10 articles tagged with "maya":

Sliding and Bulging Effects Using Soft Mods in Maya

Posted on November 28, 2016 - category: character-rigging

In this Maya rigging tutorial, you will learn how to animate the falloff center of a Soft Mod. This lets you animate a bulge moving along an object.

sliding softmod

I worked as the character rigger on a fantastic short film called “Majora’s Mask - Terrible Fate” by Ember Lab. I used Soft Mods in Maya to create a bulging effect in the Mask Salesman’s backpack. This makes it look like objects are bouncing around inside the fabric. By connecting it …

Continue reading

Quickly Select and Isolate Curves in Maya’s Graph Editor

Posted on July 31, 2014 - category: tip-of-the-day

Here is a simple but powerful animation tip in Autodesk Maya. This is an essential tip for animators and riggers.

In Maya, let’s say you are working in the Graph Editor with dozens or hundreds of objects, and you need to select and edit only the translateY curves. Here is how to select them easily.

First, enable the “Sync Graph Editor Display” option in the Channel Box menu.

sync graph editor by display setting

Once that is set, you can simply select translateY in the …

Continue reading

Maya Python: Reset Selected Controls

Posted on October 01, 2013 - category: python

Reset Selected Script

I have a script snippet to share with you today. This is how I quickly reset all selected objects to 0,0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1 in translate, rotate and scale with the stroke of a hotkey command.

This is fantastically useful when you are animating! But it’s also for riggers, modellers or anyone working in Maya. Softimage XSI has this feature built in (Ctrl-Shift-R), so I made a little snippet to do the same in …

Continue reading

A New Demoreel & My Cartoony Face Rig Structure

Posted on September 09, 2013 - category: character-rigging

I just got back from an awesome summer vacation, travelling in South America! Now I’m back to work, developing some new Python animation tools and plugins (which I’ll blog about soon) and looking for new clients and projects for the coming year! Today I want to show you my new character rigging demoreel. It has a few highlights of my tech artist work from this past year. After the video, you’ll read a bit about the facial …

Continue reading

Manually Create a Single Maya Follicle in Python

Posted on February 22, 2013 - category: character-rigging

Do you use Maya follicles to pin objects to your geometry? Are you still doing it the old way, by creating a Hair System and then deleting all the parts you don’t need? Below I’ll share my simple Maya Python script that creates and pins a single follicle onto a nurbs surface. (Jump straight to the script.)

I love using follicles. They adhere to a nurbs or poly surface and they maintain a good, predictable orientation in normal …

Continue reading

How To Stop Collapsing Vertices in Maya Post Normalization

Posted on May 14, 2012 - category: character-rigging

<img src=

So this is annoying. You are trying to paint weights in Maya using Post Normalization and a bunch of your vertices are collapsing to the origin! What’s going on!?

Don’t fret. There is a simple explanation and an easy fix for this. But first, let’s look at what Post skinning is doing:

What is this Post Normalization skinning all about?”

When using Post Normalization skinning for the first time, it can be a bit tricky to figure …

Continue reading

Using a Unit Vector to Make a Cylindrical Foot Roll

Posted on April 03, 2012 - category: character-rigging

Here is a tutorial that will demonstrate how to use a Unit Vector to animate the pivot point of a cylinder so that the cylinder will roll on its bottom edge in any direction. I’m using this technique for the feet of my Mini Mammoth rig, but it could also be useful for robot feet, or adapted into different shapes for a variety of uses.

Here is a video of the foot rolling effect we are going to create …

Continue reading

Use K to Easily Navigate Your Maya Timeline

Posted on March 07, 2012 - category: tip-of-the-day

There are tons of features and hotkeys and hidden marking menus in Maya that are extremely useful but surprisingly seldom known. While everyone is talking about big new features, these underdogs can easily be forgotten.

I just started a “tip of the day” with my animators at work because I realized that there are lot of these things that they aren’t aware of, but being a major geek, I’ve read through the help docs like a crime-thriller novel …

Continue reading

Python: String Formatting and Enumerate

Posted on February 21, 2012 - category: python

As a mostly self-taught Python scripter, I try to keep on top of best-practices and constantly learn, because I realize how easily bad habits can slip in. I’ve recently learned these bad habits are known as anti-patterns.

That said, I learned a couple new Python tricks this week.

1. Better String Formatting Using Format()

If you’ve used string formatting before, this is very similar, except the replacement fields are inside {} brackets, and you can use variables as keywords …

Continue reading

Using Proxy Geometry For Better Skinning Results

Posted on February 10, 2012 - category: character-rigging

Here is a simple skinning trick I like to use, which comes in handy for a lot of different rigging situations.

In the images below, I was rigging a wolf’s tongue with spline IK that needed to be very flexible. (If you count, you’ll notice that there are 12 controllers. 4 main controllers and 8 extra offset controllers to bend and twist the tongue into a variety of shapes.) The skinning was proving to be tedious, because the …

Continue reading