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Maya Interface

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This tutorial will be covering cool things you can do with the Maya interface. This isn't exactly a Getting Started With Maya Interface tutorial; it's more of an intermediate users tutorial.

Last Command

If you've recently used a tool and you want to go back to it, you can find that tool in the toolbox below the manipulator tool. You can also access the last command by hitting G on your keyboard.

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Menu Tear-offs

This is a really cool feature in Maya. It let's you take any menu, tear it off and pin it to the interface. To do this, simply click on the double horizontal lines on the top of the menu, then the menu will just pop off. Now you can move it and position it on your scene.

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Attributes Editor Tear-off

This feature let's you remove the attributes editor from the side of the Maya interface. The limitation is it can only work on the selected object. Select an object and go to window>attributes editor. Now, on the bottom of the attributes editor, click on the button that says Copy Tab. This will now let you use the attributes editor as a window.

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A Fast Way To Access Shelf Functions

If you want to create a new shelf quickly instead of having to go to window>setting/preferences>shelf editor, click on the arrow on the left side of the shelf and hold. A menu will come up, allowing you to do common shelf tasks. Also, a quick link to the shelf editor.

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Status Line Optimization

The status line has a lot of tools and features on it, but sometimes you only need a couple. By clicking on the black lines with squares or arrows on it, you'll be able to hide or show a block of commands.

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The square on the line means that the block is already shown; the arrow means that there are icons to be shown.

Two Outliners In One

If you've ever had a scene with lots of objects in it you'll know its a pain in the neck to scroll up and down just to adjust a hierarchy system. You can break the outliner into two pieces by selecting the bottom edge of the outliner and dragging it upwards.

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You can drag an item from one side of the outliner to the other.


This part of the tutorial will cover how to set up panels inside the interface.

Step one - Open Maya and go to window>view arrangement>two panes side by side. This will take your view port and split it into two screens. Let's say you wanted one pane to have your main camera, and the other one to have your dope sheet.

Step Two - On the left view port, go to to panels>dope sheet. That pane will now have the dope sheet assigned to it.

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Step three - You can put almost any editor inside a panel. To save a layout, go to window>saved layouts>edit layouts.

Step four - Enter the name of the new layout. Example: cam/dope and hit New Layout. To access this layout again, go to window>saved layouts and find yours in the list.

As you know in Maya, there are layouts saved at the bottom left of the interface.

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Let's say you want to ad your layout instead of the Maya defaults.

Step one - Right click on the space that you want to replace, hold, a menu will come up and let you choose which layout you want this button to engage.

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