• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

Getting Cozy

Sometimes the hardest part of doing a project is getting started—or, more precisely, knowing where to get started. Because the clock keeps ticking along, it's important to have a reliable methodology for moving forward from concept to reality. So, before dealing with the particular methods involved in creating geometry and beyond, let's spend a short while considering getting out of the gate effectively.

In fact, we'll begin before the project itself and consider some of the meta–methods that affect the production of any project and how some of them are addressed in this project.

First, you'll want to spend some time taking advantage of Maya's many customization possibilities to set up your working environment well. Because Maya has such a broad range of user interface elements and an even broader range of commands, it can be a bit overwhelming to begin customizing—it's not likely to be something you do right away. As you learn your way around Maya, you'll find that your speed and effectiveness increase with familiarity, but there's a limit to how much performance you will gain this way. If the number and complexity of steps required to perform a task can't be reduced, your performance gains from familiarity with the tools and the process will eventually max out.

To really get things humming right along, you need to solve your own personal performance bottlenecks. Sometimes this means making the tools you use easier to access, sometimes it means reducing the number of steps a process takes, and other times it just means adopting some personal conventions.

The goal is simple: Get as cozy as possible with the interface and the tools. Although a bit of time is required to set up Maya to your liking (and considerably more time using Maya is required to really know what issues to address), your future performance gains should more than make up for the time you spend tuning it up.

In addition, as the barriers to achieving your tasks are reduced, working with Maya will become more of an extension to your thought process and less of an exercise in UI navigation and operational preparation. You'll spend more time making progress and less time pulling down menus, checking option boxes, setting selection masks, and reaching for the Undo command.

When you've spent enough time with Maya that you have learned the styles of interaction and command options you commonly use, take note of the things that are cumbersome or difficult to remember. These are the tasks that will likely benefit most from personalization.

We'll spend this chapter exploring several likely candidates for performance enhancement.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint