Using Maya Move tool

From TOI-Pedia


Overview of Move Settings

This page will explain the various options found under the Maya move tool. The move tool is a great versatile tool that allows you to translate your objects in many ways besides the widely used World and Object modes.

This page will go through each and every option in the Move Settings tab of the move tool.


If world is selected, then the move manipulators are aligned to the default directions as shown in the lower left corner of your viewport. The y-axis is pointing upwards. The manipulators will always be pointing the same direction even when the object is rotated.


Rotated manipulators in Object Mode

If the object has been rotated, then the move manipulators are also rotated as you can see in the image to the right.

If multiple objects are selected then each object moves according to their own rotated directions.


Manipulators in Local mode

The local mode is best used if there are parent objects with child objects. The child object will inherit the rotation of the parent object. This means that the manipulators of the child object will be rotated according to the values of the parent object, disregarding the child object’s own transformation values.


The UVN manipulators of a vertex

The manipulators are not visible in this mode unless you are in the vertex/CV component mode. When using this mode, you will have the ability to move the vertex(s) or CV(s) in the normal, U and V directions.

NOTE: When the option Update [UVN] triad is checked, the UVN directions will change as you drag the selected vertex(s) or CV(s). When this option is turned off, the changes to the UVN directions will only be visible after you are done with your current transformation.

Along Rotation Axis

There are two option which can rotate the object, we want to edit the Rotate Axis not the other one

This mode functions exactly like the Object Mode except that you can offset the rotational axes. By using the Rotate Axis boxes, you can rotate the object without affecting the manipulators. In the image the object is rotated but the manipulators remains in its default directions.

The Rotate Axis option can be found in the Transform Attributes dropdown menu in the first tab of the object.

Normal Average

Blue arrow showing the average of the two reds arrows

The normal average mode enables you to move selected vertex/CVs along the combined normal direction. In the image, the red arrows are the normal direction of the selected vertex/CV. When those two vertexes or CVs or selected, then their combined average normal is the blue arrow.

Effect of the Normal Average mode

All selected vertexes/CVs will move in the direction of the combined average normal. Here’s an image showing the difference between Normal Average mode and the Normal mode.

Along live object axis

Before and after setting a live object

Let’s say you want to have the move axis of a lot of objects the same as a specific object. This mode allows you to align the manipulators of all object to a selected object. The image to the right shows the plane as an object to align with and the difference in the manipulators of the other two objects.

To set an object as a live object, select the object then go to Modify > Make Live.

If you want to toggle the live object off, deselect everything and go to Modify > Make Not Live.

Custom axis orientation

Custom axis orientation in radians

As the name suggests, this gives you the option set a custom orientation to the manipulators.

The values needs to be in radians instead of degrees. Refer to Google to translate degrees into radians. The effects may not be visible after entering the values, so select another mode and then re-select the tool to see the effect.

Set to Point

Set to point procedure

This mode allows you to orientate the x-manipulator to a point.

The pointing axis is the x-axis. The changes can be seen in the custom axis orientation boxes. Multiple objects can be selected but the orientation that will be applied to all objects is that of the last selected object.

Set to Edge

Set to Edge procedure

This mode has the same functionality as the Set to point mode, but this time the x-axis is parallel aligned to a selected edge of any object.

The aligned axis is parallel to the selected edge. This mode can be applied to multiple objects as well.

Set to Face

Set to Face procedure

Just like the previous two modes, this one aligns the manipulators to the normal of any selected faces in the scene.

The x-axis will be matched to the normal of the selected face. This face normal will always be in the center of the face and perpendicular to the face’s surface. Multiple objects can be aligned in this mode too.

Preserve Child Transform

When this option is checked, the parent object can be moved independently. This way, the children objects are not affected.

Preserve UVs

Effect of Preserve UVs

When this option is checked, moving an object’s component (e.g.: vertex, edges, CVs) does not distort the texture applied to the object. This will be illustrated with the UV texture editor.

When the preserve UVs option is not checked, then Maya tries to fit the rectangular texture into the deformed shape. When the option is checked, Maya will move the UVs of the texture according to the object’s components. In this case it is the moved vertex.

Discrete move

There are three options under this mode. Relative, Step size and Tweak mode. If you want to move with a specific distance, then you can set this in the Step size box.

Comparison with Relative On and Off

The Relative option box determines the starting point from which the transformation will take place. In the illustration image, the Step size is set to 3 and the pivot point is at the center of the grid.

Notice how the red dots are stemming from the origin point when the relative option is not checked.

Tweak Mode

This nifty little option allows you to quickly move any object’s component where the cursor of your mouse is. This mode is only active when you are in a component mode! There are two ways to use this option.

  1. Hold down the ` (Tilde key, under the Esc key ) on the keyboard to activate the tweak mode and drag with the left mouse button.
  2. Have the option box in the move tool checked and whenever you want to quickly manipulate a component, go to the move tool or just press W on the keyboard.

NOTE: when using the tweak, all manipulators are not visible.

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