New Maya Book out

The new Mastering Maya 8.5 book is out. I got a chance to write about 10 pages of a nCloth tutorial for the book. Nothing much but it got me a “with Ed Siomacco” writing credit on the cover.

Exporting Attribute Settings in MEL

Sometimes you are working on a project, and you want to save your settings on a current object so that you can re-apply them at a later time. This can get tricky with Animation Curves. There is a command that is not documented in the Maya help that can be very useful for recreating animation curves and their keyframes.


Check back soon, and I’ll explain more about it.


Set Driven Key

A Set Driven Key is a powerful tool for a TD. It’s a simple concept, but when I was first learning about it, I got confused by the GUI that maya used to create them. I found later that it was much easier to use MEL to script the creation of a Set Driven Key.

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Mastering Maya 7

So, I might be a little biased but I’m excited about the new Mastering Maya 7 book that just came out. Three of the writers are good friends. John Kundert-Gibbs was my professor at Clemson University. Mick Larkins was a classmate at Clemson, and Mark de Sousa was my supervisor on Open Season at Sony Imageworks.

It’s also exciting because they used one of my rigged characters for the cloth and hair chapters, and they used a quote I wrote for them on the front page of the book. So, If you are in Barnes and Noble look for it. If you want to buy it, it’s a good price on Amazon.

.outMesh .inMesh

Another cool Maya bit.

connectAttr -f objectA.outMesh objectB.inMesh

This command will make objectB a copy of objectA as it appears with all transforms at Zero. It basically takes the output geometry of objectA and pumps it into objectB

ObjectB will get all the deformations of ObejctA. However, the translations, rotations, and scales of the two objects remains seperate.

It’s up to you to figure out what to do with this bit of knowledge.

Clusters that Follow

One problem I have had with using Clusters in Maya is that if you parent them into the rig then you get a double transform on the vertices in the Cluster. But here is a solution I learned today.
1. select your verts, create your cluster
2. Assuming it’s named cluster1(default name), type in the following:

connectAttr -f cluster1Handle.pim cluster1.pm;

This will connect cluster1Handle.parentInverseMatrix to cluster1.bindPreMatrix.

3. Group the Cluster and then parent it into the rig.

The cluster will now follow the rig, without double transforming.