Assignment #2

Relevant Hotkeys/Tools ← Click!

Menu Navigation

Spacebar - Holding down this hotkey will bring up the "hotbox". The hotbox is all of Maya's menus in one place relative to the center of your mouse. This allows you to bypass having to switch menu sets every time you want to access certain functionality.


  • Alt + Left-click and drag - Rotate the camera.
  • Alt + Right-click and drag / Scroll Wheel - Zoom the camera in and out.
  • Alt + Middle-click and drag - Pan the camera.
  • f - Focus camera on the selected object. The camera will now rotate around that object.
  • 4 - Display objects as wireframe.
  • 5 - Display objects as solid.
  • In four panel view: Hover mouse over viewport and press Spacebar to jump in and out.

Object/Component Selection

  • q - Select Tool. Also useful for "canceling" out of another tool.
  • F8 - Object selection mode.

Object Manipulation

  • Red tool handles correspond to the x-axis, green to the y-axis, and blue to the z-axis. Remember this color scheme, as it is used consistently throughout Maya for easy axis identification.
  • w - Move Tool
  • e - Rotate Tool
  • r - Scale Tool
  • + (the plus key) - Makes the tool size larger (affects all manipulation tools). Bigger tool handle sizes make small adjustments easier.
  • - (the minus key) - Makes the tool size smaller.

The Most Important Hotkeys You Will Ever Learn ...Ever!

  • z - Undo. Undoes the last thing you did. Applies to selections and deselections as well. Does not apply to camera movement by default. Maya's undo queue is initially set to only allow 50 undos in a row, so go to Window → Settings/Preferences → Preferences, select Undo from the list, and set the Queue Size to something like 500. You can set it to Infinite, but that may increase the likelihood of Maya crashing. Note for later in the year: importing resets the undo queue, so be careful.
  • Z (Shift + z) - Redo. Undone things are reverted. Be careful not to select or deselect anything if you are doing of bunch of redos, as that will reset the redo queue.
  • g - Repeat last action. If you need to perform a single action multiple times (such as extruding) but do not want to repeatedly dig through Maya's menus, just hit the g key.

For this assignment you will continue to work on moving the upper parts of the face. You will showcase your ability to move the eyes and eyebrows into the scowl, the glare, and the brow of distress. You will be using the Valencia rig for this assignment. Keep in mind that even the slightest details can change how the face is read, so make sure the movements you make show the correct expression you want it to be read as. Use the mirrors in the lab and yourself as reference.

Hopefully you are more familiar with how to navigate your way around maya. In this demo I will go over the specific parts of the face that we’ll be using.

Let’s start with the eyebrows. On each eyebrow there is 4 controls.

The 3 rectangles control the inner corner, center, and outer corner of the eyebrow.

The outlined oval (looks like a boomerang) anim controls all 3 rectangles at once.

Each eye has 10 anims total. There’s one anim on the upper lid and the bottom lid. These anims control all the top or bottom lid anims at once.

If you click on the anim that controls the top lid, the 3 circles of the top lid become highlighted, showing you which ones it is controlling.

The same thing happens when you click the anim that controls the bottom lid.

When moving and rotating anims, there are some instances where you can’t rotate an anim. For instance, if you click the separate parts of the eyelid (the spheres), you are unable to use the rotate tool. The tool will become gray, signifying the inability to function that way.

To achieve an “oblique” eyebrow (slanted/sloped eyebrow), you will use a combination of the move tool and the rotate tool. Click the inner eyebrow and use the rotate tool to rotate the end of it upwards.

Use the move tool to move the inner eyebrow anim up.

You can rotate and move the other 2 eyebrow anims accordingly to get a more sloped look overall.

While you move around all the different anims, instead of keying them individually each time you move an anim, there’s a quick and easy way to select all the anims and key them all at once. In the top bar, go to the tab that says "Production" and click the icon that looks like 3 green men.

Now all the anims are highlighted white.

From here you can go to the timeline and key them.

Make sure to set a key every 40 frames using the specific sequence of expressions. They are already labeled:

    000 – The Scowl

    040 – The Glare

    080 – The Brow of Distress

Use the snipping tool to screenshot the 3 expressions. Name the files:




Within your student folder, create a new folder and name it “assignment_2”

Assignment due at 11:59PM on Monday 7/1 For turn in, please make sure the following files are in an assignment_2 folder within your student folder: