Introduction to Maya

Below are a couple of introductory videos to Maya 2018. It’s important that you go through each video so that you become familiar with the names and vernacular used for the software. There will be times where you might be directed to do something as someone observes you so it’s handy to scrub up on these references otherwise you’re going to have a bad time.

 
 

Navigating the Maya interface

Time to complete 5:39min

Before you dive right into modelling and animation in 3D, it’s important to understand Maya’s interface. The 2018 update has resulted in some functionality changes within the interface and changed options within the dropdown menus. Because of this I’ve tried to source an updated video that reflects the changes in menu settings. As you go through tutorials with using older Maya versions, keep in mind that the menu items might differ from your updated Maya version.

By the end of this video you should have an understanding of the following:

  1. Top menu navigation

  2. Pull down menu navigation

  3. Graphic icons under the top menu navigation bar

  4. How to open the ‘Channel Box’, the ‘Attribute Editor’, the ‘Tool Settings’, ‘Character Controls’, and ‘Modelling Toolkit

  5. Understand the Outliner

  6. Time Slider

  7. Various Tabs with graphic icons (these are repeated shortcuts to the most common tools found in the top menu navigation)

 

 

Video option 1

Video option 1

 

Setting Up a Scene

Time to complete 4:58min

Proper scene setup is VERY important for all of your Maya projects. This is the first thing you should do before doing any work in Maya.

By the end of this video you should have an understanding of the following:

  1. Know how to set up a project folder

  2. Know how to link to the created project folder each time you open up Maya

 

 

Assignment 01

To prep for the next videos coming up:

  1. download the following project file

  2. set it up properly using what you have learned from the previous videos.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8oGKgiBbURyMHdaWWdTU3BYT00/view

 

 
 

Configuring viewports

Time to complete 6:26min

It can be a bit weird navigating in Maya, especially when you’ve been working in another programme, like Photoshop, prior to this. Here is a useful video for quick reference on how to navigate and also change your viewports.

By the end of this video you should have an understanding of the following:

  1. Know what a viewport is

  2. Understand how to quickly change viewports

  3. Be able to reset your scene if your viewport becomes weird and you lose sight of your model

 

 
 

Using a hotbox & marking menus

Time to complete 4:09min

No it’s not that kind of hotbox.

By the end of this video you should have an understanding of the following:

  1. blah blah blah

  2. blah bloop bleep

 

 
 

Customizing the interface

Time to complete 4:09min

This video is all about custom interface chat. You might not need this but you will need to know how to open the preferences menu and also have a very brief understanding of what are in the tabs. When we come to creating particle simulations and using Maya Mash we will need to make adjustments in the preferences menu time slider tab.

By the end of this video you should have an understanding of the following:

  1. Know how to open the preferences window

 
smiling dog.jpg

You’re doing so great

only a few more tutorials to go. YAY for learning!

 
 

MOVING SH*T AROUND PART 1

Time to complete MANY mins

You’ll probably want to move things around and manipulate them in the viewport. Here are 4 videos that cover all of the basics of that.

By the end of this video you should have an understanding of the following:

  1. Know the hot keys for MOVE, ROTATE, and SCALE

  2. Know the graphical icons for MOVE, ROTATE, and SCALE

  3. Understand how to adjust your pivot point

  4. Understand how to quickly centre your pivot point using the dropdown menu option

  5. Know how to duplicate objects

 

 
 

Channel box and attribute editors

Time to complete 7:29min

They will be your very best friends. You’ll probably use these two boxes and menus the most so get to know them real well.

By the end of this video you should have an understanding of the following:

  1. Understand the various tabs within the ATTRIBUTE EDITOR, when to use them and why you use them

  2. Understand how to use the CHANNEL BOX to adjust your model within the scene

 

 
 

MOVING SH*T AROUND PART 2

Time to complete lots of mins

There will be times where you need to reset your object or tell the object that this is it’s new home now and forget all of the movements that was done previously to it. It’ll make more sense when it comes to animation and Maya Mash. These videos go into a more accurate method for moving stuff around. Very helpful for hard surface modelling.

By the end of this video you should have an understanding of the following:

  1. How to reset your object transform values to zero

  2. How to snap objects to grids, vertices etc

  3. How to freeze transformations

  4. Know when to delete history (only when you are done with editing the model shape and are ready to move onto the animation)

 

 
 

Organizing your Maya scene

Time to complete mins, mins, mins

A clean Maya scene will really help you, it’s the same type of housekeeping that you do with your Photoshop layers and groups. There are two ways to organize your scene, first with the Outliner and then with display Layers.

Note: We do not have a set methodology on how we should organize our scene. If you come up with a clean method, please share.

By the end of this video you should have an understanding of the following:

  1. Understand how to open and use the OUTLINER

  2. Understand how to open and use the LAYERS box in the CHANNEL EDITOR

  3. How to use SELECTION MASKS to select specific elements in your scene

  4. How to HIDE and SHOW objects and the various options of hiding and showing

 

You did it!

Well done! you’ve completed the introductory course to Maya!