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Cult of Rig Posts

Compiling C++ Plugins for Maya with Visual Studio

Compiling C++ Plugins

This is something I had wanted to do for a very, very long time.

A lot of people end up never learning to write C++ because of the difficulty presented by the ecosystem, despite the fact that the base facilities of the language itself are actually pretty straight forward.
In a similar vein I find the language itself, or its use in APIs, is often taught in an overly isolated fashion when it’s actually pretty important to understand how the tool-chain components (project, compiler and linker) actually work together to write and debug such plug-in’s.

My answer to that is a mini-series that isn’t really about C++ (there are many books and videos about that) as much as it’s about knowing how the system goes from source to binary target: We go from nothing to actually assembling and then building an open source node library without using other people’s projects. Every step is explained in both terms of doing it and what goes on under the hood, with further notes on what components participate and how, including possible issues and early troubleshooting of the various steps.

If you want to learn C++, or even if you don’t want to but you would still like to be able to build many of the excellent open source plugins available out there by yourself, this is the playlist for you.

Extra thanks to all the Patrons on Patreon who gave me the motivation to do it and provided feedback on the work as it progressed and was made before its public release.


Season 01 – Episode 36 – Finished All Components

Finished Components With Working Symmetry

After warming back up to the rig in the previous stream yesterday this went pretty well, even if I say so myself.

Most of the content is nodelling and reviewing what I’m doing and why, but there’s a good amount of work happening at a relatively snappy pace.

Bugs (presumed) of the previous day are squashed, all components are made to properly guide and deguide, handedness is now considered for the foot too, the foot receives a proper deform layer, our tool for guiding is confirmed working… And more.

It is a nodelling episode, which we’ve had many of, but it’s a good one in my opinion, and it finally takes us to what might be the finish line for all components. I/O and re-assembling the rig should be all that’s left next (unless we will find issues 😉 ).

As for the previous episode I recorded a brief intro which is available in the first link/embed below, you can watch that if you want a quick verbal preview of what goes on in the episode, but it’s mostly what you have just read.


Season 01 – Episode 35 – Warming Back up to the Rig and Foot Symmetry

Warming back up to the rig

It’s been a while since I last had streamed.

There isn’t much about this episode that is remarkable.

If you were following the season through its progress and you’re as rusty as I was then it might be worth watching me as I re-compose the structure of the rig in my head and prepare for some work on the foot, otherwise it’s not a particularly eventful one.

Below, before the link to the episode itself, I’m linking the intro I made for it which explains what will be in it and at what times so that you can decide if you care to watch the entire episode or some parts of it.


Season 01 – Episode 34 – Everything Else About Mirroring

Mirroring Components, Everything Else

Different format than usual for this episode!

There was a good chunk of work that would be repetitive and boring to do on-stream as nodelling, so unlike in any previous episode I decided to do it off-stream and then bring the rig up to comment on why and how it was done and the underpinning fundamentals.

This is meant to compress the time to finish the rig a bit and offer a more concise episode.

I like how it came out and it seems to have been well received, so it might happen again, albeit probably not this season since the work remaining should generally speaking be new and/or interesting to see through its execution.

So, to make a long story short: This video goes over everything about mirroring components that is required to get a fully reflected component for the leg and shows the rig in action.

I recommend downloading the corresponding ep34 scene from the download section to follow along by exploring the scene as I go over it.
It can be found here as usual.


Special Broadcast with Co-Hosts Miquel Campos and Raf Anzovin

Special Broadcast: Rigs as Software

This is a little bit too much text for a tweet, but not enough for a video announcement, so here it goes!

First and foremost localize and check the calendar for the time in your region
It will be the on 9th of May at 7:00 AM, AEST; which means it’s the 8th of May afternoon to night in most of the rest of the world.

On that very special day, on the usual channel, there will be a special non-Cult broadcast about a subject dear to my heart and that of my co-hosts for the day.

The theme is Rigs as Software, and Rigging as Software Development.

Joining me will be Miquel Campos and Raf Anzovin.

Miquel is the author and maintainer of MGear, a powerful rigging system and API for Maya, and a TD of considerable experience.
You can read and find out more about Miquel here:
Also make sure to follow him on Twitter

Raf has been around for a long time and is known for having run Anzovin Studios, Authored the A.R.T rigging toolset and more recently for his Ephemeral Rig and interpoation-less (more than) experiments.
You can read and find out more about Raf here:
And make sure you follow him on Twitter too

We will be talking about the core subject and Miquel and Raf will demo some of their work in context.

This isn’t a Cult Stream, no prior knowledge is required.
While it will be recorded and posted for those who can’t attend I will say that you really, really should consider attending live for the chance to interact with Raf and Miquel and ask questions throughout the stream.

I’d love to see more of this happening in the future, so please help us make it a success and spread the word.


Video is now available on YouTube