Share this Page URL

Chapter 4. Technical Considerations > Managing Files - Pg. 58

Technical Considerations 4. Perform a Look at Selection (not a Frame) operation 58 When that's done, I adjust my view primarily with Tumble, Track, Zoom, and Look At commands. In particular, I zoom in for a moment, do some modeling operations, and then use the Previous View hotkey to return to my "orbital" position. Only occasionally do I need to dolly in or out, which is good --the clipping plane relationships stay intact and my reference position (on the outside, looking in) has a known sense of scale and proportion. When incremental adjustments eventually get me disoriented, I return to the previous procedure and set up again. Orthographic views are handled similarly, but without the field of view and tumbling issues. If you're especially ambitious, you can use the camera command to define the camera's home default; then a simple selection of Default Home takes you back to a customized home position. We'll leave the details of this, though, as an exercise for the motivated reader. Managing Files In any project, keeping everything organized and secure is of primary importance. Haphazard or- ganization can waste tremendous amounts of time and can put your entire project in jeopardy. On the other hand, having a well-organized system helps the process flow smoothly and minimizes unpleasant surprises. For the Parking Spot project, we'll be collecting the work of three different Maya users and assem- bling it into a series of shots. Getting data from one set of hands into the next will need to happen dependably and consistently. Projects The first decision is how our animation project will be organized within Maya's project structure. Because the animation will involve several fairly complex models, we'll want to build each model in its own project. We'll name each project after the model itself, such as ParkingMeter, FireHydrant, Spot, and so on. In each of these projects, we can work out the modeling, shading, and articulation details for the given object. We'll then do our layout, animation, lighting, and rendering work in a master project: ParkingSpot. All our final shots will live there, as will the intermediate steps along the way and the final images we produce. File Naming One advantage of working this way is the capability to systematically assign filenames. Instead of resorting to arbitrary filenames that try to distinguish incremental saves from checkpoints from im- portant versions, we'll adopt a system designed to make it easy to distinguish each type with pre- dictable names. By utilizing a common naming scheme across our Maya projects, we can minimize the effort of staying on top of it all. It's hard to understate the importance of saving your work as you go. Although Maya is a powerful program, we all know that, as with any complex computer program, it just might quit working without notice. In addition, we might find that we've gone down a dead-end path and need to back up to a previous turning point. Our system makes such potentialities easy to handle in stride. The following file-naming system has served me well over the years and should serve this project equally well: · Each model is created in its own project (for example, FireHydrant).