II. Technique: Viewport Navigation

  1. Mouse
    1. Alt-LMB: Tumble
      1. Rotate viewport around the selected object (in perspective view)
    2. Alt-MMB: Track
      1. Pan the viewport left, right, up and down
    3. Alt-RMB: Dolly
      1. Zoom in and out of viewport
      2. MMB scroll will also zoom, but with larger increments
  2. Frame Objects
    1. A
      1. Frame all objects in active panel (or shift-A to affect all panels)
    2. F
      1. Frame selected object in active panel (or shift-F to affect all panels)
  3. Marking Menus
    1. Space Bar (single press)
      1. Toggle between single view and multi-view
    2. Space Bar (hold)
      1. All Menu Items displayed in screen overlay
      2. Click and hold to open a sub-menu
      3. Click and hold the central "Maya" button to change view
    3. RMB (click and hold)
      1. Context sensitive selected object related options (including sub-object selection)
    4. Shift-RMB (click and hold)
      1. Context sensitive manipulation tools for the selected object (e.g. mesh tools)
      2. Object creation menu, If no object is selected
    5. Ctrl-Shift-RMB
      1. Change orientation axis (Object or World) and Symmetry options
      2. Axis and Symmetry may also be changed from the modeling toolkit
  4. Property Windows
    1. Ctrl-A
      1. Toggle between Channel Box/Layer Window and Attribute Windows

III. Technique: Object Selection and Manipulation

  1. Object and Component Selection
    1. LMB
      1. Selects object
    2. Ctrl-LMB
      1. Deselects object
    3. Shift-LMB
      1. Adds object to selection
    4. Shift-LMB and Drag
      1. Clones object
  2. Component (Vertex, Edge, Face) Selection
    1. Shift-Double-Click (nothing selected before)
      1. Selects all components in the object
    2. Shift-Double-Click (adjacent component already selected)
      1. Selects an edge, vertex or face loop
    3. Shift-Double-Click (non-adjacent component already selected)
      1. Selects components between the two selected components
    4. Shift >
      1. Expand Selection
    5. Shift <
      1. Contract Selection
  3. Tools
    1. Q
      1. Select Tool
    2. W
      1. Move Tool
    3. E
      1. Rotate Tool
      2. Hold down j-key when rotating object to constrain angle
    4. R
      1. Scale Tool
      2. Hold down Ctrl key while clicking an axis arrow, to scale in then other two, unselected, axes
    5. Other modifiers and pearls
      1. Arrow Axis Colors (Move, Rotate, Scale)
        1. Red, Green, Blue (RGB) = X, Y, Z
      2. Manipulator Size (use +/- keys to increase or decrease)
      3. Use with snapping keys (C, X, V) to constrain
      4. Ctrl-MMB moves selected vertices along their normals
      5. Double click the tool in the left tool bar to open property window (e.g. reset and modify behavior)
        1. Alternatively, Hold down the Tool Shortcut Key (e.g. W) and LMB for marking menu options
        2. Axis orientation may be changed from object to world, normal...
        3. Vertices may be moved while constrained to surface (transform constraint, esp. with tweak mode)
          1. Analogous to creating objects or components on a live surface
        4. Tweak mode allows for single click selection and moving of components
        5. Step snap allows for movement in increments
        6. Preserve UVs allows for model minor modifications while simultaneously updating the UVs
  4. Object and component selection
    1. F8
      1. Switch to and from object mode
    2. F9
      1. Select Vertex (or alt-F9 to select vertex face)
    3. F10
      1. Select Edge
    4. F11
      1. Select Face
    5. F12
      1. Select UV
    6. Other modifiers
      1. Switch between component selection types (vertex, edge, face) also with modeling toolkit, marking menu
      2. Change selection to other sub-component type (e.g. selected face to selected vertices)
        1. Ctrl-Click the sub-component type in the modeling toolkit
      3. Backface Culling (polygon menu)
        1. Turn off to select only the front faces
  5. Snapping (hold down with manipulation tools to constrain movement)
    1. C
      1. Snap to curves
    2. X
      1. Snap to grids
    3. V
      1. Snap to points
    4. J
      1. Incremental snapping (move, rotate, scale)
    5. D
      1. Toggle on and off object's pivot point manipulator
      2. May combine with snapping keys (C, X, V) to constrain
  6. Miscellaneous
    1. Ctrl-1
      1. Isolate selection
    2. Ctrl-T
      1. Show transformation control (e.g. bend modifier)
    3. B
      1. Toggle on and off soft selection
    4. B+MMB
      1. Move the mouse left or right to decrease or increase the brush size
    5. Measure Tools
      1. Menu "Create > Measure" (e.g. distance, angle) will place locators and calculate measurements between points

IV. Technique: Organization and Hierarchy

  1. Organization and Hierarchy: Keyboard Shortcuts
    1. Ctrl-G
      1. Group selected objects
    2. P
      1. Parent selected objects under the last selected object
    3. Shift-P
      1. Unparent selected objects
    4. Ctrl-H
      1. Hide selection
    5. Shift-H
      1. Show Hidden Selection (when selected in outliner)
  2. Organization and Hierarchy: Outliner
    1. MMB
      1. In outliner, MMB click and drag objects in and out of groups
    2. Shift-Click
      1. Select all objects between 2 clicks
    3. Ctrl-Click
      1. Add or subtract object from selection

V. Technique: Object Editing

  1. Object Editing: Keyboard Shortcuts
    1. Ctrl-D
      1. Duplicate selected object(s)
    2. Shift-D
      1. Duplicate and Tranform selected object (by same amount as prior duplication was manipulated)
    3. Duplicate Special (edit menu > duplicate special option box)
      1. Allows for duplication of objects AND their history (check "input graph")
    4. G
      1. Repeat last operation
    5. Ctrl-E
      1. Extrude
  2. Object Editing: Modeling Toolkit
    1. Multi-cut Tool
      1. Do not forget to turn the tool off
      2. Ctrl + Multi-Cut Tool
        1. Insert Edge Loop
      3. MMB + Multi-Cut Tool
        1. Place cut midway between adjacent vertices
      4. Ctrl + MMB + Multi-Cut Tool
        1. Place edge midway between adjacent vertices
    2. Other modifiers
      1. For any selected modeling tool, a tool property window opens at bottom of the modeling toolkit
  3. Smoothing and Harder Edges
    1. Bevel Tool (Modeling Toolkit)
      1. Select edges and click to create a beveled edge
    2. Insert edge loop (or Ctrl + Multi-cut Tool)
      1. Reinforces an edge (avoids smoothing an curvature at the site of the edge)
    3. Crease Tool (polygon tool)
      1. Select an edge or vertices and apply crease tool create a harder edge
    4. Harden Edge (mesh display menu) or Soften Edge
      1. Sets the normals to give a harder edge (or softer edge)
      2. Unlock normals first (otherwise will not work)
  4. Normals
    1. Reverse
      1. Flips the normals to face the opposite direction (facing outside or inside)
    2. Conform
      1. Corrects isolated faces that are facing opposite that of most other faces on the same surface
  5. Curves
    1. CV Curve Tool
      1. Among the easiest tools to lay down curve points
    2. Rebuild Curves
      1. Reset options, and select Curvature (will evenly space control points, while still maintaining curve)
  6. Surfaces
    1. Revolve
      1. Will revolve selected curve around pivot point in specified axis (Y is default)
      2. Good quality polygon output setting: Polygon, quads, General, per-span (adjust U and V numbers)
      3. When output to nurbs, allows for animating the sweep angle attributes
      4. Partial output selection allows for animating what part of the curve is included in the revolve
  7. Component pearls
    1. Add Subdivisions
      1. Increase subdivisions for sculpting, randomize vertices (but does increase polycount/size)
      2. Increase using the shape node soon after creating basic polygon (avoid this method after deformations)
      3. Increase with "insert edge loop tool" which can add multiple evenly spaced divisions
        1. Keep the polygons as squares (instead of irregular rectangles)
        2. Adjust the number of edge loops using the attribute window even after creation
    2. Align vertices
      1. Select vertices and use the scale tool (in the desired axis) to align with one another
    3. Scaling selected components on multiple objects at same time
      1. Ctrl-MMB drag and each object's components are scaled independently
    4. Randomize vertices (Transform Tool)
      1. Select vertices, choose menu option "Edit Mesh > Transform Tool" and move the vertices
      2. In the tool options box, attribute window or channel box, increase the random attribute from 0
    5. Techniques to make areas of the mesh unique
      1. Select a group of vertices, shift-RMB > Average Vertices (modify iterations as needed)

VI. Technique: Viewport and Object Appearance

  1. Selected Object Smoothing
    1. 1
      1. Non-smoothed object display
    2. 2
      1. Smoothed with edges displayed
    3. 3
      1. Smoothed without edges
  2. Viewport Display
    1. 4
      1. Wireframe (unshaded)
    2. 5
      1. Shaded Display
    3. 6
      1. Shaded Display with texture maps
    4. 7
      1. Shaded, texture maps, and all lighting (no default lighting)
  3. Mesh Display - Object smoothing
    1. Modifies the model (unlike the viewport only changes), but does not increase geometry
    2. Menu: Mesh Display - Smooth Edges

VII. Management: Customizing Shortcut Keys

  1. Ctrl-3
    1. Outliner Window
  2. Ctrl \
    1. Delete History
  3. Ctrl /
    1. Freeze Transformations
  4. Alt-X
    1. XRay display of selected objects
  5. Ctrl-Alt-X
    1. XRay display of entire scene
  6. Ctrl-0
    1. Align pivot to object center
  7. Ctrl-Alt 0
    1. Align pivot to world origin

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