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    FAQ, Glossary and Troubleshooting

    PART 1: THE MAYA FAQ

    Feel free to post any questions that you think ought to be added to the list (even if you don't know the answer). Check the FAQ regulary as I will be updating stuff whenever possible. Credits also go to Benmcl and NextDesign who have both helped me to improve this thread and provided me with new questions and answers.

    Cheers Folks!

    Count Zero

    Last Update: 20 Dec 2008

    General

    1. How do I add to and subtract from a selection of multiple objects/object-components?
    • Holding down CTRL while selecting will subtract from the current selection
    • Holding down CTRL + SHIFT while selecting will add to the current selection.
    • Holding down SHIFT while selecting adds and subtracts to the selection depending on what you select. Formerly unselected items become selected and formerly selected items become unselected. Sounds confusing, but makes a lot of sense actually.

    2. How do I snap using hotkeys?
    The hotkeys for snapping are as follows:
    Snapping to the grid = x
    Snapping to curves = c
    Snapping to points = v
    In order to make the snap work correctly you have to press and hold the hotkey and middle mouse drag over the target. Don't just middle mouse click, you have to make at least a slight movement for the snap to work.

    3. How do I snap align in two axes?
    I’m sorry to tell you, but you can’t. You can either snap align in one axis or all three axes at once. To snap in one axis make sure that the movement is constrained to either X, Y or Z by clicking on the manipulator (if the arrow turns yellow it is then constrained to that axis). Maya snaps to all three axes by default (even if you constrain the movement to two axes).

    4. How do I constrain the movement to two axes?
    • If you CTRL + Left Click on a single axis you will remove it from the Global Movement. If you look closely at the Move Manipulator you can see that the plane in the center is now pointing into the constrained axis (instead of pointing to the camera).
    • Switch to an orthographic view and your movement will automatically be constrained to two axes (according to the view you have chosen).
    Side View: ZY Constraint
    Front View: XY Constraint
    Top View: XZ Constraint

    5. My snap Align doesn’t work anymore, how do I fix it?
    Double Click on the Move Tool to open up its options in the Attribute Editor.
    • Check to see if the Move Tool is in World Mode.
    • Make sure that Keep Component Spacing is set to off.

    6. My Input Nodes have become Output Nodes and I can’t delete them!
    I’m still not sure why this happens. I continue to call this a bug until someone tells me otherwise. I have noticed that this happens mostly when working with Subdiv Proxy. The easiest way to get rid of this problem is by duplicating the object and deleting the original.

    7. Help, I can’t see my objects anymore!
    • Select the mesh from the outliner and hit F in the viewport.
    • Increase your Far clip plane for your Perspective camera in the attribute editor to a ridiculous amount (like 1,000,000).]

    8. Max has spinners for all its attributes, why does Maya not?
    Maya has them, too, but they are sort of hidden (They are called Channel Sliders by the way). Click on any keyable attribute in the channelbox and middle mouse drag in the viewport.

    9. How do I use spinners in the attribute editor?
    You may have noticed that you can't middle mouse drag numerical values inside the attribute editor. You need to hold down CTRL and left mouse drag inside the attribute editor in order to spin attributes.

    10. The spinner moves way too fast, how can I reduce the speed of the channel slider?
    In the channel box on the top right corner click on the small Move manipulator icon twice in order to switch it to “Channel Slider”. Now click on the icon right next to it to change the channel slider speed. Click several times to chose between slow / medium / fast channel slide controls. Another trick to control the channel slider speed is to use CTRL and SHIFT. Hold down CTRL while mouse dragging and the channel slider will slow down. Hold down SHIFT instead, and the channel slider will speed up tremendously.

    11. How can I select object components from multiple objects?
    • Right click over every object that you want to use for your selection and chose the corresponding selection mask (e.g. Vertices, Faces etc.). You can now shift select to add to the selection but you have to drag over each object separately (You can’t just drag over all objects at once).
    • Very annoying you say? I agree. Here is an easier method: Group all the objects and switch to the desired component mode. Don’t forget to Ungroup when you’re done
    • Hold down ALT+Q and left mouse button. Choose any component mode from the marking menu, drag over a selection of objects and transform away!

    12. Maya always selects through the backside of the object, can I turn that off?
    The following only applies to Polygon Objects.
    Select the object and press CTRL+A to switch to the attribute editor. In the shape node under Mesh Component Display turn on Backface Culling. You can choose between Wire, Hard and Full Display. This is a pure aesthetic choice as it only changes they way Maya displays your Poly Object.
    If you want to affect all objects in your scene at once you can go to Display->Polygons->Backface Culling (Make sure that “Limit to Selected” is set to Off).

    13. How can I use angle snaps for my rotation tool?
    Double click on your rotation tool to open up its options in the attribute editor. Turn on snap rotate. Under step size you can change in the increments for the snap rotate.

    14. How do I change the size of my manipulator? !
    Use the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ Key on your Numkey Pad to increase / decrease the size of your manipulator.

    15. I want to use the selection mask menu but when I right click a Menu comes up that says Complete Tool and Select All?!
    It happens when you right click in empty 3d space. Make sure that your mouse cursor is over an object when right clicking. In case you are wondering what “Complete Tool” does, it finishes the operation of your current tool. It is the equivalent to pressing Enter and yes, it is pretty useless.

    16. I have heard that Maya has hidden Marking Menus. Where do I find them?
    Who told you that?
    http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/showthread.php?t=157484


    17. Where is the “Polygon” and “Edit Polygons” Pulldown Menu?
    These Menus have been renamed to “Mesh” and “Edit Mesh” in Version 8. A few other items have been re-arranged, too and the Nurbs and Subdivsion Surfaces now have their own category.


    18. How can I select faces by just clicking on the face and not the center point?
    Go to Window-> Setting/Preferences->Preferences and under Settings->Selection change “Polygon Selection” from “center” to “whole face”.


    19. How can I force Maya to keep the selection locked on a single object?
    By default you can switch to different objects while working in component mode, which can cause you to accidently change your selection. If you want to lock your selection then go to the status bar and look for a green icon that says “Highlight Selection mode”. Click on it and a red cross appears on the icon causing your selection to be locked on the current selected object. Now you can’t accidently select other objects until you press the button again or right click and choose “Object Mode”. Just like in Max.
    Here is the MEL command that will toggle the button:
    Code:
    toggleHighlightSelectIcon;
    20. I am using tool x and Maya won’t let me do anything else anymore!
    You need to exit the tool; do one of the following:
    - Hit ‘Enter’
    - Switch to a Transformation tool by hitting either ‘Q’, ‘W’, ‘E’, or ‘R’
    - Right mouse button click in empty space and choose “Exit Tool” from the marking menu


    21. Why can’t I export to the .obj format?
    Make sure that under Window->Setting/Preferences->Plug In Manager you have the “objExport.mml” loaded. Once it is loaded you should have the option to export to .obj under File->Export All / Export Selection.
    If you are using the Maya PLE version then you can’t export to .obj.

    22. How do I export Maya files to the Unreal Editor?
    Get this plug-in:
    http://udn.epicgames.com/Two/MayaCompletePlugins.html
    Here is information on how to use it:
    http://udn.epicgames.com/Two/ActorXMayaTutorial.html

    23. Why does copy paste not work in the channel box?
    You need to keyframe the channels first before you can transfer them to other objects.

    24. How do I change the application directory for Maya?
    You need to define an environment variable called MAYA_APP_DIR. This variable CANNOT be defined in the maya.env file. Instead you will need to set this variable from the operating system as follows:
    o Right click on my Computer and choose "Properties"
    o Go to the Advanced Tab and choose "Environment Variables"
    o Under "System Variables" click on New
    o For Variable Name enter " MAYA_APP_DIR"
    o For Variable Value enter the new path for the application directory (e.g. c:\Maya)

    Navigation

    1. How do I navigate using the mouse?
    If you don’t know this, it means you have not bothered to watch the Essential Videos that come with every fresh Maya installment. Shame on you! Anyway, here are the shortcuts anyway:
    Zoom in/out: ALT + LMB + RMB or ALT + RMB or Mouse Wheel
    Pan view: ALT + MMB
    Roll view: ALT + LMB


    2. How do I quickly navigate between different viewports?
    - Quickly press the spacebar to jump into four panel view (or whatever panel you have currently active). Move the move cursor over another panel and tab spacebar again.
    - Hold down spacebar, then hold down the left mouse button (don’t move the cursor away from the hotbox center), and from the marking menu switch to any desired view. Memorize the view panel positions and practice quicker access; you will eventually be faster than the menu takes up to appear on your screen.
    - For pre Maya 2008 users: Under your view panel bar go to View->Camera Settings->View Compass. Click on the compass axis on the upper right corner of your panel view to switch views.
    - For Maya 2008 users: Under Window-> Setting/Preferences->Preferences under the Viewcube tab active “Show the ViewCube”. You can now switch your views by clicking on the viewcube on the upper right corner of your panel view. Note that the viewcube will never switch a perspective camera to an orthographic camera (or vice versa) as opposed to the Compass in previous Maya versions.


    3. How do I frame the viewport on all objects in my scene?
    • Method 1: Press the ‘a’ button (Press Shift+A to frame in all viewports)
    • Method 2: Edit->Select All and hit ‘f’ to frame the view


    4. How do I frame the view on a single object in my scene?
    Select one or multiple objects and hit the “f’ key.


    5. How do I reset the center of interest for my current camera?
    • In your viewport panel menu bar under View->Predefined Bookmarks you can find all the default camera positions
    • If your center of interest is off tilt while you tumble your camera, you’ll need to do the following: Go to View->Select Camera, hit CTRL+A to open up the attribute editor, go to the transform node tab (e.g. “persp”), expand “Pivots->Local Space” and zero out your Local Rotate Pivot inputs.


    Modeling

    1. Where can I find reference for Modeling?
    Read this


    2. My objects disappear when I apply a Boolean, why?
    Something is wrong with the Geometry of one or both of the objects. Use Mesh->Cleanup on both objects. You can find more information on Booleans in this thread:
    http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/showth...light=booleans


    3. I always have to draw my primitive out on the screen. Before Maya 8 I didn’t have to do this – How do I turn it back?
    Turn off “Interactive Creation” under Create->Nurbs Primitives for Nurbs and under Create->Polygon Primitives for Polygons.


    4. How do I constrain my scale in two axes?
    Click on the axis that you want to exclude from your scale so the box turns yellow. Hold down CTRL and begin to drag the axis with the mouse. This might seem a bit odd because you are dragging the axis that you don’t want to use, but it works.


    5. How do I change the position of my pivot point?
    Hit the insert button and move the pivot wherever you like.


    6. I have a Mac, where do I find the insert key?
    • Press the ‘d’ key instead.
    • Press the ‘Home’ key instead.
    • Press FN + Left Arrow + Right Arrow
    • Assign a new hotkey. Go to Window->Settings/Preferences->Hotkeys, under Categories go to “Tools” and look for the command “EnterEditMode”.
    • Type “ctxEditMode” in the Command Line.


    7. How can I lock the position of the pivot in component mode?
    You may have noticed that if you move an object’s pivot point in selection mode and then switch the tool (e.g. fom move to scale) Maya will reset the pivot point to the center of your selection. You can easily lock the pivot point position by clicking on the blue circle while the pivot move tool is still activated. Click on the circle again to unlock the pivot position.


    8. How do I change the Pivot Orientation?
    You CAN directly rotate the pivot for the Move and Rotate manipulator.

    1. In component selection mode click the ? icon on the Status bar.
    2. Rotate the pivot of your object.
    3. In the Tool Options check “Along Rotation Axis” for the Move Manipulator and “Local” for the Rotate manipulator.

    You CANNOT directly rotate the pivot for the Scale Manipulator, but there is a work around.

    1. Create a new object and rotate it the way you want the scale pivot of your original object to be rotated
    2. Make the original object a child of the new object.
    3. Freeze transformation on the original object
    4. Unparent the original object
    5. Delete the new object


    9. When I move a Subdiv Proxy mesh I can only move either the Low Poly or the High Poly Mesh, but never both at once, why?
    Press the up arrow key to select the entire Group before moving.


    10. How can I toggle between the SubDiv Proxy Cages?
    Select the object and…
    • CTRL + Tilda = Applies a new Subdiv Proxy (Same as Proxy->Subdiv Proxy)
    • Tilda = Toggles between Low and High Poly Cage (Same as Proxy->Toggle Proxy Display)
    • SHIFT + Tilda = Displays both Low and High Poly Cage (Same as Proxy->Both Proxy and Subdiv Display)
    • Page up = Increases Smoothing Level
    • Page Down = Decreases Smoothing Level


    11. I have lost the toggle of my SubDiv Proxy object!
    When working with SubDiv Proxy you need to be aware that certain operations on your mesh will break the connection between your Low Poly and High Poly Cage.
    • Deleting History on your High Mesh Cage
    • Using a Combine or any type of Boolean
    • Using Extract Faces or Duplicate Face with “Separate” set to on.


    12. The input nodes for my geometry have disappeared from my channel box!
    Make sure that you have Construction History turned on. Under the status bar click on the icon that looks like a scroll. Alternatively you can type “constructionHistory -toggle true;” in the Script Editor.


    13. Why is my image skewed/stretched when I apply the material for an image plane?
    Make sure that in the channel box under the object’s attributes “Create UVs” is set to “Normalization off” and you should be all set.


    14. Are there any hotkeys for the Artisan brush?
    Hotkeys to change artisan attributes on the fly (You have to hold down the key and left mouse drag in order to change the attributes):
    • b = Change Brush size (upper radius)
    • Shift + b = Change Brush size (lower radius)
    • n = Change Value
    • m = Change Max Displacement
    Other Hotkeys:
    • Alt + a = Toggle “Show Wireframe”
    • Alt + f = Flood using the current settings
    • Alt + r = Toggle Reflection


    15. How do I edge loop split exactly through the center?
    Go to Edit Mesh->Insert Edge Loop Tool->Options. Set "Maintain position" to "Multiple edge loops" and change the number of edge loops to 1. If you use the edge loop split tool now, it will split exactly through the center.
    Alternatively you can use a mel script to do everything in one click. Select an edge and execute the following script:
    Code:
    SelectEdgeRingSp;
    polySplitRing -ch on  -splitType 2 -divisions 1 -useEqualMultiplier 1 -smoothingAngle 0 -fixQuads 1 ;
    //Reset settings  to equal distance
    polySelectEditCtx -edit -splitType 0 polySelectEditContext;
    Rendering

    1. Where can I find more information on Mental Ray?
    Read this

    2. I want to render with Mental Ray but I can’t find it in the Render Global Options box!
    Make sure that Mental Ray is activated under the plug-ins section. Go to Window->Settings/Preferences->Plug-in Manager and make sure that Mayatomr.mll is loaded.


    3. I want to use Mental Ray Shaders but I can’t find them in the Hypershade!
    Under the Create Menu you can click on “Create Maya Nodes” and switch it to “Create Mental Ray Nodes”. If you don’t have that option then Mental Ray is not loaded in. Go to Window->Settings/Preferences->Plug-in Manager and make sure that Mayatomr.mll is loaded.


    4. I want to use Raytrace Shadows but I can’t see them when I render my scene!
    Make sure that you have Raytracing enabled for both your scene lights AND your render settings. For your lights open up the attribute editor (select and press CTRL + A) and under Shadows->Raytrace Shadows Attributes check on “Use Ray Trace Shadows”. For your render settings go to Window->Rendering Editors->Render Settings. If you use Maya Software you have to go to Raytracing Quality and check on Raytracing. If you are using Mental Ray you have to go to Raytracing or Rendering Features and check on Raytracing.


    5. How do render my scene with the wireframe visible?
    Read this
    Another Method by benmcl using Toon Shader


    6. How can I create a realistic Clay Render?
    Read this


    7. What is Ambient Occlusion and how do I use it?
    I was going to write a tutorial for this, but then I found out that somebody else had already done an amazing video tutorial on this. Enjoy!
    http://www.williamkladis.com/tutorial04/tutorial04.html


    8. How do I control where Maya saves my rendered images?
    By default Maya saves your renders under the images folder of your current project. If you don’t know what your current project is go to File->Project->Edit Current. On the top of the option box it will tell you which project is currently set and also in Project Data Locations under images you can change the name of your image folder (set to “images” by default).


    9. How can I cancel a render during the rendering process?
    If you are using the Render View Window just hit ESC and the render will stop immediately. If you are batch rendering go to Render->Cancel Batch Render.


    10. Why do my UVs get messed up as soon as I move/rotate/scale my object?
    Make sure that you have history deleted. If any mapping history is still on your object, Maya will try to move the UVs along with your object, failing miserably in the process.


    11. How do I render out to an AVI file? (Answer by Benmcl)
    Ok first you don't want to output to an avi. You want to output to a series of images. This is for two reasons. Let’s say you have 500 frames to render and your machine crashes on 499. You lose everything. If you are rendering a series of images though, you can just start at 499 and finish.
    Second if lets’ say you don't like a piece of animation in frames 150 to 189. Instead of fixing that part and re rendering the entire thing all you have to do is re render that portion. This saves you time.
    Go into your render settings. Set the image size and the render you want as usual.
    Under Image File Output use something like this.
    Frame name prefix: any name you want.
    Frame/Animation ext: I usually use name_#.ext
    Image format: Targa(tga) is what I normally use.
    Start Frame: The first frame of your animation
    End Frame: The final frame of your animation
    Yes these two are obvious but if you need to only output part of the animation adjust these numbers for those frames.
    By Frame: almost always set to 1
    Frame padding: If you have a total of 10 to 99 frames set to 2, 100 to 999 set to 3, 1000 to 9999 then 4 etc.
    Select you camera
    Then in the render menu set go to batch render and render. Yes it is more efficient to run the batch render from the command line but I can never remember the commands.
    Go have several beers.
    Download VirtualDub, it is free and easy to use. I can't remember exactly how to use it but you can open the first file of your animation sequence and it will load all the frames. You can then output to an avi file. VirtualDub Tutorial. Scroll to the bottom for links to VirtualDub and Xvid

    12. Why can't I see the entire resolution gate for my rendering camera?
    Select your camera and open up the attribute editor. Under Display Options increase the Overscan value until your resolution gate is visible again.


    Material, Textures and Shaders

    1. Where can I find free textures?
    Read this


    2. Where can I find free HDRI maps?
    Read this


    3. Where can I find custom shaders?
    http://highend3d.com/maya/downloads/shaders/
    http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/d.../shaders_list/
    http://www.simplymaya.com/download_p...=none&typeid=5


    4. I have heard Maya 2008 comes with new Shaders that are hidden from the user?
    They are called the Production Shader Library, written by Master Zap and at the moment these shaders are still somewhat beta, yet fully functional. Read this:
    The Hidden Shaders
    Production Shader Examples
    Production Shader Library Documentation


    5. Why are my textures blurred when I import them to Maya?
    You need to decrease the Filter. In the attribute editor move to the file tab and under “Effects” change the filter from 1 to 0.1.


    6. Why is my texture transparent when I import it to Maya?
    You probably have an alpha channel in your texture file that Maya has automatically connected to the transparency channel of the shader. Right click on the transparency channel and choose “break connection”.


    7. How do I apply a normal map to a shader?
    Connect it to the Bump Mapping Channel of your Shader and in the Bump2d node change the 2d Bump Attributes to “use as: Tangent Space Normals".


    8. How do I create a normal map from a high resolution mesh?
    Watch this


    9. How can I prevent texture bleeding?
    A quick way to deal with most color bleeding issues: In Photoshop duplicate your textures to a new layer and choose Filter->Other->Minimum. Set the radius to whatever you need and apply a Gaussian Blur to the layer (Filter->Blur->Gaussian Blur). Place the blurred layer underneath your texture layer and you’re all set.


    Rigging

    1. How can I freeze the Move Transformation inputs on my joints?
    In Maya you can’t freeze-transform the move input nodes of joints. You can however group a joint to itself and center the pivot on the joint to get a zero input node. You can also point constraint joints to dummy objects like Nurbs Curves that have zero input nodes.


    2. Why do my joints get messed up when I apply a constraint?
    Make sure that you freeze Transformation before applying the constraint.
    In the Constraint Options enable “Maintain Offset” to make sure that the joint transformation remains the same.


    3. How do I move single joints without affecting the entire hierarchy?
    Select a joint, enter the move tool and hit the “Insert Key” to move the joint exclusively.


    4. How do you expand an entire hierarchy in the outliner?
    Shift-Click on the plus button to expand the entire hierarchy


    5. How do I select an entire hierarchy of joints?
    - With the entire hierarchy expanded in the outliner you can shift drag over joints you like to select.
    - You can select a joint in the viewport, hold down the right mouse button and choose “Select Hierarchy”


    6. How do I select the entire hierarchy of multiple objects / joints?
    “Select Hierarchy” only works with the current select object. Use this mel script to select all children of every selected object in the scene.
    Code:
    string $all[] = `ls -sl`;
    select -hierarchy $all;
    MEL Scripts, Plug-ins, UI customization

    1. How do I execute a MEL command in the script editor?
    Select the mel could you wish to execute and hit ALT + Enter. Alternatively you can also use the Enter key on your numpad without having to use the Alt key. If you don’t select the mel code beforehand Maya will still execute everything in your input window, but will also clear out the window afterwards.


    2. How can I change the text font size for my code in the script editor / expression editor?
    Hold down CTRL and scroll your mouse wheel up in order to increase size font or down to decrease size font.


    3. Why can't I run some scripts and plug-ins in PLE? (Answer by NextDesign)
    Due to that PLE is a limited version, Autodesk specifically took out certain MEL commands, and all plug-in capability to stop people from creating exporters, or a means to get data out of the application. Some of the restricted commands are:
    * fprint (Used to write files out of Maya)
    * polyInfo (Used to get information about a mesh. Extensively used for exporters)


    4. How can I find the command to do ______? It's not showing up in my script editor. (Answer by NextDesign)
    Many of the commands that Maya runs are hidden from the user. You can show them by opening the script editor, and under one of the menus, you will find "Echo all Commands". Now, this will SEVERELY slow down your computer, so you should activate it, run your action, and turn it off. You'll also notice that a lot of commands go by, so it's up to you to find the right one.


    5. How do I install MEL script X that I downloaded from homepage Y?
    Most MEL scripts come with installation notes when you download them. Often times they are embedded right into the code, so you might have to open the .mel file with a text editor. In general most MEL scripts need to be placed in the Maya script folder under C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USERNAME\My Documents\Maya\YOUR_MAYA_VERSION\Scripts. Depending on what the MEL script does you might have to source it from within Maya first. Type “source “MELSCRIPTNAME.mel”; ” in order to load it up.


    6. How can I auto-load my MEL scripts on startup?
    Go to your Maya scripts folder under C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USERNAME\My Documents\Maya\YOUR_MAYA_VERSION\Scripts and look for a file called “userSetup.mel”. Open it with a text editor and add the source commands to the end of the file (source MELSCRIPTNAME.mel”; )


    7. How do I get the attribute editor to open in a separate window?
    Go to Window->Setting/Preferences->Preferences, under “Interface” look for “Open Attribute Editor” and change it to “In separate Window”.


    8. How do I get the channel box to open in a separate window
    Use the following Mel Script:
    Code:
    window -t "ChannelBox" -tlb 1 channelBoxWindow;
    frameLayout -lv 0 -borderStyle "etchedIn";
    channelBox;
    showWindow channelBoxWindow;
    9. How do I get the Layer Editor to open in a separate window?
    Go to Window->Setting/Preferences->Preferences, under “Interface” look for “Open Layer Editor” and change it to “In separate Window”.
    If you have the channel box open in a separate window (as described above) you can open the layer editor via Window->General Editors->Display Layer Editor. Alternatively you can also use the following MEL script (and add it to the floating channel box MEL script):
    Code:
    RenderLayerEditorWindow;
    10. How do I reset Maya to its default settings?
    Go to Window->Settings/Preferences->Preferences. Under Edit choose Restore Default settings.


    11. How do I customize my Viewport to get more Real Estate?
    • Press CTRL + Spacebar and Maya switches into a Full Screen Mode (or Expert Mode if you’re a Max user).
    • If you look closely at the Maya UI you can see that every section has a tiny arrow with a dotted line. Left click on it and the section will disappear. Right Click on it and a Menu will pop up where you check all Maya UI sections on and off.
    • Go to Display->UI Elements where you can customize your UI.


    12. How do I add buttons to my shelf?
    - Adding items from the menu bar: Hold down CTRL and SHIFT (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT in older Maya versions), click on any menu item and it will be automatically added to your current shelf.
    - Adding items from the Script Editor: Select any number of lines from either the input or history window and middle mouse drag it to your shelf.
    - Adding items from the Hotkey Editor: Choose any command and select the entire script in the Command Prompt on the bottom of the Editor. Middle mouse drag it to the shelf.

    You can move rearrange items by middle mouse dragging them to different positions. If you want to delete an item middle mouse drag it to the waste bin (displayed right next to the shelf). You can also manually edit shelf items in the Shelf editor which can be found under Window->Setting/Preferences->Shelf Editor.


    13. Where can I find the Maya Bonus Tools?
    Right here: http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/d...s/plugins_list


    14. I have installed the Bonus Tools but how do I use them?
    - If you have a custom userSetup in your script directory you need to update it. Go to your Maya script folder (C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USERNAME\My Documents \maya\YOUR_MAYA_VERSION\scripts) and open the userSetup.mel with any text editor.
    Go to your Bonus Tool Install folder (C:\Program Files\Autodesk\MayaBonusTools2008\scripts) and open the userSetup.mel. Copy all the content and append it to the end of your custom userSetup.mel in your Documents folder.
    - Run Maya and you should find a new pull down menu in your menu bar named “Bonus Tools “.
    - Most of the bonus tools should already work, but some need to be loaded first. Go to Window->Setting/Preferences->Plug-In Manager and manually load whatever scripts you want.
    - NOTE: The bonus tools come with a documentation which can be found in your install folder usually in C:/Program Files/Autodesk/MayaBonusTools2008//docs/bonusTools.html. Make sure to read it!


    15. Is there any way I can change the roll down menus in the main menu bar?
    On your status line all the way on the left you find a pull down menu where you can switch to different menu sets. Click on the last item which reads “Customize” to open up the Menu Set Editor. In there you can customize all the menu sets to your heart’s content.


    16. How can I create custom icons for my shelf buttons?
    You can create your own icons in any image processing application that supports either the .xpm, .bmp or .dib format. Create your images at 32x32 pixel resolution and put them in your icon folder located under C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USERNAME\My Documents \Maya\YOUR_MAYA_VERSION\Prefs\icons.
    You can load the images from your shelf editor. Click on “Change Image” and load the new icons.


    17. Where are my custom Marking Menus stored?
    Marking Menus are stored in C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USERNAME\My Documents \Maya\YOUR_MAYA_VERSION\Prefs\MarkingMenus


    18. Where are the Maya Shelves stored?
    All shelves including your own custom ones are stored under C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USERNAME\My Documents \Maya\YOUR_MAYA_VERSION\Prefs\Shelves
    If you should have deleted the standard shelves Maya will automatically make backups in the same folder by appending a “.deleted” to the files. You can restore them by removing the “.deleted.


    19. What are all the other MEL scripts in the Prefs folder for?
    menuSetPrefs.mel: Saves your menu sets preferences
    plugInPrefs.mel: Lists all the plug-Ins that are loaded when Maya starts.
    userPrefs: Stores all the changes you make to tool options as well as the global settings
    userNamedCommands.mel: All the user-defined commands that have hotkeys go into this file
    userRunTimeCommands.mel: Lists all user-defined commands
    userRGBColors.mel: I’m not sure, but I believe it stores all the changes you make to Window->Settings/Preferences->Color Settings.
    userHotkeys.mel: All your customized hotkeys are stored here.
    windowsPrefs.mel: Stores location and resizing of all the floating Maya Windows.
    commandFieldContentSaved.mel: I don’t know actually, mine’s always been empty.


    20. How can I export my Maya preferences?
    Just take your Maya version folder and put it on a transportable medium (C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USERNAME\My Documents \Maya\YOUR_MAYA_VERSION).


    21. How can I rescan my MEL scripts folder without having to restart Maya?
    Run this command from your script editor:
    Code:
    rehash;
    22. How can I find the location of a global procedure?
    In the script editor type "WhatIs procedureName”.
    Example:
    Code:
     whatIs buildRotateMM;
    // Result: Mel procedure found in: C:/Programme/Autodesk/Maya2008/scripts/others/buildRotateMM.mel //


    23.What IDEs can I use for MEL/Python/API programming in Maya?

    Read this


    22. How do I clear the Undo list in Maya?
    Type and execute "flushUndo" in the Script Editor.


    23. How can I re-declare a variable to a different type after it has already been loaded into Memory?
    You have the following options:
    1. Restart Maya.
    2. Put the new declaration (and the rest of the code) inside curly brackets {}.
    Last edited by benmcl; 03-06-2010 at 03:58 PM.
    "The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress."

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  2. #2
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    PART 2: THE MAYA GLOSSARY
    Last Update: 24 July 2008

    If you are looking for the old glossary written by Jozvex it can be found here.

    World Space
    Light Source Types
    Last edited by Count_Zero; 08-19-2008 at 07:20 PM.
    "The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress."

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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    PART 3: THE TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE
    Last Update: 25 April 2008

    This Guide is brought to you by: Seijiro and Count Zero. Enjoy!

    This thread is currently under construction and is meant to replace and merge these two threads:
    Maya Bugs/Glitches and their fixes
    READ THIS IF: Maya crashes, slows down or manipulator won't work

    Feel free to discuss any bugs or errors that you have encountered while using Maya.
    At the moment this thread is far from being complete. I will post updates as soon as possible.
    If you have any questions, suggestions or complaints, feel free to PM me.


    READ THIS FIRST BEFORE YOU POST
    About 99% of all Maya bugs and errors are graphics driver related. Try any of the following solutions before starting to post your complaints:
    1. Reinstall your graphics driver. If problems persist, look for a driver update and reinstall driver. If problems persist, look for an older driver and reinstall.
    2. open maya.env located at C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USERNAME\My Documents \Maya\YOUR_MAYA_VERSION and add the following lines
    MAYA_SLOW_DRAWPIXELS = 1;
    MAYA_NON_POWER_TWO_OFF = 1;
    3. Go to your graphics card control settings and change AA and and AF to "Let application decide"

    Why are my marking menus so slow?
    Why does my screen turn blank once I switch to a single viewport view?
    Why is the hypershade not working / slowing down?
    Why is my Display updating slowly?

    Option 1: Go to the settings of your graphics card and change the color depth from 32 to 16 bit. More information here
    Option 2: If you are you using an Nvidia Graphics card you might have to refer to an older driver version. I would suggest getting the 84.26 Driver. You can get an edited version (which fixes capability issues) from 3dGurus here
    For more information read the following discussions at CGTalk: here and here .

    Since I installed Office 2007 Maya has stopped working all together!
    For some reason Groove in Office 2007 seems to cause problems with Maya.
    Uninstall Groove and Maya should work again

    My selection order is messed up: Whenever I click-select an object Maya selects the object that is farthest away from the camera.
    This is an ATI card driver related issue. You will need to downgrade your driver version
    More information here


    My viewport camera keeps resetting to its original position whenever I try to rotate my view.
    This is an nvidia card related problem. Go to the nvidia control panel and disable the threaded optimization.
    More information here

    My Image planes are skewed / warped!
    The alpha gain on my image planes doesn’t work!

    Maya seems to have enormous problems when working with image planes due to communication errors between the application and your graphics card. If you have an ATI card you will most likely have experienced the alpha gain and weird scale problem.
    Option 1:
    Don't use the standard orthographic cameras for your viewports, use custom cameras instead.
    Here is a link that tells you how to do it and also has a MEL script for lazy people (Thanks to dezfx for the mel script):
    Option 2:
    Don't use image planes at all. All they do is cause you trouble, headaches and frustration. Alternatively you can use polygon planes with textures on them.
    Here is a tutorial that tells you how to do it: Click me

    Everything looks 'jaggy' in the perspective view when I zoom far away from my objects. But they look ok when rendered.
    This is caused by having set your 'Near Clip Plane' too low. If you set it for instance to 0.001 and zoom away you will get jagginess.
    Solution:
    Set your 'Near Clip Plane' to a slightly higher value like 0.05 or 0.100. The 'Near Clip Plane' can be found in the 'Attribute Editor' in your camera settings. Click 'View -> Select Camera' in your perspective view menu bar.
    Here's a post related to this: Click me
    Last edited by Seijiro; 05-24-2008 at 11:58 AM.
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