I just released a minor update to AM Tools that I thought was worth mentioning here. The only change is some refactoring in plug-in verification to ensure everything will work fine with versions of Maya older than 2010 on Windows. Previously, I was using the allNodeTypes command to verify the existence of plug-ins containing nodes. While this command generally only needs to be called twice to make it work in old versions of Maya on OSX (and I believe Linux too), Windows users could get a Debug.dll error that would just prevent the script from working. Special thanks to Sean Binder and Chad Dombrova for helping me troubleshoot this!
Archive for February, 2010
Waiting on videos to render is the perfect time to add and update site content, because everything else is bogged down. In that respect, I wanted to note that my Unity tools page is now open for business, where I will be posting more components and editor scripts in the future. For starters, I have uploaded two basic components (each zip file contains a UnityScript and a C# version).
The first component is an aim constraint, to simply mimic the behavior of Maya’s aim constraint. The benefit of using this over a simple call to Quaternion.LookRotation() is that you can specify arbitrary forward and up axes on the constrained object (just as in Maya). You could use this with the AssetPostprocessor class to automatically import constraints in your asset files (FBX, Maya, etc.).
The second component is a look rotation constraint. It allows you to not only specify arbitrary forward and up axes on the constrained object, but also constrain it to a world forward-vector and world up-vector (so it does not need to aim at a target, but can mimic the “pointing” direction of another transform).
I just uploaded an update to my AM Tools package, which contains some new goodies. In addition to including the AM_Ribbon plug-in that I previewed previously, I have also included an AM_ExposeTransform node, which I will be discussing in an upcoming Autodesk MasterClass that I am doing with Ryan. This node, much like its counterpart in 3D Studio Max, outputs transformation data for an object with respect to another object. In addition to basics like translation, rotation, and distance, the node also allows you to compute the angle between arbitrary axes on the objects as well as an angle from the exposed object’s arbitrary axis to the reference object’s position. Take a look in the example file to get some ideas of how you might use it. Special thanks to my friend, Sean Binder of Raven Software, for providing me with the torso model.
Things have been unusually hectic so far this year, and with GDC on the horizon it’s not looking to be much clearer for awhile. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t found a way to make all of my different obligations overlap in some ways! I’ve been working a little bit as a consultant over the last few months to help out Infinite Ammo with an upcoming title: Marian.
During the course of my work on the project, I developed a new Python plug-in for Maya to help out with hair modeling. I will hopefully have a chance to deploy a new version of my free Python package soon that will include it, but in the meantime I thought I might share this video that Alec posted up on the IA website where I show what the plug-in does. Hopefully some other folks out there will find it useful too!