maya he3d

Since I don't get the time to update this blog much anymore, I thought I'd just drop in quickly to recommend a google groups mailing list that I have been contributing to for a while now. If you feel like some question/answer type discussions focused specifically on problem solving in maya this might be the place for you. There are a great bunch of knowledgeable people posting there already from time to time, but more will always be welcome. Just enter "maya he3d" in the google groups search.

more maya 2013 script and plugin updates

david | dj mod,mel script,plugins | Thursday, April 19th, 2012

I've updated the downloads page to include maya 2013 versions of the following:

spReticle plugin by Sony Pictures that gives you the ability to add customizable viewport overlays like gate masks and safe guides and much more.

showEditor.mel modification to enable the notes tab to be toggled on and off

hyperShadePanel.mel modification to enable thumbnail updates to be toggled on and off, and to fix a bug where the create tab sometimes covers most of the window.


poseDeformer maya 2013

david | animation,mel script,plugins | Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

I've recompiled the poseDeformer and poseReader for maya 2013-x64 (windows). I've only tested it very briefly. Let me know if you discover problems.

If you are looking for other flavors, then keep checking back. Usually someone ends up sending me their compiles and if they do I'll add it to the download and leave a note here.



25 May 2013: 2013-x32 (windows) compile added, thanks to Scott Englert

toggle hypershade thumbnail updates maya 2012

david | dj mod,mel script | Friday, May 20th, 2011

A while back I did a mod for the hypershade window to add a button for toggling the updating of the thumbnails. Turning off updates can improve performance when you are modifying complex shader networks. I've just added a version for maya 2012. The hyperShadePanel.rar on the downloads page now contains 2 new hyperShadePanel.mel versions - for 2011 & 2012 mel script (put the one you need in your local scripts folder) and 2 new bitmaps in the png format (put both of these in your local icons folder).


update: added 2011 version to the rar file, as well as fixing a small autodesk created bug in the 2012 version where the width of the create tab always took up half the window when first opened (bug fix thanks to Ingo Clemens). If you downloaded in the last last 24 hours you may want to get this update.

update 2: Added improved thumbnailUpdatesGreyed.png icon for the button disabled state - created by Mike Smith-Kennard (thanks MSK)

update: added 2013 version


restore shelf after maya 2012 physX plugin load

david | dj mod,mel script | Monday, April 11th, 2011

Maya 2012 came with a nice looking dynamics plugin called physX and it creates a shelf when it loads.


However I don't like the way this becomes the active shelf every time I start maya. I suppose I could unload the plugin, but then I'll have to reload it every time I need it. Fortunately physX uses mel scripts to initialize the plugin and create the shelf, so I modified one called physxUI.mel and added some code to re-select the shelf that was active before physX loaded.

If you are fussy about your active shelf and want to give the mod a try get physxUI.mel from my downloads page and drop it in your local scripts folder.

update: I tried this fix on another computer and it did not work. I'm not sure if I got lucky with the first one or unlucky with the 2nd. I think that success or failure has something to do with the order that maya does things at startup. Based on that theory. I've changed my modification slightly, so you'll need to download it again. And there is now an extra requirement: In addition to dropping the new physxUI.mel mod into your local scripts folder, you must also add the following line to your userSetup.mel

source physxUI.mel; storePreviousShelf();

This is now working on every computer I've tested it on. Yes. Both of them!

hide Notes Rollout in maya 2012 attributes

david | dj mod,mel script | Sunday, April 10th, 2011

The attribute editor in Maya 2012 keeps expanding the Notes roll-out. I'd never noticed this being quite so annoying in previous versions. I'm pretty sure that previously, once I closed it by dragging the divider bar to the bottom of the window, it stayed like that until I pulled it up again. Now, in maya 2012 it seems to jump up again as soon as I deselect anything. Most of the time this is a waste of space for me.

Fortunately I recently read a simple solution posted on cgtalk by ginodauri. To hide the notes roll-out you can use the following mel command

layout -e -vis 0 AEaddOrEditNotesLayout;

To make this even easier I thought it would be good to add a menu item to the List menu in the attribute editor.


So you can turn it on and off and maya remembers your last choice between sessions.

This functionality is added by modifying a copy of one of the maya installation files called showEditor.mel which can be placed in your local scripts folder to avoid messing up the maya install. You can get the mod for maya 2012 from my downloads page.

update: added 2013 version


david | dj mod,mel script | Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Maya 2011 lets you choose between two different "Dialog Styles" for interacting with the file system.

This one, called "Maya default"


or this one called "OS native"


This is the UI you see when you do things like open or save, import or export a file. The default (called "Maya default") lets you do more than just choose a file, and some people will probably find the extra capability quite useful. But I'm not one of those people. I prefer the "OS native" style of dialog. I prefer it because it is consistent with most other applications. Its great to have the choice to use one or the other.

What's not so great is that the OS native dialog does not correctly filter the file list... (more...)

workaround for AEhardwareTextureTemplate.mel bug

david | dj mod,mel script,mentalray,rendering,vray | Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Ever since I can remember, maya has had an annoying bug that causes materials to display incorrectly in the viewport in both "Smooth shade all"  and "Textured" modes.

If you've ever encountered something similar to this error

// Error: file: D:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2011/scripts/AETemplates/AEhardwareTextureTemplate.mel line 721: Found no attribute match for "mia_material_x1.diffuse" //

or this one

// Error: file: D:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2011/scripts/AETemplates/AEhardwareTextureTemplate.mel line 827: Object 'VRayMtl_qualityMenu' not found. //

then you may be interested in a workaround. Its not perfect, but its better than nothing.


then one day you find ten years have got behind you

david | mel script,mentalray,nuke,opinions,python,rendering,vray | Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Miss Hollywood

This time last year I started a new job at a new studio. For me, this was a big change since I had been at the previous studio (one that I helped build from almost nothing) more than 20 years.

My new job has given me the opportunity to learn several new applications and as a result I have found little time to update my blog and it has been very much neglected.

So to begin a new year of enthusiastic blogging, I've decided to write a (long, possibly boring) post about what I've been doing the last 12 months. It is just a quick rundown of changes affecting my general workflow. If you are still interested, keep reading (btw... the photo is my new puppy, Hollywood) (more...)

avoiding the path inconsistencies in maya 2011.5 (2)

david | dj mod,mel script | Monday, October 4th, 2010

I may have been a little naive thinking that I could simply copy a few scripts from one install to the other and upgrade my sp1 install to subscription advantage pack without the name change. Well it almost worked but as it turns out the instructions in my previous post missed some things.

I've updated the list of files that need to be copied and I should point out that the additions (marked with a "+") will overwrite existing files in the sp1 install. Normally I wouldn't advise doing something like this, but its a bit of a special case. We have both installation packages at hand and they are both fresh installs. If something goes wrong we can just uninstall everything and start again.

So, here's what I missed:

There are 80 assorted Mocap Examples in the presets folder.
Updated mel scripts that handle the creation of the "Effects Assets" menu.
Updated version of the Mayatomr plugin that allows rendering of compressed EXR files.

I also forgot to mention the "Craft Directors Studio" plugin support files which are installed to a location outside of the main maya install folder. (C:\Program Files (x86)\Craft Animations by default). You don't need to do anything with these. You just need to use the plugin manager to load the craftdirectorstudioadaptor_maya2011.5.mll. Do the same for the Substance.mll while you're there. (And ICEFlow.mll if you're lucky enough to have access to all that awesomeness too!)

If you don't see the "Effects Assets" menu in nDynamics, then you have to use the menu set customise UI to revert to the default nDynamics menus. This is explained in detail in the SAP release notes.

If I discover any other missing bits and pieces I'll update here.

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