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a few questions, including recovering lost layers.

Message 1 of 3
844 Views, 2 Replies

a few questions, including recovering lost layers.


    I'm new to this board, so if this needs to be moved or broken up, please let me know. I've been learning Maya for a few weeks and started working on a project and have run into some problems, so I have a range of questions and appreciate any help. I've searched through the forum and couldn't find the answers I need.


So first, I had been working on modeling a basketball hoop and court. I mostly finished it Monday night and saved it. I worked on different things in separate files and then copied over what I was using and saved often and in duplicate files to have backups, but I made so much progress Monday night to get to the finish that a lot of it was just in that file, even though that file was saved often. Also, I have the project set up through Set Project and everything is organized, even though I now learned that I mixed up the purpose of the images folder and the sourceimages folder, so those are opposite. And I've been saving as .mb, which I now also know I should change to .ma. So Tuesday, I opened Maya to show my art teacher what I had finished in our online class, and everything was green, the objects were compressed into a pasted group in the outliner (including 2 planes I had put on top of the backboard glass, but they had been individually accessible in the outliner before and now just were embedded in the glass), and all my layers (which were very organized and separate for each object part) were gone. The layer panel is there, but it's empty. I had also done an nCloth for the net and it's still there, but it looks like it's in the wrong place and it doesn't do anything anymore.

I was able to re-texture everything and save into new files, after trying to find a recovery file in my temp or anywhere else failed. The scene file also ended up in the sourceimages folder, but that's definitely not where it was or where I saved it to.  Is there any way to restore things back to normal, or at least get my layers back without manually doing it all over? Thankfully most of the structure is still there, and I can fix the backboard without it.

I also had started to add lights, and they're all gone too.

So for this part, I'd like to be able to do any or all of these:

1. Restore the file back to normal

2. Fix the nCloth (or do I have to just do it again? Also, I had copied the basket so I have both ends of the court, so I don't know if I need to do nCloth separately for each one or what?)

3. Restore my layers


Then, before I actually worked on making the scene, I had made a basketball and animated it by keying the whole thing myself. But I was partly following a tutorial, even though my animation was way more than the tutorial, but the instructions said not tot worry about timing and it would be easy to fix later. It wasn't exactly, because I couldn't do what they said in the graph editor and ended up figuring out the time editor on my own, somewhat. So I got the timing fixed, but then some of my squash and stretch wasn't right for the new timing, but I'm stuck now and can't get anything to let me fix the keys I need to change. I've sent the file to a couple of pros and they couldn't help either, but the animation is all here:!AjOcLHckY4tPzQfP_1FURZ351Zc6?e=6Hs1CM  if anyone has any advice.  Also, the scene is "ball bounce" in the scenes folder. I created a zip folder of everything because the export seemed too small, but that export is in there too. 1 of the pros said to put a curve circle around the ball and use that to animate, which I will try next, because I'm assuming I need to start this part over anyway. But that leads to new questions for me. I want to add backspin as the ball moves, so I think I need to do that first. Using the outside circle? I'm not clear on that. And then do the movement, and then any squash and stretch? I know the hierarchy matters, but searching online hasn't helped me find anyone doing what I'm doing. As a bonus, would I be able to change the ball rotation at points? Because it would spin on each dribble, but not when it's in the hands of the players (my players don't exist yet and I'm just going with invisible players until I'm able to create them), then on the pass, and on the shot, but change when it hits the rim and goes through the net. I know adding the rotation might be beyond what I can do now, but I'd like to try.


I appreciate any help and info. Thank you for reading this.

Message 2 of 3
in reply to: njmb1

Hello @njmb1,


thanks for your detailed post! I've downloaded the files and explored that -as you mentioned in your post- the textures of your Maya project were stored in the "images" folder. This might be the cause why the objects in your scene file appear green, which indicates that the texture is missing. You can just copy the texture files from "images" into the "sourceimages" folder, load the scene file again and it works:


Maya Ball.jpg


Regarding the missing layers, I unfortunately can't recommend any procedure to get them back. But I can recommend the following thoughts from my own experience:


  • When you are learning and trying new tools in Maya, it is helpful to save a new version of your scene file after performing an important step, this makes it easier to go a few steps back. Using easy names such as ball_animation_v001.mb might be helpful too.
  • I personally have gotten into the habit to use very simple geometry if I'm trying a new procedure, f.e. a new animation technique in Maya. This makes computation faster and troubleshooting easier, if something does not work. Maya is such a complex program that I always need several approaches until a procedure works successful and this way it's definitely faster when you have to start over again.
  • If a procedure like an animation works with simple geometry (cubes, balls, low polygon), testing the procedure with more detailed geometry can be the next step.

There are many tutorials available on Youtube, such as: "The famous Bouncing Ball Animation" in Maya explained ( beginners ). Or this one: Maya / Keyshot tutorial : How to create a Basketball ( full tutorial )


I think, many of the issues that you described can be solved easily if you try not to do too many steps at once and try to save more steps of your work.


Happy to help if you have more questions or scene files that you want to share.

Best regards,


Message 3 of 3
in reply to: patrick.schock

Thank you @patrick.schock ! I appreciate your help. I did learn about referencing and proper file structure and created a new project that way and so far the error hasn't happened again. I didn't realize I had things backwards when I started, haha. I also learned about incremental save, which I've been doing. But I will definitely start my experimenting with simple geometry now and save more the way you suggested. For the most part, I decided what I was doing as I went along, which I know is not the best way, haha. I've already run into times where I was experimenting with settings on things and had some incremental saves, but either missed saving separately or forgot what save had the settings that worked and then messed them up anyway. Now that I'm starting to understand what I'm doing, I think I can better plan out things so I can try the simple parts first and then move on to what I want. Also, I saved that video you linked to. Watching some of it, I think that channel will be a big help as well. Thank you again!

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