Chapter 2
The Maya Interface and
Modeling Concepts in Maya
  , we take a quick look at the Maya interface. We consider the two pri-
mary ways you can model in Maya (and in many other 3D animation and modeling
applications) and how 3D models are represented inside an application like Maya. en we
examine the core concepts that underlie the process of incrementally craing a 3D model.
e Maya interface can be tailored. But changing default settings can have subtle and
unexpected consequences. So, we will use Maya almost entirely with its default settings.
is will help ensure that the examples in the book will behave the same way when you go
through them on your Maya installation.
Within most 3D graphics applications, there are multiple coordinate systems you must
keep in mind.
The first is the global (x, y, z) space; Maya calls this the world space, and its origin
(0, 0, 0) is at the center of the Maya grid space.
e second is the (x, y, z) space of any given object within the global space; Maya calls
this object space. We dierentiate between these two so that we can manipulate 3D objects
independently of where they are in the global space. e object space has an origin (0, 0, 0)
associated with that object. It might be easy enough to guess where the origin is when the
object is a cube or a sphere. But if an object is heavily morphed, it can become dicult to
guess where Maya might be placing the origin.
ere is a third (x, y, z) space assigned to each object. is is called local space, and it
allows us to put objects in hierarchies and to use these hierarchies to control the movement
of multiple, related objects. e local space of an object is the object space of its immediate
parent in the hierarchy. us, an object can move independently, but it is also bound by
the movement of its parent. So, we might have a car that has four wheels, and so we “par-
ent” the wheels to the car meaning that the wheels are children of the car. We could use

Get 3D Animation for the Raw Beginner Using Maya now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.