Maya plug­ins Roundup

Dis­cover top plug­ins to help you stay cre­ative and in­crease your pro­duc­tiv­ity

3D World - - CONTENTS -

We dive into the world of Maya plug­ins with a guide to the best of the best for in­creas­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity

Maya is one of the most com­pre­hen­sively fea­tured 3D ap­pli­ca­tions avail­able. It’s vast and ca­pa­ble, but that means cer­tain tasks can be harder to com­plete, as you learn the work­flow and nav­i­gate the menu sys­tems. This isn’t a fail­ing, as artists work­ing in par­tic­u­lar fields will build the mus­cle mem­ory to do what’s needed, but for the many gen­er­al­ists who only rarely use cer­tain tools, it can be frus­trat­ing. This is where the com­mu­nity comes into play, with ei­ther smart artists writ­ing scripts or canny de­vel­op­ers spot­ting the need to make odd jobs eas­ier. There are many ways that Maya can help im­prove your work­flow, but plug­ins are some­thing most peo­ple are fa­mil­iar with and gen­er­ally have bet­ter sup­port than ran­dom MEL scripts; they tend to be de­vel­oped by com­pa­nies or larger stu­dios, with proper teams, de­vel­op­ment cy­cles and sup­port avail­able. Over the next few pages you will dis­cover some top plug­ins for Maya that can help with ac­com­plish­ing spe­cific tasks, from gen­er­at­ing crowds through to help­ing you make the move from 2D to 3D. Costs for plug­ins can vary hugely, some reach­ing prices sim­i­lar to Maya it­self, but we have tried to keep the costs down to a min­i­mum so that you have the chance to try adapt­ing your work­flow with as lit­tle out­lay as pos­si­ble.

One thing to keep in mind is that Au­todesk has a keen eye for a good de­vel­oper, and many plug­ins have been

brought into the Maya fold and ac­tu­ally be­come part of the base soft­ware, for even bet­ter in­te­gra­tion. na­iad for fluid sims and Xgen, the hair gen­er­a­tor, are two such ex­am­ples.

Mas­sive for Maya Price Free eval­u­a­tion web­site mas­sivesoft­ware.com

If you are a Maya artist there may be many rea­sons for you to need to cre­ate crowds, small or large, for your projects – not only as a vis­ual ef­fects artist, but if you work in en­gi­neer­ing viz or ar­chi­tec­ture. There are a few op­tions out there for gen­er­at­ing crowds but Mas­sive is one of the best-known and it is now fully in­te­grated into Maya. The Maya ver­sion pro­vides you with the sim­plest work­flow, us­ing Maya tools, so you can nav­i­gate your scene at­tributes us­ing fa­mil­iar tools like the Out­liner or graph Edi­tor. This makes for a stream­lined and in­tu­itive work­flow with less of a learn­ing curve. stay in one ap­pli­ca­tion to build hordes of zom­bies or now, with the new horse and rider fea­tures, armies of mounted apes, or pop­u­late your streets, bridges and build­ings with re­al­is­tic towns­folk.

shotview Price Free web­site high­end3d.com/maya/script/shotview-for-maya

shotview is a free and sim­ple but very ef­fec­tive Maya plu­gin, which pro­vides a con­stant and clean rep­re­sen­ta­tion of your cam­era view in a float­ing win­dow. This tool is in­cred­i­bly use­ful, es­pe­cially for artists with a two-mon­i­tor setup, as it al­lows you to view both the de­fault Maya per­spec­tive and the cam­era view si­mul­ta­ne­ously, sav­ing the has­sle of switch­ing be­tween the two and help­ing to de­velop the per­fect cin­e­matic shot.

shotview also al­lows you to set au­to­matic fil­ter­ing op­tions that will turn off any con­trollers you don’t want to see when run­ning a play­blast, which will re­store af­ter it has been cre­ated.

“Many plug­ins have been brought into the Maya fold and be­come part of the base soft­ware, for even bet­ter in­te­gra­tion”

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