Modeling preferences


You can set the following preferences in the Modeling category of the Preferences window.

Output Geometry Type

Output geometry as

These settings determine the type of geometry created from modeling actions such as Revolve, Loft, Extrude, Fillet Blend, and so forth. Setting it here affects all applicable modeling actions. Otherwise, select Mixed to use the individual settings of each modeling action.

NURBS Interaction

Interaction mode

Specify whether you want certain NURBS modeling commands to behave like actions or tools. An action performs a discrete function on selected objects. A tool lets you manipulate objects until you complete the operation. You may want to change actions to tools as you become proficient at Maya’s NURBS modeling.

To globally change the applicable modeling tools, select Everything is a Tool or Everything is an Action. To individually set each command, select Mixed.


Convert component selection

Turn on Convert component selection to have Maya automatically convert an object selection to the appropriate component selection mode if an action works only on components.

For example, if you select a polygonal object and try to extrude faces, Maya automatically selects all the faces on the object and proceed.

Create meshes single sided

When this is turned on, new polygonal meshes (for example, created by the polygon primitive tools or by polygonal operations) automatically have their Render Stats > Double Sided attribute turned off.

Smart command settings

Modifies polygon settings based on the kind of action being performed:

You have the following options:

  • Sets display attributes to show polygon components relevant to the action (for instance, displaying normals or border edges).
  • Sets the selection mask to objects/components appropriate for the action.
  • Sets selection constraints that make sense for the action.
Automatic vertex color display

When enabled, Maya automatically modifies the following settings to make vertex colors visible:

  • Viewport shading mode is set to Smooth Shade All.
  • The active object's Mesh Component Display > Display Colors attribute is turned on.

Automatic vertex color display is enabled by default.

Default Vertex Normal Method

Lets you set a default vertex normal method for polygon meshes.

This method takes the normal from each connected face and adds them together. This was Maya's default method pre-2013. Select this preference if you want to match files from older versions of Maya.
Angle Weighted
This method calculates the angle of the corners of the polygons, and uses that as weight.
Area Weighted
This method uses the surface area of each adjacent face as weight. As a result, small polygons have little influence on the result and large polygons have a great influence on the result.
Angle and Area Weighted
This method combines the Angle Weighted and Area Weighted methods of evaluation. This is the default method.

Polygon Tangent Space

You can control how Maya sets tangent space for all the meshes in your scenes. For more information on Polygon Tangent Space, see Tangent Space.

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