I remember learning about this while working on Ender’s Game and, at the time, could not believe how I had gone so long in my career without knowing it! It's such a simple little trick and yet has probably impacted my workflow more than anything else.
Sometimes you may be asked to animate a character in the background or need to work on hand/finger contacts on an object but it's difficult to see through your camera how it looks because it is very small on screen. Well, Maya has an attribute on its cameras called 2D Pan/Zoom that can solve a lot of problems. It's a nifty little feature that allows you to zoom in and pan around on a specific camera without affecting the translation or rotation values of your camera.
Backslash is the Key
The Backslash key is automatically mapped to the 2D Pan/Zoom tool and it works in 2 ways:
1. Press and hold to adjust the 2D camera. You can use the middle-mouse button to pan the camera and the right-mouse button to zoom in and out.
2. Press and release to toggle between the actual camera view and the 2D Pan/Zoom view.
If you ever decide you need to reset your 2D Pan/Zoom, you can find the settings on your cameraShape node in the Attribute Editor. Under Display Options is a tab called 2D Pan/Zoom.
The checkbox acts as the toggle that turns the zoom on and off. You can reset the Pan X and Pan Y by changing the values to 0 and reset the Zoom by changing it to 1.
Wrap It Up!
Well, there ya go! Super easy to use. Hopefully you already knew about this (in which case, why did you read this article?), but if not, enjoy! It makes polishing up your animation so much easier when you can view it close-up through the actual camera angle - especially when you get into live-action footage with locked off cameras. Happy animating!
photo credit: Eye See You Two via photopin