provides many organizational features to help you manage complex scenes.
These features include tools to aid selection in dense scenes, organize the
items directly in your working scene, segment a scene into smaller
parts, and increase performance.
Selecting objects in a
Selecting items can be
difficult in a complex scene due to overlapping geometry that can
obstruct your view. In Maya there are a number of ways to simplify
- The Outliner shows
the hierarchy of all objects in the scene as an indented list where
child nodes are indented under their parent node. Useful for quickly
navigating through the objects in the scene given that you know the
objects’ hierarchy and names.
> Objects lets you filter the nodes shown in the Outliner
by various classifications such as Polygons, NURBS,
and Lights. You can show different
combinations of classifications. You can use the Create
Entry option to store your filter in case you need to
sort by the same criteria again.
- When viewing the scene from certain angles,
objects may obscure each other making it difficult to select the
object you want. Maya offers a number of different options to deal
with this scenario.
- Isolate Select – Lets
you display only the selected items in the scene view. Useful to
temporarily remove objects which may obstruct your view of the specific
components you want to work with.
You can use Isolate Select
by selecting a set of components and selecting Show
> Isolate Select > View Select.
- Pick Chooser – When
you click a space in the scene view that corresponds to overlapping
objects a marking menu will appear listing these objects. You can
then select the appropriate object from the marking menu. Useful as
an alternative to modifying the scene when trying to select obscured objects.
You can turn on the Pick
Chooser by selecting the Pick Chooser option
in Window > Settings/Preferences >
Preferences in the Settings > Selection section.
- Selection Priority – When
performing a marquee select over a model that contains multiple
component types, Maya will select all the components of a single
type within the marquee. You can modify the order that these components
are chosen by modifying their order in the Selection
Priority. Useful when you want to select all the components
of a single type within a marquee.
You can modify the Selection
Priority by selecting Window > Settings/Preferences >
Preferences in the Settings > Selection section.
- Templating – Lets you make a
group of objects unselectable while retaining a wireframe reference
of them in the scene. Useful when you do not want to accidentally
modify an object, but still need to see it for reference purposes.
In a scene you may want
to associate related objects together. You can accomplish this in
a number of ways.
- Groups – Lets
you perform basic selection and transformations on a collection
of objects as if they were one without actually combining the meshes.
For more information see
Group objects together.
- Sets and Partitions – A
set is collection of objects which can be transformed and selected
as one without altering the hierarchy of the scene. A partition
is a collection of exclusive sets such that no object can be contained
in multiple sets within the same partition. For more information see
Sets and partitions.
- Display layers – A
collection of objects which are transformed and selected individually.
You can make layers invisible which reduces the amount of objects
in your scene that may obscure your view. You can also template or
reference a layer making all the objects within it unselectable
but still present in the scene. For more information see
Organize objects on display layers.
- Render layers -
You can assign any object to multiple layers with a different material
on each layer. This lets you create multiple images for each frame,
from any combination of Maya's renderers. For more information see
Render layer overview.
- Containers -
A collection of nodes represented by a single container node. You
can publish a subset of attributes from the internal nodes to the
When working with complex
scenes interactive performance can slow down. There are a number
of ways to remedy this problem.
Reducing File Size
Scenes containing a lot
of geometry require a lot of hard disk space. Maya provides options
for replicating existing objects or dividing up your scene that
can help keep your file sizes small.
- Instancing – Lets you create
multiple copies of a single object with individual transform nodes.
Since they are copies and not considered actual geometry, the memory
and computing power required to render the scene is close to that
of rendering only the original object.
- File Referencing – Lets you
assemble objects from multiple files into a single scene without
actually importing them. Instead, these objects are referenced from
their native files. This is useful when you want multiple people
to collaborate on a single scene.