You open the Section Manager by choosing Edit Sections/Attrs… from the right-click popup menu of the section list. Please note that you need to have a current object. This will be the object the setup of which will be edited.
When you open the Section Manager for the first time for an object, the lists will be empty. You can then create sections and import attributes using the right-click menus of the two lists. When you import attributes and don’t have any sections yet, a new section will be created. Its name will be the name of the object of which you import attributes into the setup.
The list on the left side of the Section Manager shows all sections of the current animUI object. Double-click a section to show its attributes in the attribute list on the right side.
When you right-click in the section list, a menu will be shown with the following functions:
Creates a new section and selects it. You will be prompted for the new name. After a section has been created, you can import attrs into it from the setup node and/or other nodes in the Maya scene. You can also move attrs between the sections. This is done using <- Move to Section from the attribute list’s right-click menu.
Renames the selected section. You will be asked for the new name.
Removes the selected section and all its attributes from the setup. Note that the attributes (and their objects) are not deleted from the scene, they’re just removed from the setup.
When you remove the last section, you are asked whether you want to remove the complete setup from the currently chosen animUI node.
Same as when double-clicking on a section. It shows the attributes of the selected section in the attribute list on the right side.
Reorders the sections by moving the selected section up in the list.
Moves the selected section down in the list.
The attribute list on the right side of the Section Manager shows attributes of one section. Double-click a section to view its attributes in this list. Each attribute will be listed with its complete “path” in the Maya scene.
Here is a list of the right-click menu items of the attribute list:
Shows a window with the importable attributes of the nodes that are currently selected in the Maya scene. When no object is selected, this item will be disabled. To import attributes, select them in the window and click the Import button.
When an attribute has been imported, it is part of the setup and can be animated using the animUI. It is, however, NOT controlled by the setup node in any way, so you can still animate it directly using e.g. the Channel Box.
Each attribute has to be in a section of the animUI setup. When you import attributes, they will be put into the section that is currently shown in the attribute list. If no section’s attributes are displayed, the imported attributes will be put into the selected section.
To solve the problem of lost connections to attributes (see grey box above), you can restore the connection. To do this, select the node in the scene that contains the attribute you want to connect to, select the attribute in the attribute list that you want to reconnect, and choose this Reconnect… item. A new window with a list of attributes you can connect to will open. Choose the attribute and click the Connect button.
This can also be done when attributes haven’t lost their connection. In this case, you will replace the existing connection with the new one.
Removes the selected attributes from the setup. They will also loose their values in presets.
When a section is selected, you can use this to move the selected attributes into it. Of course, this only works when a different section is selected than the one the attributes are currently in.
Moves the selected attributes up in the list. You can use this to change the order in which their sliders are shown in the animUI.
Same as above, but moves the selected attributes down.
Each attribute that is part of the setup can have two alternative names. See 3 Labels for 1 Attribute? for more information on how these are used in the animUI.
When importing an attribute, its two alternative names will be automatically set to the attribute’s UI name (Alt1) and its short name (Alt2). When the attribute has an alias name (like blendShape and bcs weights), this name will be used instead.
You can edit these names in the Section Manager by selecting the attribute. Its current alternative names will be displayed in the Alt1 and Alt2 fields below the attribute list. Simply edit these names.
Any changes you make using the Section Manager will not be visible in the animUI until you either click the Refresh AnimUI button or close the Section Manager window.