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Season 01 – Episode 32 – Maths: Mirroring Transforms, Components: Modularising

Maths: Mirroring Transforms
Components: Modularisation

A little bit of an odd episode as it treats two completely different and unrelated subjects.

In the first half we go over modularising components, gotchas, procedure, some tricks on how to manage it with pure vanilla Maya and so on. Not bad going.

As the next step after that will be mirroring components I thought it would be beneficial to actually explain what reflection (handedness inversion) means in mathematical terms, and show what it looks like with Maya transforms.

The QnA indulges on a scaling related question too in the context of deformation.

It had been a while since we did a math video or a Maya workflow one, so it was kind of cool to get to treat both in one session.

Enjoy,

Season 01 – Episode 31 – Finished Components

All Components, Finished!

Finished! Yes, with today we finally have our first pass on all components ready to go.

Time to move on to modularisation, import/export and finally component symmetry.

Not a lot to add to that, this is a straight forward, busy and fruitful nodelling stream. We fixed and extended leg and foot components to properly account for offsets and to fully respond to the guiding/deguiding process.

The script used during the stream is still the one we worked on in the previous episode, and it can be found here.

Enjoy,

Season 01 – Episode 30 – Finished Guiding Tool

Finished, Working Guiding Tool

This episode we come to a fully working, finished Guiding Tool capable of swapping guide/control graph states, as well as clean out DG and DAG items to completely remove the guide yielding a finished component ready to hand out.

Towards the very end we also go into how stretchy IK could be added to our leg component. We’ll probably do add it ourselves in the future, so if you’re after some homework it might not be a bad way to go, as you will eventually be able to compare your implementation with the stream’s.

Stretchy IK ending aside: This is honest work investigating the components, testing and extending the tool, and applying fixes as needed when the tool evidences some previously unaddressed issue in the leg component.

It’s a relaxed stream with an easy pace and I kinda like how it went; particularly the fact it came to a clean conclusion bang on time.

We’re now ready to move on to finishing the foot component to acknowledge the foot offset from FK/IK controls, and we have one minor fix left for the leg guide to properly preserve the offset connection with the hip, and then we’ll be good to export and symmetrize the leg and finally bind.
The fruit of all our efforts is finally in sight!

All code can be found on github labelled by the day, as usual.

Enjoy,

Season 01 – Episode 29 – Maya Parallel Evaluation

Maya’s Graph Part 2, Parallel Evaluation

This episode we conclude the presentation of Maya’s evaluation models by going over parallel evaluation.

We explain how it works, what nodes operate in which way, and the fundamentals to make the best of your graph’s layout to ensure you keep all cores of your CPU busy.

I haven’t seen this discussed extensively anywhere else, so there are good chances you’ll find it useful.

During the Stream I mention a particularly important document about Maya’s graph, so here’s the link to Autodesk’s official page

Enjoy,

Season 01 – Episode 28 – Maya Evaluation Graph Explained

Maya’s Dependency Graph Demystified

With the scripting saga finally over we take a good look at how Maya’s DG (Dependency Graph) evaluation model works.

We introduce evaluation graphs in general, the concepts of push and pull, data vs evaluation, and then we move into more Maya specific territory.

Maya’s MDataBlock, compute(), Plugs and dirty state and all that goodness.

I do wish I had switched up to our own rig to show a more complex graph somewhere in the last third, but hopefully the simplicity of the example and the discussion will still get the point across even for the more complex scenarios. We will, no doubt, have a chance to revisit the subject again soon enough when we’ll be discussing profiling and performance.

During the Stream I mention a particularly important document about Maya’s graph, so here’s the link to Autodesk’s official page

In the end we also introduce some of the peculiarities and fundamentals of how the model behind the new multi-threaded evaluation looks like.

Enjoy,