Well.. as I want to use the site as platform for my MEL-publications and babbling about that I think I might introduce this a little. For you that don’t even know what I’m talking about: Don’t bother reading on :]
Maya is a great tool. Of course its not perfect. But there it reveals another greatness: Its own built in scripting language MEL. As Maya is actually almost completely build by MEL itself its really mighty in Maya.
So when working I asways come across stuff to add and change, making my workflow more and more efficient. Quite often my colleagues and even our companys production pipeline tool profits from these efforts. After years of scripting there is still a lot to learn but I already know quite some about making games with Maya.
I developed myself a kind of manifest to make my tools like. Its not always possible to fulfil all rules and its never finished. But here I think its a very good place to write it down and maybe amend it in the future.
Ok. What can I do to make a tool most enjoyable in Maya:
- give it a nice selfexplaining name (
- make it multi-name safe (`ls -sl -l`)
- make it quite fool safe (at least when its possible to mess stuff up)
- make stuff context-sensitive (if applicable, if not: )
- make stuff optional
- select Maya Window after the action (simple custom windows don’t have hotkeys in Maya, if MayaWindow is selected after the action you can undo, scrubb or pan the view without extra clicking)
- make UIs sizable if helpful (e.g. for sliders)
- make values persistent if helpful (if there are many settings to do)
- close on action if helpful (maybe even optional)
- auto-convert selection if helpful (context-sensitivity as well, if a tool modifies vertices, why not let the user select faces to modify the verices of the faces)
I’d love to read comments about this. Maybe you have other nice ideas about that of critics. OK. Now I can post a script :]