Assignment #4

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, we will continue to focus on the movements of the mouth, specifically the open mouth. You will show your ability to move the mouth into a relaxed open mouth (a little open, more open, and opened to the max), lower lip stretcher, snarl/disgust, and a smile. 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.

First make a new folder in your student folder and label it “assignment_4”

You can get the maya file for the assignment 4 template on the course website.

Once you’ve opened the assignment in Maya, you’ll notice that a neutral expression has been keyed and labeled for all the poses.

    000 – Open Mouth – A Little Open

    040 – Open Mouth – More Open

    080 – Open Mouth – Open to the Max

    120 – Lower Lip Stretcher

    160 – Snarl/Disgust

    200 – Smile

Remember: ONLY MOVE THE MOUTH. You do not need to move the eyes and eyebrows; this assignment is focused on just the mouth movement.

Another reminder: Make sure you are keying your poses, and referencing the rubric!

And a last, very important reminder: SAVE OFTEN! The “Save It” button is a great thing to use to save the different iterations of your entire process. Sometimes Maya freezes and crashes and sometimes something weird happens and you’re unable to get it back to normal. SAVE SAVE SAVE.

Use the “front_face_cam” to see in the view in which you’ll be turning your assignment in. It is highly recommended that you also use perspective and side view as you work on this assignment.

On some of these poses, you might want to turn on the secondary anims. Remember, if you want to turn on the secondary anims, first go to the outliner.

If the outliner is not there, click the outliner button on the left side of the screen to open it.

Inside the outliner, click the plus sign next to the “character” group.

Click on “Girl_Face_topCon” so that it is highlighted in blue.

Go to the channel box on the right side of the screen. Next to “S Face Anim Vis” change the 0 to a 1 and push enter.

If you want to turn off the extra anims, change it back to 0.

For some of the poses we will be opening the mouth. To open the mouth, we will move the jaw anim located on the chin.

Although you are allowed to both move and rotate the jaw, ONLY USE THE ROTATE TOOL. The rotate tool moves the jaw in the correct way. Rotate it forwards/backwards.

The move tool moves the jaw incorrectly, distorting the jaw area.

Only for the “snarl/disgust” and the “smile” pose will require the use of the “curl” and “push” attributes inside the channel box.

For the snarl/disgust, use a combination of both the curl and push attributes on the 3 UPPER lip anims. I suggest using values between 25 to 35 for the curl attribute. For the push attribute use values between -1 to 0.

For the smile, use a combination of both the curl and push attributes on the 3 UPPER lip anims.

For this pose you might want to turn on the secondary anims. It’s important to get a sense of tension in the upper lip, so we will make the top lip look narrowed and stretched with the curl and push attributes. Play around with the different ranges. I suggest using values between -20 to -35 for the curl attribute. For the push attribute use values between -4 to -1

Don't forget to use the cheek anims for the smile!

Before you start playblasting and screenshotting, make sure to click 7 so that the correct lighting is on.



Screenshot each pose. Name your screenshots:







Assignment due at 11:59PM on Tuesday 7/9 For turn in, put the following in your assignment_4 folder within your student folder: