Loading scripts in Maya sounds like programming and often sends artists hiding under their desks but really it is a quick easy process and opens a whole world of amazing little tools-
Highend3d and other resources are packed with amazing scripts and tools that are made by kind souls and handed out for free. Ignore your Mothers advice of not taking gifts from strangers and down-load them.
For a step-by-step example we will use Davvey's Nut and Bolt generator.
Step one: Nuts and Bolts may not be that difficult to model but why take the time when somebody has designed a tool that pops out accurate nuts and/or bolts of any shape or description.
Step two: Right click on the zip file you have just down-loaded and extract it to a folder
Most scripts look something like this and generally they include a Readme file that tells you what to do, you can organise your scripts as you see fit but at it's most basic you can just bung them into your scrips folder.
Copy all the script files to your My Documents < Maya < scripts
Next copy copy the Icon file ( the XPM ) to your icons folder in your preferences, this isn't vital to make the script work, but the icons always make it look nicer.
The advantage of using the common scripts folder over the one found in each version of Maya is that you can keep all your scripts in one place and not worry about moving them when you up-grade Maya.
Done - thats it
Step 3: To run the script, start up Maya ( or restart if Maya was already running )and in the command line type in DVY_BoltandNut
The name you type in is the name of the lead script- it is usually
obvious, often there is only one script file so then it is even more
obvious. One thing to note- the command line is caps-sensitive so dvy_boltandnut will not work, neither will leaving out the underscore as in DVY BoltandNut.
Hit enter; ( use the second little enter on the far right of the keyboard for older Maya versions ) - voila....you can start mass producing bolts from the DVY_BoltandNut machine.
There are tons of amazing scripts out there for everything from modeling, rendering, rigging ; basically a score of tools for every aspect of Maya, and it is often worth taking the time to find one and see how well it works.
If you really find you using the script frequently, type the name into the command line, highlight it, and middle-mouse drag it onto a shelf, you can then replace the "mel" icon with the icon that came with the script.
One of Maya's strengths is that it is so easy to write scripts for and expand. New users of Maya often don't realize that they are not really using the same tools that Weta used to make Lord of the Rings. Maya is really just the foundation and half the Maya operators in big 3d companies are spending all there time writing scripts and plug-ins to give thier artists more tools, so don't be afraid of adding to your tool set.
Download them- try them out, if you don't like them- bin them but you will find some gems that wont know how you ever managed before you discovered them.
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Author:andrewkerr Submitted: 2007-03-29 10:18:12 UTC Tags: Software: Maya Views: 72,069