Tuesday, February 12, 2008

maya tools for y'all

I put together a quick menu for you to use...pretty simple, just a basic mel window and some assorted useful scripts to use. The script names are the mel commands so you can use them to make hotkeys or just hit ctrl-alt-shift if you select one and it will become a shelf button.

to get this menu to appear, first dump all your scripts into your script directory and run the mel command


if you want to have this appear every time you start maya, insert the line "source aacMenu" into your userSetup.mel (usually found in C:\Documents and Settings\yournamehere\My Documents\maya\7.0\scripts).

I tend to use the toggle joints and toggle nurbs quite a bit. snZeroOutControls is super handy for cycles because of the zero out Y checkbox. and graph filter is good for isolating multiple curves.

Don't forget to check Jean-Denis blog...he has some fantastic notes/observations on acting complete with clips. We're in that techy/mechanical phase of this class, which is useful, but you never want to forget about why we're doing all of this..

oh, and i can't forget my favorite hotkeys, ctrl-w and ctrl-e, my zero controls

to zero translation,
translate -os 0 0 0

to zero rotations
rotate -os 0 0 0

I'm a bit fussier than most about keyframing. I almost exclusively work in gimble mode because I'm animating for a game engine that is seeing my animations at 60 frames a second, so the rotations HAVE to be clean or you get jitter in those half frames. Sometimes though, I work fast and loose and stamp down a lot of poses and use the zero options to keep my rotations as clean as I can, especially if you're using IK arms. Between that and the eulerFilter.mel (just grab a control and run the command..no need to open the graph editor), you too can be so efficient that you can blog on the job. (tweaks added + icon)


TJ Phan said...

Cool, thanks! Zero-out rotations as a hot-key sounds like a good one.

I also dig the custom menu. Everyone could create their own to include the tools that they like to use.

jeff said...

yeah..the mel is pretty easy to decipher. if anyone needs submenus let me know and I'll put in the code for categories.

David Martínez said...


I've tried to download the tools but when I try to decompress the file, it gives me an error. Any idea ?



@b said...

hi jeff, just came across this aacScripts collection...a little bit about each script and how it can influence our workflow would be great !



Anonymous said...

these hotkeys for zeroing out translations/rotations are a great idea..But I cannot get the zero translate to work! I keep getting this error message:

// Error: Cannot find procedure "translate".

any ideas? the command for zeroing out the rotations works fine!

thanks for you time.