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Old 11-12-2008, 07:40 PM   #1
tweetytunes
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Default Useful plug-ins and tips you find useful

After the whole thing with people not knowing about the incremental save option in part of my W.I.P for my woman I was wondering what pluggins for Maya people are using or any other little tips people may not know about.

I did a search and could not find any other topic like this, but if there is just let me know

I use 8.5 as I have spent alone time getting it just right and some of the plug-ins I use you cant get for the later versions of Maya. I use Maya2008 for rendering as it has a lot more new features and is the highest licence I have.

I use the following in my work flow:

Incremental save - with the number of things that go wrong in Maya this is a must.

Koshigaya Studios Script Tools (lots of little plug-ins I use every day and the main reason I use 8.5 still)
http://www.koshigaya.de/

Art of rigging books DVD plugins - The books provided a lot of little plugins on the dvds that I use for rigging and very useful books to boot
www.cgtoolkit.com

Polynoise - great little script for making tree trunks or adding noise to your surfaces.

Blast Code - great plug-in for breaking stuff.

Turtle - rendering tool I sometimes use.

Syflex - cloth although I use ncloth a lot more now.

Shave and Haircut - Hair

Realflow

Vue 6 - on the very odd occasion.


Granted not all of these are free (alot of them I got from the film I was working on) but they do make my life easier
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:51 PM   #2
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Nice Idea,

I use the following on a regular basis for me 3d.

Maya,

Roadkill, Uv mapping, nice little free plug in for maya, makes getting the initial unwrap really quick.

Photoshop,

Z Brush,

And a few scripts that I've made myself for shattering objects, or cookie cutting objects up.

Also in my settings I have polygon face selection to face rarther than center, which speeds up selection. Undo set to infinite. I also have the default paths set up for editing images.

Oh and interactive creation switched right off!!!

I also use Vue a little where needed at uni.

Also a lot of motionbuilder work too wih mo cap data, think I would go so far as to say when it comes to animating motionbuilder is superb, pricey though but if your doing anything with mo cap data (raw or processed) then its a must, its not too shabby for the ol keyframing either!
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:31 PM   #3
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Cool

Maya:

Using MJPolytools for modelling also the split edge ring tool which is pretty similar.

UV Autoratio, this smart plugin creates equal uv spaces on ALL objects, so you dont have to worry about different scales of uvs on a model made up of separated objects, each uv is the same.

TIP OF THE DAY:

It kind of bugged me for a while that in renderman you can apply nodes to a low res object and it comes out real nice at render time, and I thought why cant Mental Ray do that well it can.

Im sure many of you know that when using keyboard 3 it displays your poly mesh nice n smooth in the view port, with the same lo res geo still there, problem is you cant render it nice and smooth without doing a proper mesh smooth and end up with a ton of polys....plus if you have a rigged character thats been mesh smoothed its carrying all that history about too, Well...forget all that crap and read on...As we all know mental ray approximation nodes are more commonly known for their uses with subdividing your mesh at render times for your displacement maps, well do exactly that, just select your low res un smoothed, severly faceted mesh and apply an approximation node and leave it on the default settings...open mental ray and render...done, one nice smooth model! this also counters the fact of not worrying about hi res model and a proxy, just keep it as a proxy so to speak and just render it and let MR deal with the rest.

Onwards...

Zbrush, Photoshop, Terragen(for matte backdrops) and Fusion

Undos and Interactive as Steve has too

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Old 11-12-2008, 11:43 PM   #4
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Cool Jay!

Theres also the smooth edge node in MR to round off sharp edges that you can use to bevel at render time only.

Another thing that I find really really useful is the slide edge tool, really good in my mind, makes getting a nice poly distrubution really easy.

The soft select for the standard move tool is pretty nifty too.

Oh and when modeling something that may have some complex bits, try out the non linear deformers in the animation toolset to add bends, twists, flares etc, and dont over look the lattice for more "sweeping" changes. Just remember to delete the history when fnished.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:54 PM   #5
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Hey Steve

Handy little number with the approximation node...that was one of those 'what if I just' moments. I really cant recall that one coming up other than for displacement maps

yeah that node also allows you to blend one object intoanother without worry about edges too so you get a nice round chamfer effect.

The non linear stuff always comes in handy, I used them in the new speeder tute.

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Old 11-12-2008, 11:58 PM   #6
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The non liner stuff is something that I see at uni a lot of the time, Students will try to make something thats prety complex and get cought up trying to model it in the traditional methods, the non linears sort it out for em!
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:21 AM   #7
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LOL I should come up lecture them that would sort them out LOL

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Old 12-12-2008, 12:22 AM   #8
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Haha! Yeah man!
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:46 AM   #9
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i only use that script that sorts out zbrush displacement maps and i've only just started using it....
I'll check out some of the ones mentioned here, cheers!
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:09 AM   #10
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Yeah that scipt is prety good, but I like to have the control, CONTROL I TELLS YA, over it!

Theres also a nifty script on highend that inserts a gamma correction node into a texture chain for you which is pretty good if you need it, but as I dot really use it I would rarther do it manually so I can keep it in my mind what i'm doing.
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Old 16-12-2008, 09:09 AM   #11
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Found another useful tool for uv editing mostly but it can do some other stuff - and its free (for now). - Maya 8.5 up

Its called Diamant Uv 2.0 Beta

Info from the site:
Diamant Uv is a fully functional and fully integrated Automatic Uv mapper and editor for Maya. Diamant Uv was built for production and ease of use. Because of this, it features a multitude of tools to help get around most of the tedious workflow's that users are accustomed to. Diamant Uv has been tested in some of the top Game studio's in the world. It was built with production in mind and should finally make Uving a fun and enjoyable experience for all.

It even has some training videos.
You do have to reg to get it (again free) and then its in the forum, but its worth it

http://tools3d.com/news.php
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Old 16-12-2008, 09:33 AM   #12
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Awesome tool for all you destruction lovers

http://www.highend3d.com/maya/downlo...tter-5517.html
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Old 16-12-2008, 05:15 PM   #13
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spinFaces is handy for organic modeling. KB's refplanes script is nice for quick reference image setup.
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Old 16-12-2008, 05:43 PM   #14
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yeah spin faces is a god send, its actually based off the Lightwave script Spin Quads which is actually quite old now, strange how maya has had it implemented into it though over the years.

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Old 16-12-2008, 06:03 PM   #15
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I think we can make this an even more useful thread by discussing setups for speeding up workflow...hotkey setups/shelves/marking menus. I suppose this will depend on the version of Maya one is using to a degree but I'm always on the hunt for ways to work faster. When I started out with Maya 4, I never used shelves at all—it was all hotbox and custom marking menus. I remember the authors of Maya Fundamentals 4 had an interesting, easy to remember modeling setup back then by assigning hotkeys to custom marking menus and dividing each menu into 'creation' (primitives, poly tool) and editing. so for example:

alt + c = marking menu for creating objects
alt + shift + c = common editing tools (split, extrude, bevel, cut, etc.)

Then you just do a similar thing for nurbs/surfaces/curves,etc.

Of course this was before Maya started integrating their context sensitive ctrl + right-click menus on edges and whatnot.

Anyway, later on, when I did Kari's Apache tutorial, I realized how much quicker I was with shelves than with finding things in the hotbox. Cue where we're at today...I haven't really done much customizing, yet (laziness) but there are things that weren't integrated in older versions (without using MJ Polytools or the like) that I'm using now. In an effort to speed up flow, I've been playing with custom hot keys for inserting or creating edge loops rather than digging for it through the whole ctrl-right clicking.

I still find the recent list of commands in the hotbox indespensible. And the G key of course.
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