Maya group


Why in maya a group is not a group like in 3dmax, in which when you make a group yo are not afraid to move it clicking anywhere?


No idea what you mean by ‘afraid to move it clicking anywhere’.

But to answer your original question:

Q: “Why in maya a group is not a group like in 3dmax”

A: “Because Maya is not 3dsmax”

Seriously. That’s the answer.
But to seem less condescending, I will point out the fact that ‘groups’ in Maya are nothing more than empty Transform nodes, and by ‘empty’ we mean devoid of a Shape node and thus of any geometry of its own. That’s why you can move a group, because it’s a Transform, and has transformation information (move rotate scale) that applies to itself and any of its children as is expected of a DAG node.


In maya you can use one thing in several different purposes. It is very intellectually designed. That is why those guys switching from 3DS Max become confused. A group is an unseen object. That is necessary in rigging works too. The same thing you can use in grouping purposes of your objects. It can be used for group transformation too. May be it will help.


I’m not familiar enough with Max to know what groups are like… are they more like sets in maya? With sets you can have a hierarchy of selectable collections of nodes. You can sort of do this with groups as well … you just need to turn off inherit transforms on all the child nodes


I have very minor experience from 3dsmax, but from what I recall groups there have two states, open and closed (and defaults to closed). If you click an item on a closed group it selects the entire group. In maya a group is always open, and when you click an object belonging to a group you select the object. You can select the group by either using the outliner and select the group (you can trust them to move together, when you are in fact moving the group), or select an object and press the up-arrow to move selection up in the hierarchy (there are probably lots of other ways as well, but these are the ones I’m using).


I too know little about groups in Max, but I assume it is safe to say the following:

if you are planning to dedicate yourself to Maya, you should assume nothing works exactly the same as in Max, even if something should share a similar name. The Modifier Stack bears a striking resemblance to Maya’s DG hierarchy (construction history), but they work differently. Add a polySplit node after a polyCube node, then change the number of divisions on the polyCube node and you’ll see why (hint: vertex IDs changed upstream and effect the nodes expected input downstream).
A good example are groups. In Maya, you should think of less of ‘grouping objects’, even though that is a common phrase used in Maya ‘lingo’. Instead, think of it as a Parent-Child Relationship. That’s exactly what it is.
Grouping a set of objects is nothing more than making them children of a single Parent node.
Children in Maya are like biological offspring (hence the name): They inherit certain properties from their parents.
In Maya, transform nodes that are made children of another transform node inherit the parent transform’s transformation, i.e. translation, rotation and scale, unless explicitly set to not do so via their “Inherits Transform” attribute.
That is why you’ll notice that an object’s transform information, as displayed in the channelbox, suddenly changes when you parent it under some other object (unless the new parent happens to sit at the origin and have no rotation applied to it). This is because the (now child) object’s parent space has switched from Worldspace to whatever its new parent object’s space is. And Maya, by default when parenting, tries not to modify the child object’s transformation. It does this by calculating the transformation in the new parent space that has to be applied to the child so that its transformation appears the same as before it was parented ( think of it as the difference between the relation of the new parentspace to the old parentspace, which might have been worldspace, or some other object’s local space).

A thing to note: when you group a set of objects, i.e. parent them under some parent node, and select the parent node, the children will appear highlighted in the viewport. Initially, it may appear that the children, too, are selected. But they’re not. It’s simply Maya telling you that those children are affected (in this case: their transformations) by the parent.

Hope this helps clarify the issue a bit.


Nyro, thanks for your explanation. It suffice my question. But I didnt say that maya was 3dsmax but asked why it doesnt behave “like” in 3dsmax. I have been using maya for a long time now and havent used max since 8 years. But sometimes I wonder why something is the way it is. Now your answer explain everything beautifully. It is more of a parenting and less than a group in the sense of a group as i was accustomed in max.


so… in Max groups are more like selection sets in Maya?


No. There are Selection Sets in Max as well.

This discussion led me to peruse the Max documentation. It turns out that…

[li] … a Group in Max is very similar to a Group in Maya; it has its own transforms, and any children of the group inherit this transformation. It can be animated etc.
[li] … a group can have its own modifier stack. Modifiers are inherited by childrend, yet they retain their own modifiers. If a child is removed from the Group, it inherits an instance of the group’s modifiers.
[li] … A closed group only allows selection and modification of the group as a whole, not its invidivual children.
[li] … Vice versa, an open group allows access to and modification of individual children on a temporary basis (until the group is closed again).
[li] … Groups are hierarchical: they can contain other groups, which themselves can contain groups, etc.

So, in essence, a Group in 3dsMax is a way of creating a parent-child relationship just like in Maya.
Now I have to question the OP’s initial post: if my understanding of a Group in 3ds is correct, it would behave much the same as in Maya: selecting it would make it possible to move it too. So where was your problem in the first place? :slight_smile:


1 agree max groups and instancing is way better than maya, loft a surface, extrude a pipe
and group with a poly model, to move all the components you have to turn off inherit transforms on the nurb surfaces to avoid double transformation.

now instance that group and it wont transform the instance of the surface because inherit transform is off.

This sums up mayas current problem why it can never be like Houdini, max , cinema4d or
solid works or catia its node structure is a mess.

if you want to see the current state of maya look inside its node editor its chaos.


This sums up mayas current problem why it can never be like Houdini, max , cinema4d or
solid works or catia its node structure is a mess.

if you want to see the current state of maya look inside its node editor its chaos.

That’s an absurd comment and opinion, but thanks for sharing! I never really thought those other applications handled node editing well at all, especially not Max or C4D. It’s nice to feel wrong about something, once in awhile.

I really don’t see how Maya’s “group” function could be any easier to work with.


I think vancliff had a fair comment.

I am not saying certain programs are better than others,
But if you say build a car from nurbs curves, make surfaces with those curves, group all the curves and surfaces together, in maya you have to turn off inherit transform to move the surfaces in the group with the group.

this is similar to other 3d programs.

However when I instance the group and move the new group the surfaces inside the new group do not follow the group, in other 3d programs they do.

if anyone can suggest a tutorial or link that solves this it would be helpful.


Instancing, in this case, only applies to shape nodes and their transforms. Since Groups have no shape node, the instancing gets messy. For example, if you instance a bunch of groups around (say, flowers or trees grouped together), then go to select one instance, it will select them all.

This has to do with the parent/child relationship itself, not really with instancing directly.


this link shows the instance of a group and what happens when you move the instance, the surfaces in purple
are left behind,


Maya groups delete all children,… unlike in Max. In Maya I have to ungroup everything and re-order all, but in Max I can delete and arrange anything the way I want. And, yes,… Max’s grouping is sooo much better.
This goes for bones too. I can select a bone in Max without it ‘highlighting’ everything beneath… and this (sorry Maya) is a huge rigging issue for just selecting bones. And still is.
Lots and lots of time I have wasted doing this in Maya,… not to mention the namespace issue. That should be set up like 3dsMax’s (is it Maxs’?) :slight_smile: as well.
… I’ve submitted info to Autodesk, and earlier Maya/ Wavefront over the years for all of this.


Oh… and be very careful of Maya instances… they don’t work anything like in 3dsMax. Extremely outdated. I’ll have to see if anything changed in 2014.

In Maya you have ( at least ) three choices for 'grouping' objects together:

1. If you want to group DAG nodes under a parent transform ( the 'group' node ) and don`t want them to be transformed when you accidently transform the parent transform, just untick the 'inheritsTransform' option ( for example in the attribute editor under the tranform attributes ).

2. If you want to group together not only DAG nodes but also non DAG nodes, put them in a container where you can arrange them in 2D.

3. If you want to group together anything you can think of ( not just DAG nodes ) and this more than just one time ( as when you put the DAG objects under a transform or nodes in a contaioner ) then put them in a set.


in maya groups with sets have no transform option, groups using containers makes the double
transform problem the same or worse.

the attached picture

shows you maybe able to briefly get the pipes and its history curves move without a double transform,
but the problem comes back when you want to move all as one piece, maya seems unable to
group an object as you would expect, especially when you have mirror instances using -1 in x

what we expect is it all to move as one unit as in other 3d programs, or we need a group
script that does this


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