Dark Side of the Sun

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

new Maya script: DynamiXer v1.0

I published a new script tool on my website. This one is for Maya, and mostly targeted for FX work (which is my daily bread).

This thing, called DynamiXer, centralizes a few easy controls to toggle visibility and simulation of all dynamics nodes (for now, that's particles and fluids) in your scene. Rather simple, really, but it can save you quite a bit of time and parameter-searching when you are thrashing about with complex scenes with several particles and/or fluids.

DynamiXer is available for download in the scripts section of my website.

Right now, the tool only connects with two types of nodes (particles and fluids), but I made it very easy to add other node types (I can think of nParticles or nCloth, for example). So, if you have a need for these, let me know and it should be a quick addition.

Besides its usefulness in my daily work, I had two goals with this little project:
  1. To create my first real tool script in Maya with Python (rather than MEL).
  2. To find out and learn how to create a dynamic Maya UI with Python.
By "dynamic UI" I mean that the UI changes depending on the nodes you have in the scene. For example, one challenge was to only use one procedure for each type of button functionality (for example, all "activate visibility" buttons call the same procedure), but create variations for each button (to unhide a specific node, or all nodes of a specific type). My solution for this was to use the functools.partial command.

As always, if you find any errors or bugs or have any ideas and suggestions for improvements, your comments/emails will be very welcome.