Add New Attribute to Channel Box

Add New Attribute to Channel Box

Maya 2012 Tutorial


How to Add Channel Box Attribute in Maya



The Channel Box has ten channels by default. The channels can be controlled with the Graph Editor while animating your object. You may wish to control a specific parameter of an object in the Graph Editor.

This technique illustrates how to create a new channel that is connected to the transparency attribute of your Blinn shader.


Step One

Add a polygon sphere to the workspace by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Sphere.

Step Two

Right-click the sphere and choose Assign New Material > Blinn.

Step Three

With the sphere selected, open the Attribute Editor.

Step Four

At the top of the panel, choose Attributes, Add Attributes.

Step Five

In the Add Attributes panel, click the New tab and give your attribute a new name (i.e., objTransp).

Step Six

Click Float for Data Type. This will allow for numbers with values to the right of the decimal point. Set the Minimum to 0 and Maximum to 1.

Step Seven

Click the OK button to create your new attribute. The next step is to connect your attribute to the object's transparency value.

Step Eight

Select the object and choose Window > General Editors > Connection Editor.

Step Nine

Choose Window >Rendering Editors > Hypershade and click the Graph Materials on Selected Object icon.

Step Ten

Click the object's Blinn node in the Hypershade, then click the Reload Right button in the Connection Editor.

Step Eleven

In the Connection Editor, scroll down the left panel and click objTransp.

Step Twelve

In the Connection Editor, right panel, open the transparency group and click transparencyR, transparencyG and transparencyB. Close the Connection Editor and Hypershade.

Step Thirteen

With the object selected, open the Channel Box and note the new attribute named objTransp.

Step Fourteen

Change the objTransp value from 0 to 0.5 to 1 and the object goes from opaque to transparent. Since the attribute has been added to the Channel Box, you can also access it in the Graph Editor.

Attribute Data Type Values

In this example we selected Float for our Data Type. Depending on your situation, you may wish to used one of the other Data Types.

Vector = 3 Values (i.e., RGB value of a color)

Integer = Whole Numbers

String = Words and/or Numbers

Float = Number (Includes decimal values)

Boolean = True or False (0 or 1)

Enum = Drop Down List


Naming Your Attributes

Stick to camelCase naming conventions when naming your attributes (Step Five). This means no spaces, no starting with numbers, no symbols, etc. career skills