Assignment #5

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 move onto the cardinal expressions, specifically surprise and fear. Now that you have separately worked on the eyes, eyebrows, and the mouth, you will coordinate them all to make expressions using all parts of the face. You will pose the face in surprise, and 2 different levels of intensity for fear: less intense fear and more intense fear. 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.

Check out this website for fear references.

First make a new folder in your student folder and label it “assignment_5”

You can get the maya file for the assignment 5 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 – Surprise

    040 – Fear - Less Intense

    080 – Fear - More Intense

Make sure as you go through the assignment that you are keying your poses every time you change something and to save often!

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.

For all the poses, you will eventually want to create nasal labial folds for when you drop the jaw.

To create those folds, we’ll be using the cheek anims.

Select both the top and the bottom cheek anims on both sides so that you have all 4 highlighted. You can select multiple anims by holding down shift as you select the anims.

Press e to activate the rotate tool and rotate the anims horizontally a couple times by using the yellow line to rotate them.

You can adjust the cheek anims individually as needed to make them more narrow/wide/shorter/longer.

When you get to fear and want to move the eye direction, go to the bottom of the channel box. Click “eye_direction_controls” so that it is highlighted. Then press the empty box to the far left so that “V” appears.

The 3 eye blocks are now visible.

Use the MIDDLE block to control both eyes at the same time. Press the “V” again in the channel box if you want to hide them.

For the intense fear pose, you will be moving the actual eyeball forward a little bit. To move the eyeball, first go to the bottom of the channel box again. Click “eye_balls” so that it is highlighted. Then click “R” so that the box is empty.

Now you are able to click the eyeball so that you can use the move tool to push it forward a little bit.

When you are done moving the eyeball, key it on your timeline (just press “s”). Then click the empty box twice where “R” was on the channel box. The first click will show a “T”, the second click will show “R” again. With R selected, you are unable to click the eyeballs.

Before you start 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 Wednesday 7/10 For turn in, please have the following in your assignment_5 folder in your student folder::