Object Construction History
Maya 2012 Tutorial
How to Use Construction History in Maya
As you create objects in Maya, the steps you go through to create your object are recorded as nodes and connected to the original base object.
For instance, you may start with a simple cube object. Once you apply a bevel to the cube, a new bevel node is added to the object. Because it is a separate node or set of instructions, you can access the new node in the Channel Box or Attribute Editor to further edit the bevel.
Object Construction History can be activated or disabled by clicking the Construction History icon. Once it is turned off, future history is not recorded.
It is generally best to remove all Construction History before you render your final movie. An exception to this rule is if you have a node that is animated, such as a deformer.
Add a polygon cube to the workspace by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Cube.
Make sure that Construction History is activated by checking the Construction History icon.
Select the object and choose Edit Mesh > Bevel from the Polygons menu set.
With the cube selected, open the Channel Box. Below the channel input box you will find the Construction History for the cube. The history is labeled polyCube1 and polyBevel1. The cube was created by polyCube1 and the bevel was defined by polyBevel1.
Click the polyBevel1 name to open the bevel channels. Change the Offset value and notice that the cube updates.
With the cube still selected, open the Attribute Editor. Click the polyBevel1 tab to access the bevel node again. You can also change the bevel settings in the Attribute Editor.
To remove an object's Construction History, select the object and choose Edit > Delete by Type > History. All modifications are applied to the object and the auxiliary nodes are removed.
Preserving Deformer Nodes
If you applied and animated a deformer (i.e., Bend), you may wish to delete the history without removing the deformer. In this case, choose Edit > Delete by Type > Non Deformer History. All the history except the deformer is removed.
Delete History Option
Another way to delete an object's history is to duplicate it by choosing Edit > Duplicate. The history is removed from the duplicate.