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Chapter 6. Grouping, Parenting, and Aligning

Chapter 6. Grouping, Parenting, and Aligning

Grouping, parenting, and aligning help organize and control an object's relationship to other objects. If you are looking to move many objects around the scene at the same time, then you might want to group the objects together so they will move as one unit, requiring only one selection instead of multiple selections.

Grouping has what you might call a distant cousin, named parenting. Parenting and grouping perform a similar action on the objects that can be hard for new users to differentiate. In short, the difference is that the parented surfaces (Figure 6.1) have a relationship where one will follow the other (Figure 6.2); in a grouped relationship the objects can act independently or as one entity. We will be exploring and explaining the differences throughout this chapter.

Figure 6.1. Multiple parented surfaces are shown in the Hypergraph.


Figure 6.2. When a parent joint is moved, all of the children move along with it.


Aligning objects and surfaces can be a difficult task if you are trying to align objects by sight only. Maya has a few tools to help align surfaces, curves, and objects with each other.


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