Constraints let you constrain the position, orientation, or scale of an object to other objects. Further, with constraints you can impose specific limits on objects and automate animation processes.

For example, if you want to quickly animate a sled sliding down a bumpy hill, you might first use a geometry constraint to constrain the sled to the surface. You could then use a normal constraint to make the sled sit flat on the surface. After you create these constraints, you key the sled’s positions at the top and bottom of the hill. The animation is then complete.

Maya includes the following constraints for character setup and animation:

Point constraints
Aim constraints
Orient constraints
Scale constraints
Parent constraints
Geometry constraints
Normal constraints
Tangent constraints
Point on Poly constraints
Closest Point constraints
Pole Vector constraints

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