Maya 2012 Tutorial
How to Use the Maya Attribute Editor
Objects and textures in Maya are built as a series of nodes or components. By accessing a specific node, you can change it's parameters. For instance, if you have an object that has been assigned a Blinn shader and you wish to change the color, you would open the Attribute Editor, click the blinn tab and then click the Color rectangle.
You can access the Attribute Editor tabs multiple ways.
Add a polygon cube to the workspace by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Cube.
Select the cube, then right-click the cube and choose Assign New Material > Blinn. The Attribute Editor, blinn tab automatically opens
Deselect the cube, then select it. By clicking on the cube, it's nodes appear in the Attribute Editor.
To access the object parameters, click on the various tabs in the Attribute Editor.
To hide or show the Attribute Editor, click the Attribute Editor icon in the upper right corner of the workspace.
You can also access the Attribute Editor and toggle the Attribute Editor and Channel Box by pressing Ctrl/a.
To reveal any hidden tabs in the Attribute Editor, click the right-facing triangle next to the tabs.
By using the Focus menu in the Attribute Editor, you can quickly find a specific tab.
Another quick way to access a specific tab is to open the Attribute Editor, then click on the node in the Hypergraph (Window > Hypergraph: Connections). The selected tab appears in the Attribute Editor.
Working Between the Channel Box and Attribute Editor
By clicking both the Channel Box and Attribute Editor icons, both panels open with a pair of tabs on the right side of the workspace. To switch between the panels, click on that panel's tab. If one of the panels is open, click it's tab and the panel is temporarily hidden.
Simplify Your Tabs
As your object develops and become more complex, the tab count begins to grow. To simplify your object, select the object and choose Edit > Delete by Type > History.