Speed up and improve workflow with hotkeys


Welcome to Quick Tip : Hotkeys. 

I want to share a few helpful tips on speeding up and improving your workflow. Hotkeys are one of the simplest and accessible ways to speed up your workflow and they are often over looked. Honestly, it’s not a particularly glamorous topic to cover so I understand why many people don’t cover it. Nevertheless, we’re gonna go for it!

In this case, I am going to setup hotkeys for an animation workflow. This is the animation hotkey set I have used for years. You may have your own set of tools and needs when it comes to hotkeys but hopefully this quick session will be a solid foundation for your own hotkey tool set.

A little theory first, I like to do everything with me left hand placed in a single location. So instead of setting up my hotkeys based on correlating letters, I am going to use keys that are close to the keys I already use. Also, I am going to override default hotkeys. Therefor, I want to choose keystrokes that will not interrupt other useful hotkeys.

Tangent types :
Auto Tangents : alt + q
Flat Tangents : alt + w
Linear Tangents : alt + e
Spline Tangents : alt + r

Weighted Tangents : alt + 1
Free Tangent Weight : alt + 2
Break Tangents : alt + 3
Unify Tangents : alt + 4

You can also setup custom scripted hotkeys. A good one to do is a curves visibility  hotkey.

Set alt + f2 : modelEditor -e -nurbsCurves true modelPanel4;
set alt + f3 : modelEditor -e -nurbsCurves false modelPanel4;

This will let you flip between seeing and not seeing the nurbsCurves.
You can add pretty much anything you want into a hotkey. It’s actually a very powerful tool.

When it comes to saving time, hotkeys are the easiest way to cut time off your process. And when it comes to putting out feature animation, it’s not quality alone that make a great animator but speed and quality combined.

I forgot to mention this in the video but, You can take your hotkeys with you if you’d like!
Simply grab the file called “userHotkeys.mel”.

That is located in:  My Documents > Maya > 2014-x64 > prefs
When you arrive at a new location (say, a new classroom) you can drop that file into that computers maya preferences folder.

Grab a copy of Benny and start making better, faster animation!