This video takes a look at the many bonus tools available for Maya. George shows how to find the Bonus Tools plugin and install them, and then goes on a brief tour of the most important bonus tools. He takes a look at the LayOut Tools Browser, which allows artist to manipulate objects easily.
- [George] Hi, I'm George Maestri and today we're going to take a look at Maya's bonus tools. If you're not familiar with them it's a great collection of tools that haven't quite made it into the full version of Maya but Autodesk provides them to you and a lot of them are very, very useful. So, if you don't have bonus tools installed, you can go into the help menu and under Maya resources and tools there should be an option for download bonus tools and that should bring up a browser that gives you an overview of all the bonus tools and then where you can download those.
So, in this case for my 2017, I click on this link for Maya App Exchange and it brings up the Autodesk App Exchange and allows me to download those tools. So, go ahead and download those according to the instructions and install them if you haven't already. Now, the bonus tools install automatically but if you want you can go through into the plugin manager and scroll down and you'll see we have towards the very bottom Maya bonus tools.
In this case it's 2014 to 2017 and then you want to make sure that you turn them on and load them to make sure that they are available to you. Now, once it's installed, you should have a bonus tools menu. Now, I'm going to go ahead and just tear this off and let's take a look at some of these. So, we've got a list of bonus tools that basically mimic our menu. So, we have edit, create, modify, display and window. We also have tools for modeling, UV editing, rigging, animation visual effects and rendering so under edit we have things such as duplicate on object.
For create we can create a digital number node which is kind of cool. Modify, all sorts of really great modify tools. Display, we can do what's called a poly shell count which allows us to count how many shells or different objects are in one polygonal object. We could do poly surface area. It will give you the area of a surface, so if I turn that on you can see here poly area, so this particular object is 97.5, this one's only 72 and again, I can turn that off by going here.
And then under display we have other options such as the ability to adjust clipping planes on your camera. We also have a number of windows here. One of the nicest ones I find is called the layout tools browser and let's go ahead and take a look at that. So, I'm going to go ahead and select layout tools browser. What that does is it brings up this big window here and it kind of docks it and in this case it's really restricting my real estate here so I'm going to go ahead and left click on this and tear it off so that I have a little bit more real estate and this gives me three separate tabs.
One is a browser which allows me to browse all of the objects in my particular project. We have a bunch of tools that allow us to transform objects. Now, some of these are just repeats of the bonus tool set that are included, and so this is a great little interface into some of those tools. One of these is basically a specific move tool, so if you want to move things specific amounts then you can do that here. So, if I want to move five centimeters in X, I can do that and hit offset, one direction or the opposite direction.
Select two of these. We can move them five centimeters this way or that way which is kind of neat and we can also obviously change it by object or world space and we can use any axis we want. We have a very similar one here for rotate. So, if I select this object here I can rotate along X, so I can do that or I can go back the other way and again, we can rotate around world or local space.
And the same for scale. If you want to scale something a very specific amount, there's a very quick way to do it. Now, one of the neater ones here is random transform. So, this allows me to type in a number say from negative two to positive two and I can select this object and just do a random move, so it will randomly move along those axes. If I have multiple objects selected, they can also randomly move. We also have options for rotate and scale, so if I want to randomly rotate these, I can do that as well.
I'm going to go ahead and hit control Z to undo that. Then we have other options here to transform pivots. We also have proportional transforms which is kind of neat and then up here we have a snap align tab and this allows us to align objects. We can also snap to points or to multiple points and then we can also align things to things such as bounding boxes and all that. So, these are some of the really cool little layout tools that are heart of the bonus tools.
So, go ahead and download and install your Maya bonus tools and explore. These are some really, really nice tools.
Skill Level Intermediate
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