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About Maya

Maya is a node-based program. A node is a visual representation of an element, such as a surface, texture, or animation curve. Everything in Maya is represented by a node or several connected nodes (Figure 1.1). Nodes are made up of many attributes, which are the information that defines the node, such as an object's position or size. You access nodes in the Outliner and Hypergraph (Figure 1.2) panels. The advantage of this node-based architecture is that you can precisely control what nodes get connected or disconnected to other nodes, which determines the behavior and look of the object. Maya lets you see all the connections in a scene in the Hypergraph (Figure 1.3). The arrows and lines represent the connections. The Hypergraph is covered in more detail later in this chapter.

Figure 1.1. Nodes can be viewed in the Hypergraph or the Outliner. A new node is created for each object.



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