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Chapter 4. Selection Modes, Hiding, and Templating

Chapter 4. Selection Modes, Hiding, and Templating

Any Maya scene might have hundreds of joints, thousands of polygons, and hundreds of thousands of points. This could amount to extreme frustration when trying to select one small point in the middle of huge amounts of geometry (Figure 4.1). With a large number of tools that hide, template, layer, and select objects, Maya has taken away much of the frustration involved in the organization and selection of objects.

Figure 4.1. A model may have hundreds of points to select. Maya provides helpers for selecting specific points. The component Pick mask is used to select one of the creature's many points.


For the new user, selecting a specific object type or piece of an object, known as a component, can be tricky. These objects might be curves, lights, surfaces, or one of an array of other object types. Each of these object types can be turned off using the Pick mask (Figure 4.2). The controls in the Pick mask help you mask off object types so you can limit a selection to only the object type you want to select. For example, you can turn off the ability to select everything but curves (Figure 4.3). When you try to click anything but a curve, nothing happens. When you click a curve, it is selected. This is a very useful tool, and we will be spending a large amount of this chapter discussing the Pick mask and selection process.

Figure 4.2. The controls in the Pick mask determine what objects can be selected at any given time.


Figure 4.3. Individual object types, such as Curves, can be selected in the Pick mask to limit a selection to that object type.


There are times when objects are visually in the way and limit the view of other objects. This is where hiding, templating, and layering come in. These functions allow you to separate out objects so they no longer hinder your view and you can then more easily select the objects you wish.

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