Share your secret weapon...!


My secret weapon is the weapon to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome: middle-mouse drag. You can middle-mouse drag pretty much everything in Maya everywhere. The huge advantage is that you don’t have to position your mouse to manipulators. It works in the model views, but also in the Graph editor and other places. If you want to (move) constrain to a certain axis while middle-mouse dragging, just hold shift and move in the general direction of the axis you want to constrain. In fact, I get so used to this lazy way of working, that I start to miss it badly in other software I’m using.
Related to this, is the middle-mouse dragging in a model view after clicking a channel in the channel box (virtual slider). Another recent discovery (after years of working with Maya, go figure…) is the ability to ctrl-drag numeric values in the Attribute Editor. The last two have slow/fast modifiers, but I can’t check which ones, because I’m baking a couple of huge lightmaps right now…


I stumbled upon this one!

U can drag one material type onto the color node of another. sort of like layer shader.

I wanted a travelling tube i achieved by animating the transparency rather than motion path. But the specular of the phong material was giving away the transparent parts. So i mapped the phong onto a lambert and i put the transp. ramp animating in the lambert. :wise:



I am a big fan of the MJPolyTools and Marking Menus with assigned hotkeys. Increased workspace and a quicker and smoother workflow


2 quickies:

If you ever need to make a rope rig, you can lock the length of a curve by going into hair -->Modify curves–>lock length. Now when you move CV’s, the other CV’s will update accordingly. VERY handy little trick.

If you ever need to “parent” an object to another objects surface, create a single follicle on the objects surface. Delete all of the extra hair/pfx/curves except for the follicle itself. Move the follicle by changing its U and V value. Once its in place where you like it, you will now have an object you can directly parent to, and it will stick to the surface perfectly. (MUCH more stable than the rivet script everyone uses)


Wow. I’ve learned more tricks in 2 hours from this thread than 7 years of Maya help docs. Why don’t they have a section of power tricks in the help files!!!??? And I really think Alias should throw into the GUI some of those neat little scripts that do simple little toggles and such.

Well here’s a few

  1. I’m not sure when they introduced this, but model ‘reflecting’ is very handy. i.e. when you are working on half of a character’s head and want symmetry turn on ‘reflection’ on your move tool options. Artisan brushes also have this option under ‘stroke’. It would be nice if it was just one global symmetry button so that all actions (including lattices/bones/soft mods) would tranfer over to the other side…

  2. Shortcut to expand your component selection (verts, faces etc) Shift+> and Shift+<

  3. Maya 7 bonus tools has ‘toggle selected faces display’ that works like a proper face hider - better than isolate select.

  4. Huge fan of soft mod tool. Interactively adjust falloff by pressing T, then hold down B. Adjust like you would an artisan brush (MMB). Add and remove verts from the deformer by using the deform/edit membership tool just like if you were editing a rigid bind.

I’ll throw more in as I remember them…

MikeRhone I think you are 15th level ninja now dude!


DT3Dskin for MR and Software Rendering. IPR sss Tweaks.

Another One

DDMEL = Voice command Mel scipts, great if you work from home or alone.

oh oh one more…



What is that I have never heard of that.


the small changes are the best ones:) ->

Creates a new layer and adds all selected objects to this layer."

Aswell as an pop-up window that allows you go name the layer instantly.
Go permanent installation.


Im new to the whole 3d thing, but…



I have tons and tons of them… many posted here but since the past 3 months I have been using ya_selectionManager from yashu, the genius kid in town.

I simply wonder and wonder why autodesk did not put it in Maya 8 :shrug:

For those wants to know, the script makes the process of quck selection sets 1000x easier and fun, you can put it underneath channel box instead of layer manager, for you modeler (isolating parts of your model - inside mouth), animator (multiple controls selection on the fly) or rigger (deformer joints selections, vertex level skinning) this is a must! You can add your qss to current selection, substract it or intersect it, something that Maya can’t do on the fly with QSS. Kept selecting hidden nodes in Maya? curveInfo, motionPath, intensityCurve or miDefault and feel annoyed? Do it with qss and fly away.

All credit to yashu, the genius kid in town.


for guns… booleans>diffrence is very usefull for me


Wow… Thid DDMEL is crazy… but i don’t think i will ever use it :slight_smile:


Hey bro… That thing with IPR does not work for me… What could i do wrong ?

I make IPR render of the object and then click on it in render view but nothing happens…


Once you have an IPR loaded, select a region to update as you normally would. Once its updated you will be able to click on it.



Works now :slight_smile:

Thanks :slight_smile:


This is perfect for riggers or careful persons generally:).
The lockNode melcommand makes objects undeletable. On or off.

lockNode objectname;

lockNode -lock off objectname;

From the maya command reference:

Locks or unlocks one or more dependency nodes. A locked node is restricted in the following ways:
[li]It may not be deleted.[/li][li]It may not be renamed.[/li][li]Its parenting may not be changed.[/li][li]Attributes may not be added to or removed from it.[/li][li]Locked attributes may not be unlocked.[/li][li]Unlocked attributes may not be locked.[/li][/ul] Note that an unlocked attribute of a locked node may still have its value set, or connections to it made or broken. For more information on attribute locking, see the setAttr command.

If no node names are specified then the current selection list is used.

Basically if you want to secure all you nice nurbscurve controllers in your shiny rig just run:

lockNode ls -et nurbsCurve;


I just discovered a new way to parent stuff to a section of an object. Faces, vertex etc

Simply paint a hair follicle on that object and parent your target to it.
This way you dont need the Rivet script.


A Panel with a complicated name. Very usefull:
Poly Selection Constraint Panel

with that you can do things like these:

  • randomly select faces / edges / vertices
  • restrict a selection to hard / soft edges
  • only select vertices with a specific number of connected edges
  • select verts / faces… that are on a border
  • only select concave or triangular or n-sided or unmapped or planar faces
  • select components with a certain distance to a point in space
    and much more!

-> Panels -> Panel Editor… -> New Panel -> Poly Selection Constraint Panel
or (it depends)
-> Panels -> Panel -> Poly Selection Constraint Panel

Have fun with that one!


dbZenTools, one of best tool for poly hardsurface modeling.
it allows u to rebuild edge loop and poly surface just like nurbs’s rebuild surface function;)