Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Selecting and moving objects , part of Maya 8 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Now that we understand the basics of the Maya interface, let's talk a little bit more about manipulating objects within the scene and actually start doing some real work within Maya. The first thing you need to know about Maya is how to select objects and move them around, or how to manipulate objects within the scene. To do that, let's open a very simple scene. We're going to go ahead and do File, Open Scene. And we have scene here called Objects. So let's go ahead and open that. And I'm going to go ahead and zoom in. And in order to see these objects a little bit better, I'm going to go ahead and change my shading to Smooth Shade.
Now another way of changing the shading mode is to use a hot key. And actually if you toggle between the four and five number keys, that'll change you between a smooth shaded and wire frames. So four is wire frame, five is smooth shaded. Now in order to manipulate objects within Maya, you need to learn to select them. There's a couple of ways of selecting an object. When you first start Maya, by default, this little box here, which is the Select tool, is checked. So all you have to do is just left click on an object, and that selects it.
If you want to, we also have a Lasso tool. So if you click on that, so you can lasso multiple objects, for example. If you use the Select tool, you can actually click and drag, left click and drag and also do a box select of objects. And as in many packages, if you hold down the Shift key, you can also do Shift select or Control select to select or deselect the object. So Shift select adds objects. Control takes them out of the selection.
When we select an object, you also notice that over here on the right, we have a number of parameters that show up in what's called the Channel box. And if the Channel box is not up on your system, you actually can just click this button here and that will show or hide it. So just click that and that will bring up your Channel box. So for example, if we select this sphere, it will tell us we have nurbsSphere1 selected. If we select this cylinder, it's called pCylinder1.
Always change the name to whatever we want just by clicking here and we can just call it Cylinder, if we want to. Also the Translation and Rotation parameters of this object are listed here and we can change those just by typing in numbers. But probably the easiest way to move or rotate an object is interactively. And you can do that here by selecting the Move tool, the Rotate tool, or the Scale tool. There's also a series of shortcuts, which you should probably learn.
And that's the Q, W, E, and R key, along the top of the keyboard. So it's the top row of the letters on the keyboard. So the Q selects the Select key. W selects the Move tool. E selects the Rotate tool. And R selects the Scale tool. So Q, W, E, R, the four that you need to know. So let's hit the W key and select the Move tool.
And let's look at how this tool works. If you notice that we have three arrows. R, G, and B. And those are the same as if you notice over here, with this little gizmo here, we have X, Y, and Z. So X is always red, Y is always green, and Z is blue. So if you think about it, X, Y, and Z are R, G, B. So if you have an RGB file, pretty much the same as X, Y, and Z. So in a lot of places in Maya, R, G, B does correlate to X, Y, and Z.
So this glyph, let's get back to this. If we want to we can just click on the center and you can move it wherever you want. If you want more precise motion, you can click on the arrows and move it in a specific direction. So if you want to move it along Z, you can do it that way. Along X, you can move it this way. And if you want to move it up and down, that's along the y-axis. So the center moves it along all three and then you can move along individual axes.
Same for this. Now if we want to use the Rotate tool, which is also the E shortcut key, you notice here, let's go ahead and click on this one. The cylinder. If you click on the blue it rotates around the z-axis. Red is the x-axis and so on. Now if you click along this blue one, along the outside, it will rotate it around the direction that you're looking at it.
So if you're in a perspective view, that direction that it rotates will change depending upon what view you're looking at the object. Now if you click in one of these quadrants, basically rotates around all three axes, so it's kind of a interactive rotation. Now one thing you notice is that, as we rotate, all of these numbers here in the Channel box are also changing. Now if we want, we can actually type in those numbers and put it back the way it was.
So for example, if we type zero into all of these it will rotate it back to wherever it was when it started. If we want to put the object back at the origin, all we have to do is put the zeros into that and that will go ahead and put it back at the origin. If we want to we can hit W, and we can move it wherever we want again. And notice how these numbers just change. Now Scale pretty much works the same as any of the other tools.
You have again, R, G, B, for X, Y, and Z. And then you have a yellow one in the middle for scaling everything. So if i just want to scale along one direction I can just select that one, or that one, and if I want to scale the whole object, I can do it this way. And again, if I want to type in the numbers, I can just do it that way. Just by typing in a one here, and that will put that back to the way that it was. Now another way to manipulate these values is to do it by selecting, let's say for example I wanted to change the scale of Y.
All I have to do is highlight that word, ScaleY, and then if I middle click and drag in the viewport, middle click, drag. So we go up and down. I can actually change it by doing it this way. For example if I want it to rotate, I can just click Rotate and middle click and drag and I can rotate around any specific axis. So that's just another way of manipulating objects.
So those are the basics of how to manipulate objects. So go ahead and play with that for a little bit. Get used to it, get comfortable with it. You'll be working with these sorts of tools a lot throughout Maya.