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Old 18-02-2005, 12:44 AM   #1
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Default Annotations - Maya's Post-it Notes

Hoping that this might become a library for those little gems that are hidden or that make maya easier, more productive, or just plain cool. As I learn Maya, I am also teaching it to others in my shop. One thing I've found helpful is the annotation feature located under the create menu. This assigns a flyout and a text label to a selected object. Text stays parallel to the camera's view plane and does not render so it is perfect for providing in scene instructions and explanations. For those of you that create your own rigs with curves, this would also be a good workflow solution if you have to pass your rig to someone else.

Here is quick sample of annotation in scene:
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Old 18-02-2005, 01:48 AM   #2
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Default Duplicating with Animation Snapshots

Here is another tip. Use the animation snapshot feature to create evenly spaced duplicates along a path. In the image below is a simple balcony rail. A revolved surface serves as the balcony posts. A nurbs curve is the direction I wanted duplicates placed. Attach the object to be duplicated to the path (under the animation menu). Inset on left show options, since mine was set to "time slider", the length of the path became 210 frames. Now for some math. I wanted a total of six posts (five new ones) 210 divided by 5 = 42. In the animation snapshot options (inset right), 42 was used as the increments for the snapshot (i.e. show me the status of animation at every 42nd frame). Note that I increased the range here to 211 to ensure that the snapshot would show the post in frame 210. Also note that this process recreated the post in frame one, so after the snapshop I had to delete one post. Snapshots are cool. :-)
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Old 19-02-2005, 09:00 AM   #3
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Default Maya's Integrated Web Browser

Like to surf the web? Like to work with Maya? Do both at the same time with Maya's web browser. Located under the Panel menu, saved layouts, web/persp. It is not a full featured browser (no java, etc) but it will allow to view most pages. Comes in handy while trying to follow along with an online tutorial. [edit] You can extend maya's web browser by adding Mozilla compliant plugins. For PC: Maya directory/bin/plugins, For OS X: /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/ [/edit]

Works best on a wide screen display but can be used on a regular display as shown below:
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Old 19-02-2005, 12:46 PM   #4
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Default

Thanks for starting this thread...

I can't think of anything at the moment to add but I was saying a few days ago that this is the sort of thing we need - in an easy to find area (somewhere on the frant page what has a big flashing light!!!).

This could be built up into a library for quick reference... and those questions that are asked time and time again.

good luck

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Old 24-02-2005, 06:33 PM   #5
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snippets of knowledge are always welcome.....keeps everyone going

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Old 24-02-2005, 06:48 PM   #6
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yea but these are really just features, not really tricks or work around limitations of maya
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Old 24-02-2005, 06:52 PM   #7
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While working in Maya, pressing F1 on your keyboard will bring up a wealth of information on what you can do in Maya.
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Old 24-02-2005, 07:24 PM   #8
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Default Feedback response

vladimirjp,
Hope not to sound too defensive here, but features may be used as workarounds and to help solve problems. In fact some feature MUST be used to make Maya do anything. Features may also not be widely known or promoted. My intent was not to post full blown tutorials, but rather brief snippets that may help, there are videos here for the more complex issues. We're also working with the space limitations of a forum post. I am all for others posting their tips & tricks also, so if you would care to provide some examples of workarounds or or tweaks that you have discovered please share them. I've learned a great deal from surfing posts on this forum and I'm sure I'll learn much more as time goes on.

Dannyngan,
I agree whole heartedly and I am amazed by how often people forget that the help files are there.

to all,
Appreciate the feedback and look forward to seeing your tips & tricks
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Old 25-02-2005, 06:40 AM   #9
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Default Full Screen Mode in Maya?

Ever wish there was quick way to declutter the Maya interface? Try using this keyboard combination: CTRL + SPACE. This will toggle off/on all the UI elements except the menu bar. Great if you want gain some more screen space or if you're a power user (I'm not), you can work in this mode entirely. Example result shown here:
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Old 25-02-2005, 09:47 AM   #10
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I just wanted to say im loving this thread, I don't have the time to go searching though Maya's help for stuff like this and am finding the things already posted to be very usefull.

Cheers mhcannon, keep it up
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Old 26-02-2005, 12:23 AM   #11
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Default Moving the Proxy out of the way

If you ever work with the polygon smooth proxy you'll notice that by default the proxy rest on top the polygon you're smoothing, and even with transparency on it can be difficult to see whats happening in the smoothed version. If, when you make the smooth proxy, you uncheck "share tranform node" in the options box you can move the proxy out of the way while still being able to modify the topology. You may need to scroll down in the option box if you don't see this checkbox. Example shown for clarity:
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Old 28-02-2005, 01:41 AM   #12
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Default Bookmarks

Okay, you've got the scene framed just the way you want it for render, but realize that you need to add some more elements to the scene. Rather than hoping you can match the framed set up, make it a bookmark. Bookmarks, like the name suggests, allow you go return to a previous view setting. To create a book mark, select (from the panel menu) View-->Bookmarks-->Edit Bookmarks... In the Edit Bookmarks... dialog enter a name for the bookmark (Keep in mind Maya's naming conventions, i.e. no spaces, etc). You can also enter a description and even add an icon on to the shelf for quick access. Once you have the bookmark info filled in, click close. The next time to you go to View-->Bookmarks your bookmark will appear in the list above edit bookmarks... You can set up multiple bookmarks to view from different angles. You can also use the preset bookmarks for those common views. I use Maya for a lot of print work and usually set up a bookmark for the view that will be composited in Photoshop.
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:06 AM   #13
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Default Color Coded Wireframes

If you have a lot of objects in your scene, the wireframe view can become a nightmare. By assigning common objects to a layer and assigning the layer a color, you can quickly distinguish where they are in wireframe view. Note: Layers are also a good way to hide objects you don't actively need to view.
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Old 03-03-2005, 06:12 AM   #14
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Default File Compatibility Across Versions

If you're running multiple versions of Maya, then this tip is for you. This will enable an older version of Maya to open a newer version's file without doing some vodoo import export routine;
In the newer version, save the file in the .ma format. Open the .ma file in a text editor, preferrably one that supports rich text formatting. On Windows I recommend Wordpad vice notepad. In the editor change line 4 where it says Requires version "X" so that the value in quotes matches whatever version you need to open the file with. To be safe you should probably check the header info from an existing file for the target version. The image below shows two different header sections, the bold red show which areas need to match. In this example the 6.5 in read would be changed to 6.0.

This tip is courtesy of dannyngan.

[EDIT] Image corrected to reflect publically released versions of Maya vice beta.
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Old 03-03-2005, 06:48 AM   #15
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I would actually just put the version number you want and not additional information, i.e. "Requres Maya 6.0". "Candidate" releases are not publicly available and are not supported versions.
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