Maya 2012 Tutorial
How to Use the Maya Channel Box
If you need to rotate an object 22.5 degrees or double the scale, the Channel Box can be quite handy. The box contains position, rotation, scale, visibility and object history information. By right clicking the name of any channel box item, you can set a keyframe.
Add a polygon cylinder to the workspace (Create > Polygon Primitives > Cylinder). With the cylinder selected, click the Channel Box icon. Make sure the second Channel Box icon below is also selected.
Double click the name at the top of the box to rename the object. Click Enter to accept the new name.
Change the values in the translate, rotate and scale boxes to change the object's location, rotation and scale. You can also click drag multiple boxes (i.e., scale) to change the values for multiple boxes at the same time.
Changing the visibility from on to off makes your object disappear. You can enter on or 1 for visible and off or 0 for invisible.
The bottom section lists any object inputs. You can click on the inputs and change the values.
The object inputs in Step Five are known as the object's construction history. To delete an object's construction history, select the object and choose Edit > Delete by Type > History.
Object Axis Colors
To determine whether you need to modify the x, y or z input box, remember that the object axes are red, green and blue. red is X, green is Y and blue is Z. In other words, RGB = XYZ.
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.
Another Way to Change Channel Box Values
Try selecting an attribute name (i.e., Translate X) in the Channel Box and middle mouse button drag left and right in the workspace. The Translate X value updates.
Channel Box Colors
The Channel Box values are color coded for easy identification.
Red = Keyframe
Purple = Expression
Yellow = Connection
Blue Gray = Locked