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TDW 26-12-2010 05:48 PM

TDW's newbie questions
Hi guys, I'm new here and also new to Maya. As I will have a bunch of questions now and then, I thought it might be a good idea to make one thread for them all, rather then spamming the whole site with my questions.

I've been using Blender since 2 years, so I'm familiar with 3d modeling in general already, but getting used to a new app is a whole different thing. I've been watching tons of tutorials about Maya lately and some things are pretty selfexplaining, but I'm still missing some functions, which were not explained in all those tutorials and those are pretty essential to me. For example:

1. How do I simply select/ unselect all objects in object mode or all verts/ edges/ faces in edit mode? Also is there a way to select islands, meaning verts or faces that are connected?

2. Is there a button to occlude backgroud geometry? Like when I select a face, the face on it's opposite side doesn't get selected aswell. I know about the select paint tool, but it would not be my favorite for that issue.

3. Is there a way to select edge lops by shortcut, like just selecting a single edge in a loop and get the rest selected too?

4. Why ain't the z-axis the height axis in Maya, pretty confusing???

Ok, that shall be enough for the beginning. :)

Greets, TDW!!!;)

daverave 26-12-2010 06:09 PM

I will try to answer your questions
1.Right clicking on the object gives you the choice of what mode you are in
2. To stop maya selecting the mirrored side double click on the move tool should bring up the options on the right side untick reflections
3.If you click on a edge then double click on the next edge along with the shift button held down this should select the edge loop
4, sorry not sure of the question

TDW 26-12-2010 06:18 PM

Thx, I guess I need to explain a bit more detailed.

1. I know how to access the menues for the different modes. What I'm missing is a simple shortcut to select all objects or verts in the scene. In Blender you just press "A" to select and deselect all. Must be some equivalent in Maya?

2. I'm not speaking of mirrored objects. Just like a simple cube. You click on frontside face and backside face gets selected too. I want to avoid that, so that faces that lie behind others don't get selected.

3. Thx, got that one!!! :)

4. I latey watched a tutorial and the z-axis, which represents the height of an object normally, was pointing to the side, where the x-axis should be.


daverave 26-12-2010 06:31 PM

2. do the same as I said but select camera selection you will then only slect what you see

daverave 26-12-2010 06:33 PM

1. if you right click into empty space it will give you the option to select all

TDW 26-12-2010 06:41 PM

Seems to work, thx!!!:happy:


Acid44 26-12-2010 07:26 PM

4. Z axis is always depth, Y is always height. That's how it is in almost any application or instance where they're used

TDW 27-12-2010 01:20 PM

In Blender it's the other way round, that's why I was a bit confused. But shouldn't be a big problem to get used to it.

TDW ;)

bullet1968 27-12-2010 02:12 PM

TDW in most CAD programs 'Y' is Survey programs or programs that deal specifically with heights 'Z' is always it should be LOL. You can change this if you wish in preferences...I started to but found it easier to stick with the default CAD orientation as most other people work this way (except Surveyors LOL).

Chirone 28-12-2010 12:16 AM


Originally Posted by TDW (Post 312128)
In Blender it's the other way round, that's why I was a bit confused. But shouldn't be a big problem to get used to it.

i think blender and surveyors (and max and xsi too?) are backwards ;)
in 2d space x always goes right, and y always goes up, so it makes sense (at least to me) for z to go towards you

Dango77 28-12-2010 12:30 AM

I'd have to agree with Chirone on that one,
before 3d was around Y was up and X was across on a graph, that's why Z is depth.
I think it's the same in Max and XSI as Maya actually, as well as quite a few others, I could be wrong though....

Chirone 28-12-2010 12:32 AM

in steam it's backwards too...
if i took a model from half life it would be upright in xsi, but not in maya... that was when i figured out there are people who don't like to make sense out there.... ;)

bullet1968 28-12-2010 02:21 AM

Bahahah good try chirone...dont read a map then LOL. Maps work in Easting and Northing...which are X and Y respectively.....which are the same as a graph dango. So as you look at the plan/map from top view X (East) and Y (North) are relative to the ground plane...Z (Height) was then utilised for RL's and contour levels etc.

CAD programs seem to have adopted this axis rotation for 3D...if you look at the ortho front view in Maya this seems to be the base for the orientation. If you place this on a sphere (the Earth) then Y can never be will always correlate with a longitude and X with latitude.

I do find it strange most plans start in a top view...which would be X and Y....I wonder what made the developers choose this way for CAD. I know a math orientation is different too...where we have 0(Y) at the top and 90(X) to the right and math has 0 on X...this I cant remember maybe ct will know that one.

Buy yourself a Tom Tom kids...then you wont get lost...just drive into the bush cos the road aint built...damn Surveyors bahahaha

TDW 30-12-2010 05:28 PM

Maya is giving me a major headache once again. I've done a couple of tutorials and started with the first modeling attempts. I'm trying to cobble somewhat like a head together, lol. What troubles me is that duplicate special thingy.

1. In Blender there is a clipping option. As soon as the center border of the two halfs meets at the middle, it automatically snaps together. In maya I can just move both half through eachother. How can I make the connect in the middle?

2. I saw in a tutorial that you can kinda subsurf the mesh by using this proxy thingy. Well, when I try it on the head now, there are some ugly artifacts, looking like doubled and twisted faces. How can I properly add a subdivision level at that current stage you see on the picture.

3. Why do manipulation tools just disappear in front/side/top view???

4. When I'm in edge/vert select mode and I accidently click on the spaces on the model inbetween, maya always switches back into object mode. Why is that and how can I avoid it?

5. When I select an edge on the model and delete it, the edge is gone, but the geometry is still the same. If I delete an edge or vert in Blender it leaves a pretty big hole in the mesh like it's supposed to.


bullet1968 31-12-2010 12:41 AM

Hey TDW,

1. The DP special works but you have to change the 'origin' of the part you are trying to duplicate. This can easilt be done by selecting to move will see its centred on you object...hold down the 'D' key and then the 'v' key keeping both held can now move the origin and it will try to snap to verts. Pick a vert on the face/edge/vert that you want to transfer the origin to. Now when you Dup special they will be together...but they are still seperate meshes. It depends whether or not you want them connected or not...this is another added part of merging the meshes. Merging will not alter the other part of the head when you model unless you have reflection turn on in the move tool. Or you can Dup special in 'instance' and it will mirror your movements I believe...

2. Depending on what version of Maya you have...hitting the 1, 2 , 3 keys will give you a smooth preview.

3. If you cant see your tools hit the '+,-' keys...they will increase/decrease in size, I dont know why they disappear though?? they shouldnt, Im not sure what you mean here?

4. Thats what it you cant stop it. To get back to where you were just CTRL Z will take you back to the verts etc you had selected.

5. Im not sure about this one...if you want to delete a 'face' you have to be in face mode. If you want to delete and edge entirely with any unconnected verts on that line...'Edit mesh>Delete Edge/Vertex' this will delete all entities along that edge line.As far as I know Maya will not delete to anything smaller than a triangle, so you wont be able to delete that also doesnt delete border edges.

Hope this helped

Cheers Bullet

P.S remember this isnt blender mate LOL I have same issues though mine are Survey software vs a lot of cases you will run into this.

TDW 31-12-2010 01:18 AM


5. Im not sure about this one...if you want to delete a 'face' you have to be in face mode. If you want to delete and edge entirely with any unconnected verts on that line...'Edit mesh>Delete Edge/Vertex' this will delete all entities along that edge line.As far as I know Maya will not delete to anything smaller than a triangle, so you wont be able to delete that also doesnt delete border edges.
Well that's bad news. Blender cannot handle ngons, but besides from that it's standard mesh tools are far more powerful than what I've seen from Maya sofar. And hell it's way faster. Guess Maya's strength lies in when it comes to in depth modifications, but not for fast and efficient modeling. Well, I'll give it a chance nonetheless, maybe I just need some more practice. :)

3. If you cant see your tools hit the '+,-' keys...they will increase/decrease in size, I dont know why they disappear though?? they shouldnt, Im not sure what you mean here?
3. +/- didn't help, the rotate manipulator for example seems to be only available in perspective view. Cannot rotate an object or geometry when in a straight view.


2. Depending on what version of Maya you have...hitting the 1, 2 , 3 keys will give you a smooth preview.
Yap, but it's just a preview. How can I add real subdivision smoothness to my mesh. Do I have to use that proxy thing or is there some kind of modifier?


Chirone 31-12-2010 01:45 AM

1, if your model does not have edges aligned to the middle axis then what you do is... (this may look long and seem like a lot of work, but you do it enough times to do this in a few seconds and skip some of the steps because it's already been done in some cases, alternatively, write a script to do it and you'll do it in less than a sec)
make sure your edges you want merged are aligned...
  • switch to vertex selection mode
  • grab the vertices you want aligned to the axis
  • hit w (the move tool)
  • hold w down, left click, and make sure world is selected, not object. if object is selected then the verts will keep their spacing between each other and will not align to an axis
  • hold x, and move along the axis you want to align to
  • this will snap all the verts to that axis you want to snap to.
  • move the verts to wherrever you need them
then align the model to an axis at the origin (0,0,0)
  • hit insert (if on windows) hit home (if on a non macbook), if you're on a macbook then i have no idea what the button is because apple is stingy with their keys
  • this will allow you to change the pivot point. grab the pivot point
  • hit w to select the move tool
  • hold down v and move it along an axis. it will snap to align to verts
  • align it to the verts that are aligned with each other
  • hit insert to get out of pivot point mode
  • now hold x and move the model to align to an axis thats at the origin
mirror the mesh and then select the two meshes. Mesh > Combine them and then select the border edges of both meshes and click Edit Mesh > Merge

the key thing is, you can change the pivot point and snap it to align with vertices. models snap their pivot point to whatever your trying to snap to. i'm sure you can figure out how that's useful and how to use that

2, do the tutorials that come with maya, you'll figure it out there. one of the first ones (the one that does a helmet i think) tells you what you are wanting to know
but the 1,2, and 3 keys are the 'smooth preview' keys. the 'artefacts' you saw was probably the original model in the same place as the proxy.

3, dunno about the manipulators. maybe a graphics card glitch. anything graphically flawed is a graphics card glitch (i just saw a thread that you might want to look at, it's named Maya 2010 (yeah, bad name for a thread) and someone is asking the same question as you)

4, undo and redo in maya is very detailed. if you select something and hit undo it'll unselect it. from maya 2009 upwards they did something clever that's been done in some other graphics programs for ages.. highlighting what you're going to select before you select it. of course, if you're not on 2009 or up you'll just have to hit undo whenever you click something accidentally.

5, huh? it looks like you might be trying to delete a border edge there? which obviously cant be done.
but if it's not a border edge then it does what it's suppose to. deletes the edge.
if you have a cube and delete an edge you get a face that has 6 edges. if you dont want that face then delete it... sometimes n-gons are useful (ctbram will tell you that!)

bullet1968 31-12-2010 02:56 AM

I agree chirone...the manip thing must be graphics orientated...I have never seen it. With the change pivot point I dont use insert anymore...just hold down D key and then also hold down V key...does the same thing....must be a default hot key?

All different softwares will have strengths and weakness mate....part of the world of variety LOL. I use 1 main one for Survey work but end up using 2-3 others when I need to...because of that reason.

Good Luck

TDW 31-12-2010 12:27 PM

@Chirone: Thx for the detailed instructions!!! I did Maya tutorials til 4am this night, some of them describing same method. Think I figured it now. :)

You should be also right bout the grafic card issue. I have to work on an old laptop at the moment cause my PC gave up lately and that stupid laptop cannot even run pac man without giving me a grafics card error.

@bullet1968: I agree with what you say. I'm using various 3D software for different tasks aswell. I was just a bit impatient, because Maya wouldn't let me do all what I was used from Blender. You know I tried to get that border edge deleted for 3 hours, almost drove me insane!!!:P


bullet1968 31-12-2010 01:20 PM

bahahahaha been there done that....try opening a file sent to you to map out...takes 3 - 5 hours to get the damn thing open and then realise that the fool (not me) saved a 12D file with 100 000 points!! when the job could easily have kept its integrity with 15 000 points LOL...I feel your pain..and I used 3 CAD programs to try and get the damn thing running.

cheers bullet

TDW 01-01-2011 01:04 PM

Happy new year!!! Just wanted to let you guys know that I was able to fix the issue with the misssing manipulator tool by updating my vga driver. Now all is fine!!!

Colt ;)

bullet1968 01-01-2011 01:38 PM

Good start to the new year!! LOL

TDW 07-01-2011 01:44 AM

Hi guys, I watched some tutorials about UV mapping, in which all kinda unwrap methods were explained, but none of it was showing how to make seams manually. I mean deciding by yourself along which edges the model shall be cut and unfolded. Doesn't Maya have such a feature?

Greets, TDW!!! ;)

Chirone 07-01-2011 01:53 AM

you can open the UV editor and select edges and click the button with scissors on it and it cuts a seam into that edge.

TDW 07-01-2011 02:19 AM

Not sure, but I guess, we're talking about a different thing. :) I mean not cutting the existing UVs, but defining seams by myself and after that do the unwrapping. Is that possible in Maya or can u use only the preset unwrap methods?

Here's a screen from Blender to visualize it:

TDW ;)

bullet1968 07-01-2011 04:31 AM

Thats exactly what chirone meant mate, you have to be in the UV editor panel for this of course.

RMB and select edge mode (UV is default). If you double click along an edge or 3 (I do this in persp panel)...then go and cut them (scissors on a chequreboard top left in UV editor), or in UV editor go 'polygons>Cut UV edges. You can then select any 1 UV point on the now cut section...then hold down RMB a pop up menu will appear...then 'select>select shell' this will then selsct all the UV points on the shell you want. Then just move it out of the way and start doing your thing mate.

The UV tools have a few ways of creating the shapes in the UV space..try them out before you do it all by hand...sometimes they dont do it all but half done automatically saves time...and you can still modify it manually from there as well.

Hope I havent confused you mate?

cheers bullet

Perfecto 07-01-2011 05:04 AM

Currently, I only know the manual way, I havn't seen any automatic ways yet..but now I'll be searching, you can be sure of that, hahahaha. Anyway, I'm guessing bullet and Chirone answered your question but just in case it's not what you meant...I'm assuming you are selecting the whole model and then doing the auto unwrap thingy. If so, I'm thinking you could just select the faces of the parts of the model you want, then unwrap. That way it only unwraps the part of the model that you had selected. Then select the faces of another part of the model and repeat, etc. I don't know what unwrapping is yet, but it seems like it should be able to work that way.

bullet1968 07-01-2011 08:20 AM

yeh perfecto...I think I know what TDW meant..though I dont know why you would bother...depending on your version of Maya..there is also the 'smooth' tool in the UV editor, and relax tool as well...under tool of course.

Yes you can select faces and do it that way...and you can still select the edges you want to seperate. Nilla has mentioned 'Unwrella' ??? maybe this would be the tool you want TDW.

cheers bullet

TDW 07-01-2011 01:46 PM

Sry guys, but somehow I still don't get it. So I've created a primitive cylinder and deleted the UVs, so I can make it again from scatch. I've selected the edges along which I want to cut the seams for the UV layout. I cannot really figure out a scissors symbol in the UV editor, maybe I'm just blind. When I try "Cut UV Edges" nothing happens at all.

TDW ;)

bullet1968 07-01-2011 02:18 PM

Just making a quick vid for you mate..........

does this help?

TDW 07-01-2011 03:34 PM

Big THX mate, I'd never have figured that out myself!!! :) It was very important for me to know how this works, cause I'm not a fan of automatical unwrapping at all. I admit auto mapping has become very good lately, but no matter what 3D app, they just don't know wether I'm unwrapping just an apple or a human head. In most tutorials I watched, even professional ones the authors were using auto unwrap for heads and then fighting down the stretching piece by piece, which took them endlessly. I prefer making the seams myself and get a clean unwrap immediately.

TDW ;)

bullet1968 07-01-2011 03:58 PM

no worries mate...glad to help

TDW 06-02-2011 01:57 PM

Got some stupid questions for you guys once again:

1. Let's assume you have one solid mesh, but it consists of many single objects. How would I seperate such a single object from the whole in edit mode?

2. The bright colors of the wireframe are really annoying, especially when working on a dense highploy mesh. I found out how to change the wireframe's color yet, but is there a way to just decrease the intensity of the current color?


Thx, TDW!!! ;)

bullet1968 07-02-2011 12:16 AM

You solved them? LOL

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