Maya is one of the most popular Animation software widely used by studios and hobbyist. It has advanced features and tools sets that other software currently doesn’t offer making it the most preferred software in a pipeline.

Having many tools to work with can be sometimes very painful especially when you have to go through many menus resulting in a slower workflow.

Here are some keyboard shortcuts that can help you speed up your workflow(the keyboard shortcut may very depending on the Maya version you are using).

  1. File Operations    
     Ctrl (or Command)  n  File > New Scene
     Ctrl (or Command)  o  File > Open Scene
     Ctrl (or Command)  s  File > Save Scene
     Ctrl (or Command)  Shift + s  File > Save Scene As
     Ctrl (or Command)  q  File > Exit
     Ctrl  r  Create file reference
  2. Selecting Objects and Components    
       F8  Select > Object/Component (Switch between object   and component editing)
       F9  Select > Vertex
       F10  Select > Edge
       F11  Select > Face
       F12  Select > UV
     Ctrl  i  Select next intermediate object
     Alt  F9  Select > Vertex Face
         Shrink polygon selection region
       >  Grow polygon selection region
  3. Selecting Menus    
     Ctrl  m  Show/hide main menu bar
     Shift  M  Show/hide panel menu bar
     Ctrl+Shift  M  Show/hide panel toolbar
       h  With left mouse button for Menu Set marking menu
       F2  Show Animation menu set
       F3  Show Polygons menu set
       F4  Show Modeling menu set
       F5  Show Dynamics menu set
       F6  Show Rendering menu set
  4. Tool Operations    
       Return  Complete current tool
       Insert  Enter tool Edit mode
     Shift  Q  Select Tool, or with left mouse button for  Component marking menu
     Alt  q  Select Tool, or with left mouse button for Polygon  marking menu
       q  Select Tool, or with left mouse button for Selection  Mask marking menu
       w  Move Tool, or with left mouse button for Move Tool  marking menu
       e  Rotate Tool, or with left mouse button for Rotate  Tool marking menu
       r  Scale Tool, or with left mouse button for Scale Tool  marking menu
    Ctrl  t  Show universal manipulator tool
       t  Show manipulator tool
       y  Selects the last used tool that is not one of Select,  Move, Rotate, or Scale
       j  Move, Rotate, Scale Tool Snapping (press and  release)
       =, +  Increase manipulator size
       –  Decrease manipulator size
       d  With left mouse button move pivot (Move Tool)
       Insert  Switches between move pivot and move object  (Move Tool)
  5. Displaying Objects (Show, Hide)    
     Ctrl  h  Display > Hide > Hide Selection
     Shift  H  Display > Show > Show Selection
     Ctrl+Shift  H  Display > Show > Show Last Hidden
     Alt  h  Display > Hide > Hide Unselected Objects
     Shift  l  Show > Isolate Select > View Selected (in the  panel menus)
  6. Tumble, Track, or Dolly    
     Alt  Left mouse button  Tumble Tool (press and release)
     Alt  Middle mouse button  Track Tool (press and release)
     Alt  Right mouse button  Dolly Tool (press and release)
  7. 2D Pan/Zoom    
     \+  Middle mouse button  2D Pan tool
     \+  Right mouse button  2D Zoom tool
     \    Enable/disable 2D Pan/Zoom.
  8. Hotbox Display    
       space  (When pressed down) Show the hotbox
     Alt  m  Default Hotbox Style (Zones and Menu Rows)
  9. Edit Operations    
       z  Edit > Undo (also Ctrl+z/Command+z)
     Shift  Z  Edit > Redo
       g  Edit > Repeat
     Shift  G  Repeat command at mouse position
     Ctrl  d  Edit > Duplicate
     Ctrl+Shift  D  Edit > Duplicate Special
     Shift  D  Edit > Duplicate with Transform
     Ctrl  g  Edit > Group
       p  Edit > Parent
     Shift  P  Edit > Unparent
      Ctrl (or Command)  x  Edit > Cut
     Ctrl (or Command)  c  Edit > Copy
     Ctrl (or Command)  v  Edit > Paste
  10. Modeling Operations    
      1 Default polygon mesh display (no smoothing)
      2 Cage + smooth polygon mesh display
      3 Smooth polygon mesh display
    Ctrl F9 Convert polygon selection to Vertices
    Ctrl F10 Convert polygon selection to Edges
    Ctrl F11 Covert polygon selection to Faces
    Ctrl F12 Covert polygon selection to UVs
    Ctrl ` Proxy > Subdiv ProxyDisplays original mesh (proxy) and a smoothed version of the original.
    Ctrl+Shift ` Proxy > Subdiv Proxy > (Box icon)Displays Subdiv Proxy options window
      ` Toggles the display between the original (proxy) and the smoothed mesh.
      ~ Displays both the original (proxy) and the smoothed mesh.
    Alt ` Modify > Convert > NURBS to Subdiv, Polygons to Subdiv
    Alt+Shift ~ Displays option window for Modify > Convert > NURBS to Subdiv > (Box icon)or Polygons to Subdiv > (Box icon)  (depending on whether NURBS or Polygons are selected).
      Page Up Increases Division Levels for Smooth Mesh Preview or Subdiv Proxy.
      Page Down Decreases Division Levels for Smooth Mesh Preview or Subdiv Proxy.
      l Lock/unlock length of a curve (press and hold)

    Thank you for reading,

Have a question? leave a comment below or discuss on Hacker News

I compiled a list of software and services that I use to improve my workflow, here is the link to the list.

    Darryl Dias

    I’m Darryl. I’m a 3D Artist, Programmer and Linux enthusiast. On this site I share my insights, tips and tricks, tutorials, methods and best practices.

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