Playing with Maya

First time playing with Maya

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doughNut_geo…. begin!

Maya – Basic how to use

To the left hand corner there is a list, pick ‘Animation’.

Photoshop has a similar toolbar along the top.

However Maya can be adapted for example you can take a menu ‘off’ from the top toolbar and move it to a different parts of the screen.

The small box symbol on the drop down menu means that more options are

  • available; the ‘settings box’

To get the full use of Maya you need to be very task aware.

  • Top left menu indicates your work.
  • Top left, switch to polygon then headings change.

Maya – Coordinates

In Maya we use not just y and x coordinates but x y z coordinates.

  • Z is pronounced ‘zee’.
  • Z is depth
  • Y is up

To remember that y is up think of ‘yes up’

A point for example a corner is called a vertex together they are called

  • vertices (plural).

These are the building blocks to animation.

3 is a surface or face. Direction out of that face is called ‘normal’.

However every time we use a triangle a puppy dies…

So we use quad polygons which has 4 vertices connected.


Put shade on doughNut_geo

Channelbox/Layer edit

Radius: 2

Section Radius: 0.2

Twist: 0

Subdivision Axis: 3

Subdivision Height: 3

Translate Y: 0.395

Translate Z: 0145

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Dah! Dah! A triangle.


Camera angles.


Hold space bar for menus to appear: Right click one selection of options and left click you get a whole new set of options.

Maya – Keys

  • Pressing ‘F’ selects the object/frames the object.
  • Use left click on mouse and alt to orbit around the object.
  • Use right click on mouse and alt to zoom in and out.
  • Use middle mouse and alt to pan left and right.
  • Space bar = toolset, means you can work on full screen.
  • ‘5’ = ball shaded
  • ‘1’ = bar at bottom of screen which is a feedback bar
  • ‘2’ = rough ball, 2 wires
  • ‘3’ = smooth ball aka square change to ball
  • DONT HIT 8!! If you do… ‘space bar, click middle, pull up’ goes back to normal.
  • There are a number of buttons on the left hand side these change
  • perspective.
  • Orthographic view does not show distance/its not reality.
  • Go and explore these buttons!
  • ‘W’ = manipulator appears
  • ‘Z’ and command moves object
  • Click bottom left hand side icon then…
  • Click on the “z” coordinate arrow moves object left.
  • Click on the “y” coordinate arrow move object up.
  • Click on “x” coordinates arrow move object right.
  • Click on the little white box in middle of object moves object anywhere in
  • the camera pan.
  • Ctrl + red arrow move the object in “y”and “z” but not “x”
  • ‘E’ = rotate/scale
  • Control box at side shows volume of object
  • Select sphere ‘f’ rotate around sphere
  • Select cube ‘f’ rotate about cube
  • ‘A’ = frames everything and rotates around it
  • Right click on object more menus
  • Pull left = vertex mode
  • Pull up = edges
  • Pull right = UV
  • Pull down = faces
  • Pull 2pm direction = full object
  • Ctrl and right click = different menu
  • Shift and right click = another different menu
  • For the view of the 4 screens if you want to work on a particular screen
  • right click and make sure there’s a light coloured box around that screen this meaning the window is active.



Transforming a cube into a cuboid.

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Pulling edges

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Strange shape statue/sculpture

Organising documents and saving

  • Create a file for the whole project e.g.
  • Maya -> projects -> default (the folders)
  • ‘Project window’ under ‘File’ drop down menu at top
  • ‘Filename_ma’ – never use spaces!
  • Maya ASCI = use characters we can read, use this method if saving
  • Maya Binary = don’t use this (for now)

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Compressing the ball/sphere


A half eaten apple/a deflated ball.



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Spiky Hair

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I made a kitty cat.


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