Maya Basics: Project, Shortcuts

Project  | View Navigation  | Move – Rotate – Scale  | Polygon component selection

In Maya, you should always work in a project.

You want to start Maya from the Desktop Icon, Start Menu, Dock, Spotlight or however you find the program. Once the program has loaded, set your project.

  • If you already have a project, go to File > Set Project… and choose the project directory
  • To create a new project, go to File > Project Window

Once you project is set, you can open a scene. File > Open will get you directly to the scenes folder of your project. Avoid starting Maya by double clicking on a Maya file.

Creating a new project in Maya

View Navigation

(LMB = Left Mouse Button, MMB = Middle Mouse Button, RMB = Right Mouse Button)

  • ALT + LMB → Rotate view
  • ALT + MMB → Move / pan view
  • ALT + RMB → Zoom view
  • hit a to center everything in view (Frame All)
  • hit f to center selection in view (Frame Selected)

Move – Rotate – Scale: QWERTY

The basic tools are accessible though the QWERTY keys on the top left of a standard QUERTY keyboard:

  • q – select
  • w – move
  • e – rotate
  • r – scale
  • t – Hide manipulator
  • y – Repeat last command (not always the one you expect)

Note that when a light or camera is selected t brings up the interactive controls.

Polygon component selection:

Right click on object to bring up selection menu

Or press F9 (vertex), F10 (edges), F11 (faces) or F12 (UV).

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