on the far right, we have some toggle buttons here, and these toggle on and off different parts of the interface. So if we go to the far right here, you see we have what's called the Channel Box. So if I left-click on that, you can see how I could turn on or off this part of the interface.
Now the Channel Box just gives you information about the position of the object, plus a little bit more. And then we also have four more of these. So this one here shows or hides tool settings, so depending upon the tool that you have selected, this will give you the options for that tool. So again, I can toggle that on or off. We also have this one here, which is called the Attribute Editor. And this one also shows up on the right hand side of the screen. Now when it does, it creates a tabbed interface here.
So now I've got tabs along the right hand side. This is my Channel Box, and this is my Attribute Editor. Now if I want, I can activate more of these tabs by clicking on these two, so I have this one here, which creates a human IK skeletons, and that's for character animation. And then I have this one here, which is called the Modeling Toolkit, which gives me additional modeling tools for Maya. Now with all of these toggled, you see that I have actually four different tabs here, on the right hand side.
And if I toggle them off, those tabs disappear. Then moving back over to the left, you'll see that we have a tool box here, which has some basic tools for selecting objects. So I have a basic select tool here, I have a lasso select, which allows me to select groups of objects, and I also have what's called a paint select. Now below that, I have a move, rotate, and scale tool, and these are for manipulating objects.
Now right here, I have what's called the viewport. Now this viewport gives me a window into my 3D scene. And we could control how we see the viewports here. Now I'm on a reduced resolution screen, so I'm not seeing all of these options here. We have perspective view, which is the default. We also have this one here, which brings up a quad view, so I have a top, front, side view, as well as my perspective view. And then we have additional ones.
So this one here brings up what's called the Outliner, as well as a perspective view. And this one here brings up the perspective view with an animation editor. So I'm gonna go back to my perspective view here, and just go to that standard default layout. Now along the bottom here, we have a standard time slider, which allows us to slide through our animation. And that time slider's actually controlled by this second line, and this is controlled by what's called a range slider.
So this range slider gives you a window into the entire animation. There are times when your animation might be too long to see on one timeline, so you can actually shrink or grow how much you see just by clicking these little boxes here, or, by moving this slider to determine where in the scene you're looking. Now these also can be controlled numerically. So this number here is the start of the entire animation.
This number here is the start of the range. And again, on the opposite side, this is the end of the range, and this is the end of the entire animation. Now moving further down, we have a MEL line here, and this is where we can type commands into Maya. Now along the very bottom we have a help line. So if I select a specific tool, if I hover over it, it will tell you what that tool does. And then when I select the tool, it will give me hints as to how to use it.
So if you don't really know how to use a tool, go ahead and check down there to see if the hints will help guide you along. Now finally, over to the bottom right, we have our playback controls for our animation. We also have two pull down menus here for Animation Layers and Character Sets. And then here, we have what's called the Auto Keyframe toggle, which allows you to automatically animate as you move objects. And here we have something that says Animation Preferences, but it actually brings you into the entire Preferences window.
So if I click on this, it brings me into Preferences. On the Time Slider preferences, as you can see, I can go up and start going through all of my preferences for Maya. So if you need to change your preferences, that's a great way to go into that very quickly. And then finally, this button here opens up what's called the Script Editor. Now we're not gonna get into scripting in this course, but we do have a couple of courses on scripting specifically. And this is the entry point for that.
Now scripting allows you to write your own commands for Maya, create macros, and do a lot of customization. So it can be a very powerful way to use Maya. So as you can see, Maya is laid out fairly logically. And as we start to work with Maya, you'll get to know this layout, and how to use the interface.
It starts with the basics of selecting and manipulating objects and organizing scenes, as you learn the interface and explore Maya's features. Author George Maestri then takes you through polygonal modeling, creating and refining meshes, sculpting, and NURBS modeling. Once you understand modeling, George will show how to create and apply materials to surfaces—adding color, texture, and reflectivity. He'll then integrate cameras, lighting, and depth-of-field effects into the rendering process, using the built-in software renderer, mental ray, and the new Arnold for Maya renderer. Last but not least, he'll show how to add movement and life to your work with Maya's animation tools.
- Getting familiar with the Maya interface
- Configuring viewports and workspaces
- Selecting and manipulating objects
- Creating hierarchies and layers in scenes
- Creating polygonal objects
- Modeling and refining polygonal meshes
- Working with subdivision surfaces
- Sculpting a basic landscape
- NURBs modeling
- Projecting curves on surfaces
- Creating and applying materials and textures
- Adding lights and cameras to a scene
- Adding depth of field and motion blur
- Animating in Maya