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Chapter 2. A Tour of Maya > Maya Overview

Maya Overview

Maya's original design took an approach called the dependency graph. The idea is that everything in the scene—every curve, object, link, image, texture, keyframe, and so forth—and every tweak made to those items would be considered one “thing.” Actually, not “thing”—the name Maya uses is node, but it means about the same. It's one building block of the scene. These building blocks link to create ever more complex things. For example, when a profile line is drawn in Maya, it becomes a node. When the line is revolved to create, for example, a vase, the underlying line is still there. Further, the revolve operation creates a “revolve” node, placed in history, thus letting you modify the original curve and the revolve parameters independently.

Modifications made to the line immediately affect the vase's shape, and the modifications themselves create a node so that you can undo or modify anything you've done before. This flexibility underlies the entire Maya product, and includes the option to disable or delete history, which animators often use for efficiency. As history accumulates, a file can become very large or slow to load.


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