Autodesk Maya Computer Aided Design XE Week 2 - Computer-aided Design

Autodesk Maya

In addition to the die modelling task we were set and as I had previously used both Solidworks and Fusion 360 I decided to also lean the basics of Autodesk Maya. First thing as ever, get the software open and find a tutorial on YouTube.

I watched this video that outlines the main features of Maya. It is worth a quick watch but personally I didn’t find it massively helpful as it didn’t go to explaining the purpose of the tools or the software.


I then tried this hour long tutorial that guides you through making a simple character from scratch.


A couple of things to note with this video:

  • It is an hour long but I found it took more like 2 hours to work along with as I regularly had to pause and go back to double check I was following correctly (this is my first time using Maya so if you’re already used to it this might not be the case).
  • To follow along with the video you will need to download to reference images that are here.
  • Finally, if like me this is your fist go with Maya but you’ve used other CAD software I suggest you checkout the viewpoint controls as they’re (just slightly) different to something like Solidworks and you will constantly have to remind yourself that what the hell they are. Viewpoint controls are the simplest tool but make a fucking massive difference.

I could link to a video about the Maya viewpoint controls but honestly what you need to know is:

  • Holding Alt+Left click allows you to Rotate.
  • Holding Alt+Right click allows you to Zoom in and out.
  • Holding Alt+Middle Mouse Button allows you to Pan.

My first try at Maya and the above tutorial turned out like this. Pretty lumpy but it came out more or less like the video thumbnail.

maya screen capture


In Maya each project folder is made up of various files, the main one is a scene file and the others are reference files for the project. The scene file for this character can be downloaded here: The reference files are the are mentioned and linked above.

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