Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pivot back to world 0

Cool and easy script.

xform -ws -a -rp 0 0 0
Will take your pivot point back to 0,0,0

Sunday, November 22, 2015

BAKING NCLOTH

I'm not sure why Maya doesn't have a >convert Maya Ncloth to Polygons function but I found a hack online that works well.

Set the pose as an initial state (edit nCloth > initial state > set from current) then in the channel box where it says 'isDynamic' turn that to off, ta da!!

***Just tried another method animation>Geometry Cache. Works fine.

Sunday, September 13, 2015



Hide Polys Toggle

Great little script to map to a key that hides all polys and displays them back upon hitting the key again. I find myself hiding polys all the time especially when selecting rig controls or when geo gets in the way of selecting.

string $activePanel1 = `getPanel -wf`;
if (`modelEditor -q -polymeshes $activePanel` == 1) {
 modelEditor -e -polymeshes 0 $activePanel;
} else {
 modelEditor -e -polymeshes 1 $activePanel;
}

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

snapKey

WOW

Sometimes it's the simplest things. Ever work on a scene that somehow the keys are on subframes? This can happen when you scale keys or use timewarps. So how do you get those damn keys back on to whole frames?

Just select the object and type snapKey in your Mel script executor and bamn...all keys are moved to the nearest whole frame.

Dig it.


Sunday, January 18, 2015


DISPLACEMENT MAPS FROM MUDBOX

Very good explanation of map extraction and rendering displacement out from Mudbox.

http://www.cggallery.com/tutorials/displacement/

Friday, January 02, 2015



VRAY texture resolution and Viewport 2.0


Why the #$%^ are my Vray textures so low res in the viewport?!

Here's the fix...

http://polygonspixelsandpaint.tumblr.com/post/67062226842

Friday, December 05, 2014

http://www.cgmeetup.net/home/mathilda-rig-free-maya-rig-female-character-rig/
MATHILDA RIG

I haven't had a go with this one but it looks like this rig has every bell and whistle possible. Pretty impressive. Have a play here

http://www.cgmeetup.net/home/mathilda-rig-free-maya-rig-female-character-rig/

Thursday, September 18, 2014

http://animationbuffet.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/Creature


FREE RIGS

Can't get enough free rigs? Have some more!

http://animationbuffet.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/Creature



Also here's some $30 rigs (wait! he's raised the price to $40) that look very nicely done

https://gumroad.com/l/xhRK

https://gumroad.com/l/xhRK

Friday, June 13, 2014

Quadruped Gaits


QUADRUPED GAITS

Not a Maya post but hey - very helpful if you find yourself animating 4 legged animals or creatures.

http://vanat.cvm.umn.edu/gaits/index.html

Sunday, March 09, 2014

bhGhost

bhGhost


Yes! How cool is this! I haven't used Maya's ghosting in a while and was searching for a way to ghost a whole character and Bamm! bhGhost.

Create a selection set of all your character's geo and load it into the bhGhost GUI. Hit "ghost" and it draws you up an outline on that frame. Heaps of control over the outline in the bhGhost node. It's also very fast with no slow down.

Here's the link to the mel script. Big thumbs up to Brian Horgan for this one.

http://www.graphite9.com/MayaDownloads.html

Saturday, March 01, 2014

dpAutoRigSystem



I've used some sweet auto riggers but this one really impresses me. I managed to rig up a simple skeleton character in about an hour - skinned and all. Very user friendly system based on mirrored guides, rig set up and a super fast skinning GUI.


Dig the rig too. Comes with all the treats, stretchy IK, finger set drivens, world head rots etc etc etc

Sunday, March 10, 2013

VRAY DOME HDRI

Super technique for pushing HDRI maps through a dome light and getting the hdri
highlights nice and hot. By default, they come in with a washy contrast that forces
you to add extra lights. Add the gamma attribute to your file textures and render
up some sweetness.

http://www.cgskies.com/resources_tutorial_rendering.php

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Select constrained to object


Ever worked in a complex scene created by someone else with all kinds of constraints and nested constrained objects? Nightmare finding what object is constrained to what? This python script will select the object that your object is constrained to. Sweet. Map to a button - done.


import maya.cmds as mc
selection = mc.ls(sl=1)
toSelect = []
for item in selection:
   constraint = mc.listConnections( item+'.parentInverseMatrix[0]', d=1, s=0,type='constraint')
   if constraint:
      constraint = constraint[0]
      src = mc.listConnections(constraint+'.target[0].targetParentMatrix', d=0, s=1)
      if src:
         toSelect.extend(src)
try:
   mc.select(toSelect)
except:
   pass

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Maya A/B transform match script


COOL!!

Every studio that I've been at has some sort of "match object A to B" tool that simply snaps A to B. I thought it was some sort of wizardry (and a shame on Maya for not having that tool). Then I heard about the point/orient constraint create then delete method.
Well the magic trick has been unveiled....
All you need to do is create a

delete `parentConstraint`;

button on your shelf and that's you A/B matcher. select object 1, shift select object 2 run your delete `parentConstraint`; and boom it does the whole thing for you. Love the simplicity.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

CAMMY

After being assigned some camera work where the job was to create realistic noise, zooms, booms and pans I realized that camera work is not as easy as I thought. After some gimble, frustrating noise controller rigging and battles with subtlelty I thought I'd rig up a clean camera rig to make things easier. If you're doing camera work, feel free to grab my rig over at Creativecrash.com

http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/downloads/character-rigs/c/cammy

****UPDATE*** Now with aim locator

http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/downloads/character-rigs/c/cammy-v2--2

*to attach your own camera, just parent constrain your camera to the Cammy camera or just parent
your camera under the camera2_Shake locator,


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

setAttr on multiple attributes


1 hour burn trying to figure out how to set the 'relative' attribute on or off on multiple clusters. Maya still doesn't allow multiple selection of clusters and attribute setting nor is relative available in the attribute spreadsheet.

{

string $nodes[] = `ls -long -type "cluster" `;

for($node in $nodes)

{

print($node + "n");



setAttr ($node + ".relative") 0;


}



}

Monday, May 14, 2012



V-RAY TEXTURE LIBRARY + PRESETS


Nice. Someone put together a 3dsmax-like shader library. Download the DeeX shader library and copy it into the Sunday Pipeline directory warehouse browser. Sweet.


DeeX shaders


http://deex.info/wordpress2/2011/08/deex-vray-shader/

Sunday Pipeline Plugin

http://www.3dg.dk/2011/08/12/sunday-pipeline-maya-public/

Thursday, May 10, 2012





Looks pretty sweet - UVAUTORATIO PRO


I haven't tried this texture plugin yet but it is looking awesome for uv texturing.


http://www.renderheads.com/portfolio/UVAutoRatio/

Saturday, April 14, 2012




Flicker Free animation VRAY for Maya

The tough thing about Vray is that for the most part it's default render settings are most set up for interior still frames or arch-viz camera fly throughs. When you want objects moving through the scene, Vray's irradience maps are calculated differently each frame....which leads to flickering GI.
I've found a great tutorial that explains the irradiance map prepass method, which works similar to motion blur pre and post frame calculation. What it seems to do is pre-calculate the GI maps then blend them + or - X amount of frames so that flickering is eliminated. It's a two step process, but way faster than brute force GI methods.

http://www.workshop.mintviz.com/tutorials/flicker-free-animation-using-vray/




VrayForMaya Nederhorst Settings




Here's some pretty decent vray settings for animation. There's so many things to play with in the render settings - it can get out of hand. According to this video, the Nederhost settings attempt to keep all of your quality control in the Adaptive DMC section. I can dig it.

**Great tip from the video. Switch to Fixed rate rather than adaptive DMC with a low sample rate for fast test renders. I have to render layers set up. One with DMC, one with Fixed for fast render quality switching.

Monday, December 26, 2011



Pose 2 Shelf


Gotta give props to simple, good scripts. I was posing out some wing shapes on a character and I was looking for a simple pose storing script. Here it is.


http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/downloads/scripts-plugins/animation/c/pose-2-shelf

Simply select your controls, name your pose and BAMM it saves the pose as a button to your shelf. Gotta like that stuff.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

V-RAY for MAYA shader library


Yes! For you people out there who use Vray, I highly recommend you grab this shader library tool by Oliver Markowski. It comes with a shwack of presets, a test sphere file that you can create and export your own shaders and a very cool GUI for Maya. It's a bit of work to install and NOTE: you have to convert all of your .jpg preview files to .png files for them to be viewable in the GUI. But when it's up and running - this is a great tool for shader organization.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Constraint Burn + Extrude along face normal burn

Did I miss something on an update or have I just done too many bad things to my brain lately? I always used to use the 1W0 attribute to animate a constraint on and off. Now it seems there is a Blend Point 1 attribute that does the job. When you create a constraint this is added in your channel box right after visibility.
Anyway, had me going in circles for a bit.


And another one! Making even indents or extrudes on objects...not so intuitive in Maya. I needed to make the indents on a mouse button and after my extrude I was looking for all types of settings on the move tool. The 'normals' only works on nurbs and verts. To move faces inward or outwards along normals you need to use the edit mesh/transform components tool. Jeez.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

THE ZEN

Ahhh Maya transfer attributes...why oh why do you add a history node to the stack when transferring. I had a situation where I needed to match the vertex positions of one object to another. The problem is that it adds a non-deletable node to the target's history. If you delete it, the tweak reverts. Lame.

Why can't it just query the vertex position of the base object and copy those values to the target verts? 

Well thankfully there's a script that does just that. It the ZEN yo!

http://dissentgraphics.com/tools/zentools/

There are a big shwack of scripts in this suite but the tool I am talking about is in the mel folder. It's called  doZenTransferPointPositions.mel

Select your base object and your target verts and run it. SNAP. Vert positions copied.



Monday, November 14, 2011

Script Manager

Yea! Here is a sweet script that allows you to execute, source and edit scripts all within one window. I can't say how annoying it is to have to source a script then type it into the MEL line. This script is UI genius.
Check it!


Monday, October 17, 2011


Automation automation....au-to-mation

I've been out of the rigging loop for a while but man there are some sweet new tools. Anzovin's The Setup Machine 2 is pretty damn sweet. But here's a niiiice reverse foot setup script that puts in all of your toe roll, heel roll etc etc automatically. Gotta dig it! The script is over at Creative Crash but here's a video showing it's slickness





Wednesday, October 12, 2011


1 Button stretchy IK

Man I'm a sucker for 1 button anything. Check out this script that once you've built your spline IK....select the IK handle, press the button via this script and yes - super stretchy IK. Lov it.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Lovin' VRAY for Maya's VRAY Blend material

Sometimes the most simple things tweak my brain. I remember the pain of having
to use mix8 nodes in Mental Ray. This mucho bettero.
1. slap down a vray blend MTL.
2. Throw a semi transparent shader in as your base.
3. add in another shader with a blend amount or use a texture to determine blend amounts.

That's it. Insta-layered shader. Awesome.


Sunday, May 08, 2011


GOODBYE MENTAL RAY!
After going over digital tutor's introduction to vray for maya, I'm pretty convinced that it's far better than MR. With GI, motion blur, caustics, blurry relflections all on - I can still get decent render quality and times....on my laptop.

I recommend this Digital Tutor tut if you are thinking of dropping into VRAY.

http://www.digitaltutors.com/11/training.php?pid=431

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


XVID AUDIO PROBLEMS IN PREMIERE

So you're cutting in Adobe premiere Cs5 and some of your video has the Xvideo codec applied. For some reason Premiere can't read your audio. Well, it's well documented that Adobe considers Premiere as a DV editing software and that the Xvid codec is for presentation only. BOOOO. The only solution is to extract your audio with an external program as a .wav and bring that into Premiere. AoA audio extrator......Free and it works.

Friday, November 12, 2010


NCLOTH SCALE

Here's one that briefly burned me today and I thought I had a blog post of it. If you've created Ncloth and a default preset isn't moving correctly it's most likely that you are not working to 1/10th scale.
Because Maya perceives 1 unit as 1 meter (when your prefs are set to cm's), they also built the cloth solver to solve at that scale. Under the Nucleus node there is a space scale attribute that can be set to 0.01 if you are in a pinch but I'd suggest to model to 1/10th to get the most predictable results.

**Here's a fantastic whitepaper on the Nucleus solver.

Friday, November 05, 2010




Maya 2011 Vector Blur

Things are a bit different now when rendering vector blur. Now Maya has incorporated it into render passes. You no longer need the LM2DV shader.
Render out 32 bit EXR with the blur embedded into the pass and break it out into your comp package. This is how to do it with Maya's "composite" package.

1. Separate your FG and BG into render layers.
2. For each layer needing vectors, go into your passes tab in render settings and
add a BEAUTY and a mv2Dtoxik (2DmotionVector) pass.
3. In your quality tab make sure your framebuffer is RGBA 4x32bit instead of the default 8.
4. Image format - openEXR
5. Render

COMPOSITE - See image for nodes used and also use this dude's video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMKvhKf22r8

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Nudge Keys Script

When you're working with stepped keys a cool tool to have is a 'nudge selected keys 1 frame left or right' script. I'm no complex MEL guy but here's the code you can slap onto a shelf button...

Nudge -1
keyframe -animation keys -option over -relative -timeChange (0 - 1) ;

Nudge +1
keyframe -animation keys -option over -relative -timeChange (0 + 1) ;

Monday, September 20, 2010


VLC LOOP SCORE!

Finally figured out how to get the best player hooked up for playblasting. The problem is that it's never had an option for autolooping by default. Here's the config file hack.

With clicking on View->Playlist->and then either clicking on Repeat Once or Repeat All, you have to do that every time you open a multimedia file. If you want VLC Media Player to do it by default every time you open a file, open up the file called vlcrc, which is located in the ~/.vlc folder, with a text editor. Look for '# Repeat all (boolean) #loop=0 # Repeat current item (boolean) #repeat=0' inside that file. Change the 0s to 1s & remove the #s and, after doing that, make vlcrc read-only. Then, everytime you open up a multimedia file, the player will loop the multimedia file by default.

64 BIT CODEC WOES?

*Also unfortunately there are a lot of codecs missing in Maya 2011 64 bit Win7. Right now I'm using the FFD show codec which can be found here...

*TIP strange colors on your video when playblasting? In VLC change your video/output to Windows GDI output.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


MUDBOX/MAYA CONNECTION

There's a nice new feature in Maya now when you want to add sculpted detail to your models via Mudbox. Here's the quick rundown.
1. Model and UV up your Maya model.
2. File/Export selected to Mudbox
3. Sculpt it up.
4. File/send to Maya. You'll get an option box popup and next time you click on Maya BOOM your Mudbox object is back in.
NICE

Friday, February 19, 2010



NCLOTH HEIRARCHY

Always found it frustrating to have a character/creature with Ncloth imported into a scene then have to move the character away from 0,0,0. The ncloth would snap away like crazy and youd have to relax it etc etc while positioning.

Here's a technique to have a fully positionable character have it's Ncloth solve as if it was on 0,0,0 anywhere you position it.

Let's say you have a cloth scarf transform constrained to your character's neck

1. Grab the geo of the scarf and parent constrain it to the transform constraint. Now the scarf moves wherever the transform constraint goes AND solves from rest position anywhere you position the character.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010



Basic Ncloth Hair Tutorial (CLICK ON IMAGE)

Haven't done a tut in a while. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Motion Blur + Constraints

Here's a trick that I found on an old cgtalk post...
Sometimes you have a character's hand constrained to a surface and in 1 frame you switch off the constraint. Well, since the renderer reads past and previous frames for motion blur you wind up with a crazy streaked motion blur on the frame where you turn the constraint off.

1. Grab the trans keyframes of your object (or say your character's arm control) on the frame BEFORE the constraint gets turned off.

2. Turn off snapping in your graph editor and drag the keys extremely close to the next keyframe (to the right) . Zoom in and drag them as close to the keyframe where the constraint turns off as you can. Voila, proper motion blur.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010



Transferring UVs AFTER rigging....

This is a tough one, but here's the HACK. Lets say you've rigged up your amazing character and realize OH, I have to make a bunch of UV changes. You copy out your character's head, UV it up nicely, bring it back in and use the "transfer attributes" from your copied head to the rigged one.
No deal. It's because your transfer attributes input comes after rigging and all UV inputs have to come before rigging. Same as in Ncloth.
I don't understand why Autodesk doesn't put in a "before deformers" option or something similar to how you can insert blendshapes at certain parts of a deformer chain.
ANYWAY
Every object has a "shape orig" node which represents what an object was before it was deformed. We can apply a UV transfer to this no problem which will also transfer up the stack to your rigged object.
I access it like this

1. Select your rigged object, in the hypergraph hit options/display/ hidden nodes & shape nodes
2. You'll see a hidden node which is your Orig node, or what your object was before rigging.
3. In the orig node's attribute editor under object display, uncheck 'intermediate object'
4. Your Orig node is now accessible.
5. Apply your UV transfer attributes to it - then delete it's history.

There you go - you've applied your transfer to your object via it's history object. Maya sees it that you performed this operation before rigging. Now why Autodesk hasn't made a tool for this....who knows.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


CORE RELEASE

For all you home, 1 machine render monkeys out there. I just discovered how to drop some core processing power (if you have a multi-core computer) while you are rendering so you can do all that web surfing while your machine chugs. CTRL-ALT-DEL into your task manager. Find the Maya process, right click on it and select set affinity. Click off one of procs. Cool, never knew about that one.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


SEQUENCE RENAMER

Nice and simple free app to rename those image sequences that you buffooned in your render settings. It's through creative crash so you need to register.

sequence 911 click here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


MENTAL RAY BOKEH LENS BASICS

http://www.pixelcg.com/blog/?p=189

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


USING NCLOTH TO DRIVE YOUR HAIR OR SPLINE IK

I came across a VERY cool technique to drive Maya's hair or splineIK. I saw a post online and the guy said
"create strips of polys from your hair, apply nCloth to them then wrap the hair to the nCloth"
I said "huh"?
So basically here's what he means...

Let's say you need a dynamically driven IK handle that you would normally drive with a dynamic curve (say a pony tail or an antennae). Instead

1. Loft 2 curves together and create a poly 'ribbon'.
2. Create nCloth of your poly loft.
3. Take 1 of the curves and wrap deform it to the polys which are now nCloth.
4. Your curve is now driven by the movement of the nCloth which is MUCH more versatile and has way better collision detection.
5. Now you can set up joints and spline IK your nClothed curve to them...all of this being driven by your nCloth.
6. Set up your nCloth constraints which are very good and predictable. Adjust your ncloth movement as you need it.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


SHOT 30FPS AND NEED IT AT 24FPS?

EDIT: WOW even a better technique... http://www.videocopilot.net/preset/frame_rate_converter/

Here's a cool tutorial on a quick and dirty way to convert 30i footage to 24fps in After Effects.

http://blog.jrnielsen.com/2009/05/convert-30i-footage-to-24p-with-after-effects/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxdTbZngslE

Friday, December 11, 2009



IXNAY ON THE RENDER PASS OCCLUSION RAY

Alright, the problem with maya's built in ambient occlusion render pass is that it offers no control over it! It's just a blanket setting that eats up render time like mad. It's about 5 times slower than setting up the mib_amb_occlusion node to a surface shader. Lame I say!

So keep with the method of setting up a render layer, piping the outValue of the occlusion node to the outColor of a surface shader. Assign it to all that needs occlusion in that render layer (play with samples value until you get a nice result) and render. Way faster.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Consistent MR mem crash tip

Whilst batch rendering a sequence I often find my render queue cut out on a certain frame. When I open it in Maya and try and render that frame, Maya will cut out and crash as well.
The Culprit:
MR approximation editor min/max subdivisions set too high. Lower that tesselation down and MR should be able to chew it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009



FOG LIGHT/GOD RAYS IN MENTAL RAY

Of course, it's not easy as with most things in MR but here it is.

1. Create a poly object (cube) which will act as a 'container for your fog.
The smaller the container the less calculations Maya has to make.
2. Create a light that will be your fog light. Turn on raytrace shadows with trace depth 5.
(use MR lights for cooler results, i.e. attach a physical light to a spotlight)
3. Make sure your objects are within your container.
4. Create a shader (lambert) that you will apply to your container.
5. Open the lamberts 2sg node and hook a transmat node to it's MR custom shaders
-material shader and shadow shader. This will make the container's geometry
invisible to the renderer.
6.Connect a parti_volume node to the volume shader slot.
7. Turn up the parti_volume's scatter a bit.
8. In the parti_volumes attributes, link your light to it through the light linking
drop down.
9. In your render globals, Features...turn on auto volume volume samples 8.
10. Under quality, Raytracing...turn shadows up to 6.

There it is, your 10 steps for a simple effect. Now tweak your parti_volume
node to death and have fun ! (Min Step Len lower makes fog less grainy)
Those render times are gonna be pretty harsh!

Friday, November 06, 2009



EDIT EDIT EDIT ** ALTERNATE VECTOR BLUR METHOD

Sure enough bloody Mental Ray lack of integration has done it again...and
MAYA HAS IT'S OWN LM2DV SHADER ---- HELLO 64 BIT VECTOR RENDERING
Well the geniuses at Autodesk have hidden some very good shaders called MIP. shaders
the one we want is called mip_motion_vector.
http://www.pixelcg.com/blog/?p=528

To enable them in the mental ray shaders GUI under materials and output shaders
go into your mentalrayCustomNodeClass.mel file in (in ../scripts/others)
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=87&t=541718&page=1&pp=15

Edit: It came to my attention there is an easier way of exposing these shaders
in your script editor type
optionVar – iv “MIP_SHD_EXPOSE” 1;
restart Maya and the shaders will appear !

VOILA
your own shader group that you paid Autodesk for but they didn't want you to have it.
NOW
In the mip_ node Connect the message to mental ray miOutputShader node of whichever camera you are using via the connection editor-
you have a perfectly working LM2DV shader. Don't forget to enable vector and depth in the Legacy Output Shaders in your camera's attribute editor. Also enable motion blur with
equal shutter values as you would for the LM2DV shader.

NEW RSMB MBLUR VECTOR TECHNIQUE

Well, seems that the LM2DV shader for rendering out motion vectors is kaput. The guy who developed it has changed his website...BUT

Innovation has arrived. Seems you can render out a 2d vector pass with Mental Ray's output passes that are actually better. Here's the tutorial.


http://aloedesign.com/2008/12/maya-2d-motion-vectors-tutorial/3/
Font size

Thursday, November 05, 2009

MUDBOX TIPPAGE

Always have trouble extracting displacement maps from Mudbox.

* Always model quads. Mudbox calculations hate ngons & Tris.
* Check for non-manifold faces. Destroy them.
* Make sure UVs are clean and that shells have some distance from eachother.
* Use as few UV shells as possible. Map extraction is slow with many shells.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

WIREFRAMING A SUBD OBJECT

This one is a bit of a hack because it's hard to render a subD wire object with backface culling.
Contour shader only wires polys and the the hardware buffer sux at culling.
Basically we create the wires by saving a playbast.

1. Apply a black shader to your object.
2. Turn on 'wireframe on shaded under shading.
3. Turn on 'smooth lines
4. Adjust 'thicker lines
5. Playblast out your animation and save it to whatever resolution you need.



MAYA WIREFRAME RENDERING VIA MR CONTOURS

Here's a cool wirefframe render technique.

1. Apply a shading map shader to an object.
2. In the SG material node, check enable contour rendering under the mental ray tab.
3. Enable contour rendering under the Render Settings/Features/Contours.
4. Crank over sample.
5. check "Around All Poly Faces" under Draw By Property Difference
http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/9059/contour.jpg
OR
http://ashutoshjha.org/tutorial/wireframe-render-in-maya.html