If you are just starting out in Maya, the standard Set Driven Key environement (SDK) might be a difficult concept to grasp. Add to that, a convoluted process behind creating a driven Key, and new users will often find themselves a bit lost. That is of course, until you really understand what is going on, it can seem a bit of kludge.

Here, Yellowdog shows the basics behind using Set Driven Key in Maya, and offers a few examples of how it can be used. Gareth walks through each of the setups, creating an SDK for each.

It is important to note that in the first example we encounter with the video, the process is the important part, not the example. In actuality, the first example would be better handled by a direct connection in Maya.

When people first start out learning 3D in Maya, it can be confusing when to use a node, expression, connection, or set driven key.

The connection editor is a super simple way to handle 1 to 1 connections. An example of that would be “for every unit I transform object A, I want object B’s transform to do something, in 1 unit.”

Set Driven Key is great for making much more elaborate things happen by driving them with animation and editing them with graph editor in Maya.


  1. Scott Bell

    Driven Key, it’s called a Driven Key. The menu is called “Set Driven Key”, because you set one. haha, kills me every time.

    • I think everyone understands the term to be a bit of a proprietary eponym at this point, and is largely described as an SDK… I rarely see it referred to a DK in casual conversation.

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