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Maya Attributes

A.What are attributes?

An attribute is a position associated with a node that can hold a value or a connection to another
node. Attributes control how a node works. For example, a transform node has attributes for the amount
of rotation in X, Y, and Z. You can set attributes to control practically every aspect of your animation.
There are many ways to set attributes in Maya: with the Attribute Editor, the Channel Box,
the Attribute Spread Sheet, menu selections, and MEL.

B.Attributes in Maya

1.Pivot
The pivot point defines the position around which objects are rotated or scaled. By default, the pivot point of
an object is located at its center. If you want to rotate an object around a specific point, like a forearm rotates
from an elbow, you need to adjust the pivot's position. Custom pivot editing mode is the default method for
setting object and component pivot points.

Transformation Relationship to Pivot

Move Moves the pivot point (and the object travels along
with it).

Scale Scales object out from or in toward the pivot point.

Rotation Rotates object around the pivot point.

Custom pivot editing mode


Custom pivot editing mode (Hotkey: Insert or D) lets you set pivot position and axis orientation. You can use
this mode to move the pivot point and perform more complex edits like pivot
pinning and orienting and snapping the custom pivot to a component.

The following hotkeys can be used to adjust the custom pivot's position and axis orientation:

 Ctrl = adjust axis orientation


 Shift = adjust pivot position
 Ctrl + Shift = adjust pivot position and axis orientation

2.Limit Information
You can set limits on the translation, rotation and scale channels

3.Display
The items in this submenu control the display and selectability of the selected objects.
Options in this submenu are:

a.Template / Untemplate — Makes an object unselectable, for use as a reference in your scene. Templated
objects appear slightly dimmed. You cannot select or snap to templated objects.
b.Bounding Box / No Bounding Box — Draws a box around the total space occupied by each object.
c.Geometry / No Geometry — Shows or hides the actual geometry of the object (for example, the surface or
polygon mesh). This lets you turn on the display of components (such as CVs) but turn off the actual object
itself.
d.Ignore Hardware Shader / Use Hardware Shader — Lets you ignore hardware shaders on multiple polygon or
NURBS objects. The objects then appear with their untextured default shaders. Use Hardware Shader lets you
show the hardware shaders for multiple polygon or NURBS objects.
e.Fast Interaction — Improves performance by displaying fewer geometric entities (such as polygons),
especially when moving the camera (for example, tumbling the scene view).
4.Mental Ray
Mental ray for Maya offers all the features traditionally expected of photorealistic rendering and includes
functionality not found in most rendering software.

Mental ray for Maya allows interactive and batch mental ray rendering from within the Maya user interface.
With the help of built-in shaders supporting almost any effect available in Maya, mental ray for Maya allows
the rendering of scenes created within Maya or their export into the NVIDIA file format (.mi).

(For detailed information on the mental ray standalone application, see mental ray Manual.)

After you load the mental ray plug-in (and select mental ray as the renderer), the Render menu lists available
menu items for mental ray for Maya. As well, the Attribute Editor contains a mental ray section in which you
can edit attributes that are used exclusively when rendering with mental ray for Maya.

To load the mental ray for Maya plug-in, see Load or unload Maya plug-ins.
5.Nodes

The nodes includes

a.Aching
Turn Caching on to temporarily store input node evaluations in the cache. When Maya needs these evaluations
(as input to the node), it uses the information stored in the cache rather than re-evaluating the input node. If no
changes have been made to the node, it redraws more quickly. The cache is destroyed when you edit an
attribute. Note that caching uses more memory, which could affect Maya’s performance.

b.Node State
Changing the node state can improve performance. There are six possible node states:

Normal
Causes the node to behave normally, according to the defined settings and effects. This is the default.

Has No Effect
Disables any effects on the node so that fewer calculations are necessary at the time of redraw. The effect does
not render until you reset the Node State back to Normal. Maya evaluates the nodes in the node’s history, but
not the node itself.

For example, if you translate a cluster to deform a geometry, then set the Node State of the cluster node to
HasNoEffect, the geometry appears undeformed, as though the translation had not occurred. To view the
effect, change the Node State back to Normal.

Blocking
Temporarily hides the node and does not display the results of any input (input evaluations) to the node. This
can speed the redraw. It is also useful when you have complex scenes and want to edit only one aspect of a
node. Blocked nodes do not render.

For example, if you have a complex revolved surface and want to edit the curve, but don’t want to wait while
the curve redraws, select Blocking and edit the curve. To display the modified revolved surface, reset the Node
State to Normal.

6.Extra Attributes

Long name
This is the name of the attribute you are adding.

Override nice name


Turn on to provide a different/more user-friendly name that will be used when viewing this attribute in
the Attribute Editor or Channel Box.

(A default nice name will be created if your attribute name is intercapped (that
is, setAttributeBlackOrWhite becomes Set Attribute Black Or White).)

The nice name is only stored in the file if the Override nice name box is checked; otherwise, it's computed
from the long name. This may insert multi-byte characters into a .ma (Maya ASCII) file if the nice name is in a
multi-byte language such as Japanese.

Nice name
This is a shorter or more user-friendly name for the attribute. You can only type something in if Override nice
name is turned on.

Make attribute
Defines the following attributes:
For more details on these attribute types, see Channel Control Editor.

Keyable
Makes the attribute keyable.
Displayable
Makes the attribute non-keyable but displayed in the Channel Box.
Hidden
Makes the attribute hidden (and not keyable).