Selection modes and masks

It isn’t always efficient to have the Hypergraph window open when you want to select an object at a particular level within its hierarchy. Maya allows you to select items in different selection modes depending upon your specific needs.

There are three main types of selection modes: Hierarchy, Object and Component. You use these modes in order to mask or limit the selection of other objects in order to select only the types of items you want. When you use a selection mask you are filtering out or masking items you don’t want to be chosen as part of the selection.

The icons for the three modes appear on the Status Line.

When you first start Maya, the default selection mode is set to Objects. This is useful for much of your selection work with Maya, with a few exceptions. When you want to select items that have been grouped, set the selection mode to Hierarchy.

TipIf you set the selection mask, it will remain that way until you change it again. If an item won’t select for you in Maya, you should check the selection mask setting to see if it is set correctly.

To use the Hierarchy and Combinations selection mask

  1. On the Status Line, choose the Select by Hierarchy and Combinations icon

    The Selection Mask icons update to display the three selection choices.

  2. On the Status Line, choose the Select by hierarchy: Root icon.

    Select by hierarchy: Root ensures that when you select items they are selected at their parent or root node.

  3. In the scene view, shift-click Column and Column1 so they are selected simultaneously. (Do not be concerned that they highlight in different colors.)