This is an oldie but a goodie, and one of the most generally useful things I built with MEL (Maya Embedded Language). I was frustrated that there was no straightforward way to import XML data into a MEL script, so I wrote a library to make such data available within Maya. It’s a bit of a workaround, as it creates empty transform nodes to hold each XML element, but doing it that way meant that the structure could be queried after the fact.
I’m sure this could be done in a much better way, now that Maya supports Python, but this was written before that was the case. If you’d like to know more about it, head here
I’ve created a script that provides a method for organizing camera switching and shot placement within Maya. At startup, it provides a camera view, along with a list of all cameras currently in the scene. Selecting a camera from the list will update the view through the camera.
Clicking on the “Add Shot” button will add a snapshot through the current camera (tied to the current frame) in the lower “Shot List” area. You can add as many shots as you like, changing the current time and selecting various cameras. The script maintains proper ordering of the shots based on frame number.
Once you have some shots created, you can click on any one of them to set the current time to the corresponding frame and the camera view to the corresponding camera. Right-clicking on any of the snapshots will give you options to change the time, the camera, or to delete that shot. The script is available here.
I recently created a small animation for my algorithms class demonstrating the A* path finding algorithm. MEL was a huge help with the animation. I did a few tricky things that let me finish it very quickly, and I’ll likely be posting at least one of said tricks (the chasing-lights) in the Maya tidbits section soon.
A friend of mine, Carl Pisaturo and I were talking this weekend about a novel idea he had with regards to city building. Carl was thinking that instead of building a city and then digging down for things like subways and etc, why not just create the holes first, by building the city on top of a gridwork of uniform prefabricated concrete forms, which would provide ample room for transportation, plumbing, etc, while leaving more of the above-ground space free for buildings and walkways.
I made a mockup of the form in Maya, with results at right. Click here to download a short animation (1.2 Megs) of a three-tiered foundation being built.
So here we are at the end of the summer semester, both live and online. Since I wanted to give my (online) students as much time as possible to submit their projects, I gave them until the closing date of the course. As a result, it makes it impossible for me to offer feedback on the class site, so I’ll be posting it here:
I finally put all of the handouts for Maya 2 online as part of the new improved Maya site
I’ve updated my materials for my Maya students- while the revamped Maya 2 section is still on the way, the Maya 1 and MEL sections have been upgraded, and I’ve started on a “Maya tidbits” page, which has a variety of small examples I’ve created to demostrate one thing or another in response to a student question. This will continue to grow over time, but has a handful of examples so far.
The new Maya site is here