Introduction to Maya.


Maya Project System: File/Project/New
Network Drive Z (login name) = Your Personal Storage Area, maya and HTML folders
Network Drive Y (workspace) = Classes, Scratch, Projects, Applications

Maya Workspace:

Viewports/Views (press and quickly release Space bar to toggle between single and multiple viewports), viewport menus
Navigation (ALT+LMB, ALT+MMB, ALT+RMB)
Interface Elements (Status Line, Shelf, Time Slider, Range Slider, Command Line, Feedback Line, Help Line)
Tool Box
Interface options ( Windows/Settings/Preferences/- Preferences, Hotkey Editor, Marking Menu Editor)

Model Manipulation and Attributes

Coordinate System and Units. (Y-up vs Z-upWindow/ Settings/Preferences /Preferences /Settings)
Create Menu (Primitives, Option Boxes, Interactive Creation option)
Object/Component Selection
Toolbox, tool settings and shortcuts W E R.
Duplicating Objects (DO NOT COPY/PASTE within a scene or from one file to another).
Channel Editor
Attribute Editor
Pivot Center “Insert” to move Pivot Point. Modify/Center Pivot.
Modeling Toolkit

Scene Organization

Hierarchies: Grouping and Parenting
Renaming Objects
Display Layers
Setting up a Project and saving work



Virtual Modeling Channel: Exploring Maya 2017
Maya Help Menu: 1 min startup movies

Introduction to Maya 2016 on youtube 

Modeling tutorials for Maya 2016 and later that you find on your own



Types of Models and Introduction to Polygons

Model is either a representation of a real object or an object in itself (art).

Type of Model

Relationship of
Interior and Exterior


Surface Model

Exterior is important. Interior not important. Metaphor: egg shell.

All character and prop models for animation, virtual environments and gaming.

Solid model

Exterior and interior are equally important, the most presice representation of an object. Engineering: machine parts. This type of model is used in 3d printing and fabrication.
Volume Model Interior is important. Exterior may be hard to define. Gases, liquids, land mass, living tissue. This type of model is often used in visualization of dynamic processes.

Coordinate Systems

UV coordinates for surface models

Types of Models in Maya 

  • Polygons

  • NURBS- Non Uniform Rational B-Spline

  • Subivision surfaces (SubDs) (no longer used since Maya 2014, used Catmul-Clark algorythm)

New Practices in Surface Modeling (Polygons):

Reality Based Capture (3D data acquisition and object reconstruction)

Digital Sculpting


Read PolyPDF handout: Y:\Courses\2017-2018\AC7001_VitaAU17\Resources\Polygons\PolyTheoryMaya.pdf


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