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Maya is a 3D computer graphics software used by computer artist for animation, games, visual effect, TV series etc. It was originally developed by Alias System Corporation  and later perfected by Autodesk.

            Its name is derived from Sanskrit word Maya which means Illusion. And true to its name maya creates a illusion between reality and virtuality. It allows an artist to give  shape to their imagination, and most of the time it gives us more than we desire. If we imagine a magician with his hat , then maya make sure the magician pulls out a rabbit out of his hat; if we imagine a car then maya make sure it will be an Mercedes .With the new additional feature such as Fur, Liquid Simulation and ncloth, maya continues to surprise us with its revolutionary idea.




  • The Menu Bar provides access to different operation in Maya. The Menus in Maya is grouped into menu sets.
  • Each menu set correspond to different module of the software.
  • You can Tear off Menu from the Menu Bar by pressing the dotted line at the top of each Menu.
  • Menu Sets can also be accessed by using Hotkey.

                    Example: F2: Animation,F3: Polygons,F4: Surfaces,F5: Dynamics,F6: Rendering

  • The Menus on the bar changes depending on the Menu Sets dropdown.






It shows the status of the present scene. It helps the artist/animator to change and access the scene’s property. It has lot of icons that helps us to Render, Snap, Manage Files etc. The icon gives us short access to different property and selection modes of the present scene.



  • MENU SETS : It let us switch between different set of menu.

                 eg : Animation,  Polygon, Surfaces, Dynamics, Rendering etc.

  • SCENE : It let us Open, Save and Create new scene.
  • PRESETS : Its a list of Component types that can be used with Selection Mask.
  • SNAPPING TOOLS: Snap or carry a selected object to a specific part of the Scene.

                1)    Snap to grid : Snap object to intersection of the view’s grid 

                2)    Snap to curve : snap object along a curve 

                3)     Snap to point : Snap object to point such as CV’s, vertices etc 

                4)     Snap to view planes : Snap object to view planes 

  • INPUT-OUTPUT CONNECTION: Manages Input and output of the selected object and also the connection history.
  • RENDER CONTROL:   It holds render setting and rendering the scene, or else we can say it display the immediate scene with real time lightning, where lightning can be changed.
  • CHANNEL BOX: It Contains Attribute Editor, Tools Setting, Channel Box.
  •  SELECTION MODES : It let us select by Hierarchy and Combination, Object type and Component type.
    1. 1.     Hierarchy:    

    Selecting by hierarchy allows you to select objects at either the Root, Leaf or Template node level. But you cannot select more than one mask at a time.


                        2.     Object : 

Selecting by object type allows you to select object by its object type. There are several type by which we can select them, the types may by joint, surface, curve, deformation, dynamics etc.

  •    Handle is used to help in the selection of object.
  •    Joints are used as bones to deform characters.
  •    Curve is used to help build surfaces.
  •      Surfaces are of NURBS, Polygon Surfaces, Subdivision surface ,or planes.
  •     Deformation cluster are used to deform object.
  •     Dynamics Particles used mostly in special effect.
  •      Rendering is used for Lights, cameras, textures etc.



                               3.     Component:

Selecting by object type allows you to select object by its component type like face component, line component etc.


  • SELECTION MASK : It let us select and deselect  component when you’re in component mode.




  • Select : Select an object by clicking on it, or by clicking and dragging to select multiple object. Keyboard hotkey is Q.
  • Lasso: Select an object by drawing a lasso on the object.
  • Paint select : It allow us to select an object by painting over them with a stylus.
  • Move : It allow us to move selected object. Keyboard hotkey is W.
  • Rotate : It allow us to rotate the selected object in X,Y and Z axis. Keyboard hotkey is E.
  • Scale : Scale or resize the selected object in X,Y and Z-axis. Keyboard hotkey is R.
  • Universal Manipulator : The Universal Manipulator combines the function of the Move tools, Rotate tools, and Scale tool. We can also use it to enter precise value to scale and rotate the object directly.
  • Soft Modification : The Soft Modification tool and deformer lets us  modify a surface by smoothly pulling or pushing groups of vertices.
  • Show Manipulator : When we use Edit mesh operation such as Extrude, then show manipulator is used. It is used to rotate, move the extrude mesh. Keyboard Manipulator is T.
  • Last object tool :It is used to create the same object that we last created. Can be accessed by hotkey Y.




The Layout tool box allow us to quickly change the viewports.It is very essentials in modeling , camera placement, rendering of lights etc. If you are texturing and lighting a scene then you will need a Hyper shade ,  whereas a animator will need a Graph editor.The Layout tool can also be found on Panel/Saved Layout or by taping Right mouse button on tool box.





          Timing is one of the most important component when creating a animation. The key must be inserted properly to get the desired animation playback.


Range Slider is used to increase & decrease range of the animation by  click +drag of the mouse, it can also be done by holding the Middle mouse Button.

Tridip Rajkhowa

A student of MAAC Andheri and a hardcore gamer, I divvy my time between gaming and blogging. Only content writer at Animation to cover game engines.

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