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Free Autodesk Maya Tutorials: General Tutorials

Getting started with Maya part 2: The Interface

Back to the previous part

Unfortunately we have to start with some theory first. When you open up Maya, this (excluding the objects) is what you see. I will now tell you what each part of the interface is called, what it does and stuff like that. We will need these names later on so I suggest paying attention ;-)

1: Menu

The menu actually consists of two different kinds of menus:

2: Statusbar

In this menu you can find possibilities for increasing and easing your workflow in Maya. Most of them will be covered in later tutorials. Note that you have tings line "New Scene", "Open" and "Save" here, which you'll probably need quite frequently.

3: Shelf

The shelf is divided into different tabs (such as Surfaces, Poligons, Dynamics, Animations etc) and present you the most commonly used functions from these specific fields.

4: Panel Menu:

Always depending on what you're looking at you have got a different panel menu. You'll probably not need it much, though.

5: Tool Box

Here you can find the really most common operations you'll need like rotating, moving or scaling an object. However, I suggest learning the short keys to do that for increases you workflow considerably:

[W] Move Tool
[E] Rotate Tool
[R] Scale Tool

6: Layouts

Here you decide what you want to look at in your Panel (9)

7: Time Slider

When you do an animation you can move forward and back on your time code with the Time Slider (covered in a later tutorial)

8: Animation Control

Similar to your standard DVD player you can control your animation here.

9: Panel

Here you see what you're working on (objects in space, the Hypershade etc... Covered in a later tutorial ;-) )

10: Channel Box; Layer editor

Here you'll find the Channel box or the layer Editor, selectable with the buttons on top of this window.

Added: 2008-05-28 by Lollylan

Do you have a question about one of the tutorials or are stuck somewhere? Feel free to contact me. I am always glad to be able to help!

Latest update

28.11.2010: An all new videotutorial is up and running (3 parts so far): The Domino Effect (Dynamics) 2