Using Maya Snap modes

From TOI-Pedia


This page gives an overview of using the different snap modes that Maya offers.

This page uses abbreviations for the mouse buttons:

LMB: Left Mouse Button

MMB: Middle Mouse Button

RMB: Right Mouse Button

Snap modes

Make sure you enable only one snap mode at a time. Mixing them may produce unexpected results.

Snap to points

Maya snap to points.gif

Use to snap to:

  • polygon vertices
  • NURBS curve or surface edit points *

Snap to Grids

Maya snap to grids.gif

Use to snap to the grid.

Snap to curves

Maya snap to curves.gif

Use to snap to a curve.

LMB select the axis for the movement (or the center for movement in all three directions) and use the MMB on a curve to snap the object to that curve.

Constraint snap

You can constrain the movement to a specific axis when using snap. LMB select the axis and LMB drag your mouse towards the point you'd like to snap on.

Direct Snap

You can snap directly to a point without dragging, by using the MMB. When moving an object or component, enable the desired snap mode and MMB click where you want to snap to.

NURBS and Snap

You must enable Edit Points display to be able to use point snap on curves and surfaces: Select the object(s) and choose Display > NURBS > Edit Points. Displaying the edit points can be quite heavy.

Disable displaying them when you don't need them anymore. Tip: use Display > NURBS > Custom Option Box.



Press and hold (given that all snap modes are off):

to snap to grids
to snap to curves
to snap to points

Related: You can press and hold d to move an objects pivot point.

Snap script

Maya offers limited snap options. These can be made more accessible or can be extended by using external scripts.

The Snap Tools MEL script offers midpoint snap (using Maya's built in magnet functions) and snapping vertices in an arbitrary direction onto a plane (polygon face).

Live objects

Maya snap make object live.gif

Objects can be made live, snapping everything onto the live surface.

A special application is when making a NURBS surface live and drawing a curve. This curve will automatically snap to the surface, becoming a Curve on Surface.

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