In case some of you wondered, a few days ago I have released a new version of poseLib which is now compatible with Macs. The core of the functions was recoded as a Python module. In consequence of witch applying huge poses to thousands of controls is now 3 to 4 times faster. Enjoy!
I’ve been reworking the overall organization of my character pipeline, and here’s the result. On the figure below you can see the way a model is broken down into basic building blocks which are then assembled into the final puppet.
The picture below shows in more details the overall Maya folder structure of a single character (let’s say a biped). In the right-hand side is a list of MEL scripts used to assemble all the pieces together.
The great thing in following such a precise organization is that you can then follow the same rules for any character you build without having to stop and wonder where you stored this or that file.
I’ve been working a lot lately on the technical side of things, all in preparation for the short. I’ll post some more tools when I get them ironed out, but for now here’s an update of my weight saving and loading tool called seithWeighTools. It’s made specifically for Maya 2011 (and up) and uses both MEL and Python code. And hopefully, it’s still very easy to use!
Just a reminder that I updated poseLib yesterday (v4.5.6), so if you use Maya 2011 you should install the Service Pack 1 (available on Autodesk’s website) and try the new poseLib version. Several things have been revamped, among which the namespace system, which is now more simple and intuitive to use.
On an unrelated note, Despicable Me did quite well in the US and ended up number 10 of all time animated movies. Not bad for something that’s not a sequel nor based on an existing intellectual property!
I know there are already several renaming scripts for Maya out there, but each time I tried one out I found its interface (or overall method) to be unintuitive at best. I just hated having to stop and think twice about how to get what I needed, so I made this tool. It’s written in Python and it’s very simple to use!
Every time you change a shader’s type in Maya’s attribute editor, Maya discards the name of your shader. So if you had a shader called “my_carefully_named_shader” that happened to be a Lambert, and you changed it to a Blinn, your shader would be automatically renamed “blinn1”. Great, no? No. So if like me you’re tired of Maya renaming your shaders when it shouldn’t, just go to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Mayaxxxx\scripts\AETemplates and open AEshaderTypeNew.mel. In the last proc (called AEshaderTypeCB(…)) find this line (usually at the very bottom):
And add this line just after:
rename $replaceNode $shaderNode;
And Maya will keep the name of your existing shader! Yay!
The GUI (for Graphical User Interface) is a very useful tool to select a character’s controls without having to click directly on the body parts (which sometimes is impractical). Here I’ll show you how to build a GUI in an easy and intuitive way. No more coding long lines of widget in Python or MEL. Starting from this template you can quickly build your own custom GUI interactively by clicking on objects and moving them around. It’s very flexible, since you can click-and-drag to multi-select, and use CTRL-click or SHIFT-click to deselect. It uses a couple of scripts by the brilliant Hamish McKenzie (also known on the internets as MacaroniKazoo). Instructions and file are here.
Update: If you downloaded the ZooToolBox and seithGUI.zip before 9/19/09, then please re-download them both to fix the problems about “missing statements” and “No module named vMaya.triggered” errors…