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19-03-2005, 07:10 AM   #31
mhcannon
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The Hotbox
Text only tip this time. Hoorah!

Force yourself to use Maya's Hotbox (press & hold spacebar). It may seem confusing at first, but once you get used to it you'll find you actually work much quicker, as you'll spend much less time "mousing" around to various menus and icons and more time on task. Trust me you'll be glad you did.

Of course if you're getting paid by the hour....
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21-03-2005, 07:40 AM   #32
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Moving Pivot Points on the Fly
Most users know that they can move the pivot point by pressing insert (PC) or home (Mac), what is not as widely known is the using the "D" key. Holding the "D' down allows user to translate the pivot point on the fly. It is designed to be used with the duplicate with transform tool, but makes a pretty handy means of adjusting the pivot during normal operations as well. Those of you with nimble fingers can combine "D" with the snap constraints (X=grid, C=curve/edge, V=vertex) as well.

P.S. still hoping others will post a tip or two... hint, hint.
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21-03-2005, 08:29 PM   #33
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thanks for the d trick. Some of us probably feel as i do that we dont know enough about the program to confidently post a trick. However what may seem ordinary and common to someone who uses it a lot. Might be a trick to others, they just dont realize it.
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22-03-2005, 07:57 AM   #34
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That's how I feel, I don't reel confident to post what I call a trick for fear that you guys will think im posting the obvious

Well I think it's time I posted a little something that helps me work.

For all those out there with two monitors (very usefull if you have the right graphics card).

If you having problems animating and it's all getting a bit complicated and you loseing track of what's going on. Select the Persp/Outliner view, then select your camera, then in the outliner view click 'look through selected'. As mhcannon said before you can tear off this window and drag it into your other monitor and change your primary monitor back to the Persp view (or whatever view you want).

What this does is let you have a whole monitor showing what your camera is seeing and leaves you your main monitor to work and animate the camera etc.

Hope this helps, I know it's helped me
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22-03-2005, 07:11 PM   #35
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More looking through...
Great tip Tim_LIVID, now if I can just convince the misses that we need a second monitor

Looking through selected also a great way to make sure directional and spot lights are aimed where you want them.
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22-03-2005, 07:16 PM   #36
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Local, Global, or Object?
When moving objects around, you can easily switch the manipulator orientation by press "w" plus the left mouse button. Image provided to illustrate this.
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26-03-2005, 03:47 AM   #37
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Switch back to basic gray
If you have a heavily texture scene you may experience some lag as maya computes all these textures. To gain some small relief from this lag you can toggle the texture back to the basic gray (default texture) under the any panels shading menu.

I converted a paint effects scene to polygons to quickly generate a geometry and texture heavy scene. On my trusty old (read slow) computer the scene now crawls in texture shaded view. No problem, switch to regular shaded view. Ok, that's a little better. Now switch to "use default material." Ah, even better. Still no speed demon, but at least workable. The default material will update in the lighted view also.

To switch back to your fully texture scene just select the "use default material" option again to turn it off.
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26-03-2005, 03:49 AM   #38
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...and the image for the last tip
Sorry, got click-happy and hit submit before attaching the image.
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27-03-2005, 06:23 AM   #39
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What went wrong?
Okay, so things don't always work the way we expect them to, but at least Maya tries to tell you why. There is a feedback window in the lower right hand corner of the interface... if this turns red be sure to read it, because maya is telling you something went wrong, If the error is long, you may also read it in the script editor. In the sample below I attempted a boolean operation with only a single object selected.

Now that your armed with the notice of what went wrong, what do you do with it? Well, if you understand the error message then correct the problem and move on. If you don't understand it, copy it or write it down, search the Maya help files or inlcude it in your post here on SM. Often, what may not be readily appearent in the panel view, is identifiable in the error text.

There are a ton of helpful people here, providing them this information will allow them to be more helpful faster.
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01-04-2005, 11:22 PM   #40
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Lofting from an Isoparm placeholder
This tip courtesy of Bubbleme80;

1. Switch to isoparm mode, select then drag an isoparm (as if you were preparing to insert an isoparm)
2. Shift select the curve (you could also loft to an isoparm on another surface)
3. Loft
4. An added benefit of this is that the original surface becomes a control object of the lofted surface. (similiar to an extrusion control curve)

Note: you can transform the loft surface indepently
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01-04-2005, 11:23 PM   #41
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supplemental image for last tip
To clarify the previous tip.
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01-04-2005, 11:54 PM   #42
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some really good stuff in here. thanks mhcannon. Would be nice to get more tips in here and maybe make this a sticky some day.

Yeah they might just be fetures.. but its nice to be reminded of some things like animation snapshot.. I overlooked that many a time when that would have bean just the way to go and eazyer.
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02-04-2005, 08:03 AM   #43
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Hi Michael

Keep the tips coming - like Pony I agree that something more permanent should be made of this thread. When you think about it it covers most of the questions most frequently asked.....

When I read the tip you included regarding the Script Editor I remembered when you are in the Script Editor - if you hold down CTRL and use the mouse-wheel you can change the size of the displayed text. Which I find helps when looking through multiple lines of text.

best

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05-04-2005, 08:09 AM   #44
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Zooming in the Script Editor
Pony, Keef,
Thanks for the feedback. I know alot of these tips are probably pretty basic things, but I'm still learning myself. Maybe as I get smarter the tips will be more advanced, then again maybe not. Because I'm basically a very simple guy. As always, you are all invited to share whatever gems you think would be appopriate here.

Keef thanks for your tip with the script editor. I just had to try it out afterward, since my monitor at work is kept at a higher resolution the text is sometimes hard to read... or at least was.

This image show a min/max zoom sample in the script editor (results may vary depending on your monitor and resolution).
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05-04-2005, 08:21 AM   #45
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Optimizing Scene Size
This tip courtesy of Calligraphics.

I recently helped troubleshoot a large scene file to determine what was causing the excessive file size (130+ mb). It turned out that there were hundreds of orphaned or empty transform nodes. It seems that as you model you may be leaving behind a lot of no longer needed information. One of the things you should try doing is a scene optimization. This is accessed under the File menu. As the image below shows, there are several things that Maya can automatically try to fix for you. When run on that 130+ mb file I had it bought it down to just over 90 mb. So this is good place to start when you have those really heavy scene files. One note of caution though... optimize is not undoable (Maya will even warn of this before it optimizes).
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