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Maya Tutorial - Index
Maya Tutorial - Introduction to MAYA
Maya Tutorial - MAYA Interface
Maya Tutorial - Transforms in MAYA
Maya Tutorial - Nurbs Curves and Surfaces
Maya Tutorial - Polygonal Modeling
Maya Tutorial - Texturing and Shading
Maya Tutorial - Cameras and Lighting
Maya Tutorial - Basics of Animation
Maya Tutorial - Dynamics and Special Effects
Maya Tutorial - Rendering
Maya Tutorial - Creating a Report

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  Home > Courses, Tutorials & eBooks > MAYA Tutorial > Transforms in MAYA

MAYA Tutorial - Transforms in MAYA

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Soft Modification Tool

This lets you push and pull geometry .By default, the amount of deformation is greatest at the center of the push/pull, and gradually falls off further away from the centre. However, you can control the falloff of the deformation to create various types of effects.

You can use this tool on NURBS surfaces, polygonal surfaces, subdivision surfaces, curves, particles or any object with components.

Show Manipulator Tool

This Tool lets you edit the construction history of an operation or the attributes of an object itself. This tool lets you access the input node of an object. A manipulator is a good way to access the history of a surface created with the construction history. Several manipulators can be active at one time.

Undoing and Redoing

Undo reverse the last action you performed on a selected object. This action transform an object to its original position.

Select Edit>Undo

Select Edit>Redo to perform the last action you reversed.

Duplicating Objects

 Sometimes, you need to copy an object many times to create a complex object. Maya's object duplicator is under Edit > Duplicate on the menu. The default is to duplicate an object in place; you can do this with the hotkey Ctrl +d. The new duplicate appears by default exactly over the original object, so you normally follow a duplication with a transform.

Sometime, you want to create more than one duplicate. Use the Edit > Duplicate Option box to modify how duplicates are made.


Another way to copy object is instancing. Maya redisplays the geometry being instanced. Since instances are not actual copies of the original geometry.

There are certain demerits of using instancing

  • Instances share the same shader as the original geometry and can not be assigned as independent shaders.

  • Instanced lights have no effect.

  • When you create an instance of an already instanced node, Maya does not create a new level.

  • Functions like extrude and insert can not be used on instanced items.


The Snap options let you control an object or component's position by attaching it to a grid, point, curve or view plane. As you draw, rotate, resize or drag the objects ,it snap to the grid, point, curve or view plane.


Fig2-5 Snapping options

Snap to grids

This option snaps a vertex or pivot point to a grid corner. If you select snap to grids before you create a curve, its vertices snap to the grid corners.

Snap to curves

This option snaps a vertex or pivot point to a curve or curve on surface.

Snap to points

This option snaps a vertex or pivot point to a point.

Snap to view planes

This option snaps a vertex or pivot point to a view plane.

Snapping hotkeys

x for grid snap

c for curve snap

v for point snap

How to use the grid Snap HotKey?

Select the object you want to snap and click the Move tool icon. Press and hold down the c key while click-dragging on the curve you want to snap with the middle mouse button.

Similarly you can use rest of the keys


You can use outliner to examine the structure and components of the scene. It also displays shape nodes, connections and attributes. With the outliner you can make an object the child of a parent object. It selects and renames an object. Last but not least it reorder nodes.

To open the Outliner in the window

Select Window > Outliner

Fig2-6 The outliner


Sometimes, you have groups of objects in your scene that are related to each other without being connected as a single entity. Any collection of objects can be selected and made into a group by choosing Edit>Group on the menu. Note that the objects are not tied up into this bundle; you can still select them independently. There's simply a new object that stands for the collection.

Parenting and Grouping

Parents and children in hierarchies work as follows: Where the parent goes, the child must follow, but the child is otherwise free to roam. The child objects can still be animated independently, however, without affecting the parent .With groups, the group node can be animated and all the members of the group follow the group node, but the group's members can still animate independently of the group. When you group several objects, Maya creates the group transform node, which can't be rendered.

You can directly assign hierarchical relationships to objects by selecting the child object(s), Shift-clicking to select the parent, and then choosing Edit >Parent (hotkey: p). Any transform applied to the parent is then reflected in the child. You can also break this bond by using Edit>Unparent (hotkey: Shift+P). This works only when the child object or objects are selected.

Channel Box

This is used to modify an object's attribute values. You can change multiple attribute values of multiple objects. It takes up less much less space in the window. With this you can control construction history. It appears in the Maya Window only it you choose to display it. The information displayed in the Channel Box varies, depending on what kind of object or component you have selected. If you haven't selected an object, the Channel Box region is blank. 

In order to display the channel box

Turn on Display> UI Elements > Channel Box/Layer Editor.





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