The creators of Maya 2008 made it easier for new users to use the misss_fast_skin_maya shader by automatically making the required light map connections. But unfortunately they broke something too!
An error in AEmisss_fast_skin_mayaTemplate.mel (which lives in C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya2008\scripts\AETemplates ) causes the following error message when you open the attribute editor and attempt to hook up a bump map:
// Error: Cannot find procedure "AEmisssSimpleMayaBumpReplace"
It is easily fixed though. Open AEmisss_fast_skin_mayaTemplate.mel in a text editor and goto line 149. Change Simple to Skin in two places so it looks like this
editorTemplate -callCustom "AEmisssSkinMayaBumpNew" "AEmisssSkinMayaBumpReplace" "normalCamera";
Save the file and restart maya.
Maya 2008 introduces some new camera attributes. Here is a snapshot of the "Movement Options" in theÂ camera attribute editor.
What this means is that if you select "Use Pivot As Local Space" then the camera will pivot around the "Tumble Pivot" instead of the "Center Of Interest" when you are tumbling around in the viewport. The default "Tumble Pivot" of 0,0,0 means you are just rotating around the camera's own local pivot, and there will be no translation of the camera.
I think this is a very useful option for positioning cameras, but I dont like the idea of having to dig down into the attribute editor everytime I want to use it, so I wrote some mel script to make it easy to toggle the option on and off. Actually I wrote two scripts; one to be used as a marking menu toggle, the other to be integrated with Hamish McKenzies zooCam.mel script.
djToggleUsePivotAsLocalSpace.mel is for use in a marking menu. Just add the command "djToggleUsePivotAsLocalSpace" and give it a name like "ToggleUsePivotAsLocalSpace". You should get something that looks like this (the rest of you menu will be up to you of course).
When you invoke this menu in a camera viewport the script will work out which camera it is and toggle the state of the "Use Pivot As Local Space" attribute.
djToggleUsePivotAsLocalSpaceMenu.mel is an alternative script that was written to be integrated into the zooCam menu (which works in conjunction with the zooShots camera switching system - see http://www.macaronikazoo.com/ for more info). The integrated menu looks like this.
If you want to use this style of menu you need to add a call to djToggleUsePivotAsLocalSpaceMenu and provide the camera name, which is very simple in zooCam.mel. If you download my script you also get a copy of zooCam.mel which I modified, but you will need to get the rest of the zoo tools if you want to use it.
Maya 2008 introduces a new "Move Skinned Joints Tool" in the "Edit Smooth Skin" menu.
This makes it much easier to fine-tune joint positions after skinning without the need to detach and rebind the skin. However this tool forgets about the bind pose as I will show in the next few pictures.
Here is my skeleton in its original bind pose.
I then use the "Move Skinned Joints Tool" to reposition the sholder joint.
The problem is that if I use the "Skin|Go to Bind Pose" menu I get this.
The solution requires a mel command, but it needs to be executed for each joint that was moved and the name of the bind pose node must be specified. These are details you probably dont want to be thinking about so I wrote a little mel script to simplify the process.
djResetBindPose.mel allows you to just select a joint and run the script. The bind pose will be reset for every joint in the heirarchy. If you do this after the "Move Skinned Joints Tool" and before "Go to Bind Pose" then everything should work correctly.
A while back I posted a modified version of the layerEditor.mel script for maya 8.5 which adds a "create layer from selected" button to the layer editor window. This is the maya 2008 version.
Download from here.
The other day somebody told me about this excellent video tutorial that Keith Lango posted on his blog back in May this year. It runs for almost 30 minutes and demonstrates a rigging technique that is ideal for placing controls for facial animation on the mesh that they are deforming such that they move with the surface.
The cool thing for me was to discover that he uses my djRivet.mel script
My favourite plugin by Michael Comet has now been compiled for maya 2008. I have not tested it much but it seems to be working. If you find problems let me know.