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Part: I Maya and the Production Pipeline > Technical Considerations

Chapter 4. Technical Considerations

By Mark Adams

One of Maya's great strengths is its adaptability. Not only does it possess many powerful tools, but the methods of interacting with those tools also can be adapted to better suit each user. In fact, virtually the entire user interface is composed of MEL files that you can examine and modify to your needs. So, before forging ahead with the Parking Spot project described in Chapter 4, “Digital Studio Pipeline,” let's first look at some ways in which you can take advantage of this adaptability while creating this Maya project.

You're probably already aware of many of the standard means of adapting Maya to your tastes—marking menus, shelves, hotkeys, and MEL scripting. You've also likely come up with additional techniques and conventions to enhance your efficiency, organization, security, and comfort. These adaptations, techniques, and conventions all help you to streamline your work and extract the maximum from that most precious of commodities—your valuable time.

Although none is specific to any aspect of the project, each consideration inherently deals with technical aspects of using Maya. Instead of making passing mention of dozens of small (but important) items, we've chosen to acquaint you right up front with our point of departure into the project ahead.

In this chapter, you'll learn how to tailor your Maya environment to your own needs, including doing the following:

  • Establishing personalized command defaults

  • Making the most of your hotkeys

  • Creating text-mode shelves

  • Customizing Maya's UI-building MEL scripts

  • Modifying and creating menus

  • Navigating views efficiently

  • Managing projects and files

  • Creative Edge
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