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Maya 2013 Highlight - Attribute Editor Customization (plus new related BonusTools)

Posted by STLR, 7 June 2012 1:50 pm

UPDATE:  You can now download the example scene files and scripts from the demostration movies -> AE Customization Tutorial


Thanks to Rob Skiena, Maya Product Designer, for contributing for this post.  Rob has done some great design work on tool sets such as the new Node Editor, and more recently the customizable Attribute Editor changes in 2013.  He has also contributed a great new tool called the Attribute Editor Template Builder as part of the latest BonusTool 2013 which is directly related to some of the new features in 2013.

Attibute Editor Template Builder UI

NOTE:  The Attribute Editor Template Builder is a python script.  After installing BonusTools 2013 you will need to manually setup your Python script path for BonusTools in order to use this tool.  See BonusTools documentation for instrcutions on how to setup the path.


There are some new features available in Maya 2103 that may change how you use the Attribute Editor.  With Custom Attribute Editor Attribute Views, you may use template files to customize the Attribute Editor for specific tasks, projects or artist type.  Some things you can do with custom Attribute Views in Maya are:

  • Create custom views of attributes in the Attribute Editor.
  • Specify views for both Node Types and for specifically Named Nodes,
  • Set views for the current selection, or Globally for all nodes in Maya
  • Use Callbacks in Python and Mel to inject script functions into the AE
  • Set Maya to search for Templates in a custom directory or across a network

See the Bonus Tools 2013 documentation for more details.  Additionally here are 5 short video tutorials to get you going on View creation with the Template Builder. 


The intro movie will give you a general overview.

The Quickstart movie will get you off and running.

The Object Based View movie will show you how customize for specific node names.

The Callbacks movie will show you how to attach commands and/or scripts to the elements within the AE.

The Production movie will show you a practical example of how AE Templates can be used.


6 Comments

JimBean

Posted 7 June 2012 9:29 pm

Are we back in the 90's?

It is precisely this type of seriously antiquated workflow, that needs to be improved. I thought Qt would be able to help with this, but apparently not.

Ask youself, how much faster this would have been, if it was drag n' drop.... you know the industry standard... any industry, for everything else.

toonami_fan

Posted 10 June 2012 4:18 am

although this is cool and all, most TD's already have a workflow for solving this. something like math nodes with trig functions as default would have been a much better feature in my mind, that way the distribution and creation of such nodes could be eliminated saving studios time and therefore money.

STLR

Posted 12 June 2012 9:32 pm

JimBean - I assume you're referring to the AETemplateBuilder UI? Yes agreed, it would be nice if it was drag and drop. The template files themselves are xml so other editors could be written in lieu of this one. Please keep in mind that the actual Maya 2013 feature here is the back-end template system (not the UI). Customizing the AE used to be a pain in the butt in the past, as original Maya UI files would need to be hacked which could lead to headaches. Switching the contents of the AE was also difficult. The BonusTools AE Template Builder was just added as an extra tool to help get people started with templates.

STLR

Posted 12 June 2012 9:36 pm

toonami_fan - Yes many TDs have workarounds for this but they are cumbersome and require a lot of hacking. This should simplify things a great deal. And yes, I would love to see additional math and utility nodes (ala ICE) in Maya, but that is an entirely separate issue. Duly noted though

Naqoyqatsi

Posted 14 June 2012 8:28 am

A lot of Math Nodes for Maya:

http://www.cgdna.com/web/mathematic-nodes-main

Beewest

Posted 20 June 2012 8:07 am

@Naqoyqatsi:
>> A lot of Math Nodes for Maya:
>> http://www.cgdna.com/web/mathematic-nodes-main

cool, did not know these, they surely look interesting!
unfortunately they do not run (yet) under Maya 2013...

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