Maya

baking maya scene time warp

I just ran into a hideous problem when I was trying to bake out cameras and animation from one scene, and get the animation into another. I always keep my lighting scenes separate from the animators' scenes so they can't mess up my shots. Unfortunately, the animator had used a Scene Time Warp, and then baked out the animation, which of course never quite lined up correctly and we couldn't figure out what was going on. Turns out that keys baked under a Time Warp will not actually bake the Time Warp itself. Here's a script, then, to bake the effects of the time warp on all selected objects. It then (optional, but recommended) deletes the time warp from the scene entirely: (more…)

By toadstorm, ago
Maya

python in maya standalone

I’ve been working on some tools recently that open groups of Maya scenes in batch mode, running Python or MEL operations on each file (for example, to quickly add a render layer and apply materials to a large group of objects at once, or to get the names of all Read more…

By toadstorm, ago
Maya

applying displacement in vray

I was just talking to a colleague about his problems using displacement maps with VRay, and then remembered my confusion when I first tried to work with them. So here’s a post about it! Normally in Maya/mental ray, when you want to apply a displacement map you just create a Read more…

By toadstorm, ago
Maya

creating a UV pass for use in post

A lot of After Effects compositors like to use a plugin to allow texture substitution on objects, called Re:Map. You render out a special color pass from your 3D scene, and then the plugin uses those colors to wrap a flat image onto the object, basically allowing you to re-texture Read more…

By toadstorm, ago
Maya

New job!

I recently took a staff position at the up-and-coming Gentleman Scholar StudiosĀ in Santa Monica. I’ll be their “Technical Director,” which more or less means I’ll be doing more of the same old scripting, lighting and materials. Which is totally fine with me… these guys are gonna be big. Also on Read more…

By toadstorm, ago
Maya

more problems with render layers

I am a huge advocate of using shared render layers in a file referencing pipeline. It's probably the only reasonable way of allowing lighters, animators, riggers and FX artists to work on shots and assets simultaneously. That being said, it isn't without its weaknesses (many of which I talked about in anĀ earlier post). The latest one I encountered happens with scenes with TONS of objects... not necessarily a high polygon count, but just lots and lots of individual DAG nodes. Take a look... (more…)

By toadstorm, ago
Maya

Renaming duplicate nodes

I’ve been working on a project that incorporates a lot of models that were made by duplicating or importing things into a scene over and over again. When this happens, you have lots of nodes that will have the same name, and Maya will differentiate between them by tacking the Read more…

By toadstorm, ago
Maya

hfMaya2MaxFBX

So a while ago I worked on a project that involved a lot of work in Fume and Krakatoa, both dynamics plugins for 3DSMax. I’m not a Max user at all, nor do I know a whole lot about dynamics, but I do know these plugins are a lot better Read more…

By toadstorm, ago