Maya BonusTools 2013 - UV Tools

Posted by STLR, 6 September 2012 12:20 pm

Hi everyone. 

Well, I've officially moved back from my temporary 2 month stay in Boston.  The summer there was phenomenal.  I would get weekly emails from my friends and family back in Austin complaining about the ungodly hot 100+ degree weather and then I’d walk outside in Boston to a perfect sunny and 75-80 degree day.  Unfortunately I got back just in time for another heat wave in Austin - up to 105 today :(  But I’d rather have only a few weeks of that than 2-3 months of it!  So next summer we’re planning on getting the heck out of here again… but this time somewhere in the Pacific North West.  Where should we go?  Seattle?  Portland?  Vancouver?

Speaking of Vancouver… I just spent 4 days there last week visiting several game developers including Capcom (formerly Blue Castle), United Front and Piranha games.  I spent the better part of a full day last Wed with the guys at United Front showing them some Maya goodness.  They are finishing up a project that I’m really looking forward to -> Little Big Planet Karting

My daughter, who is almost 7, is finally starting to show an interest in games.  Yea!!  I finally have someone to play with :)  I recently started playing the original Little Big Planet with her and she is loving it.  It’s such a fun game and a great franchise.  Karting looks super fun as well. 

So on to the topic of the week… UV Editing.  We all love working with UVs right?  Wrong… we all hate working with UVsBut just like skinning and weighting, it’s just one of those necessary evils… so tedious and monotonous.  But a few of us here have created some nifty little BonusTools that at least help with the process.  I’ve put together a few movies that demonstrate some these tools.

Auto Unwrap UVs

Auto Map Multiple Meshes

Align UV Shells

Clamp UVs

Flip / Rotate UVs

UV Editor Display



Posted 6 September 2012 8:55 pm

hi steve . ..
thanks for all your great reminders

may i ask for layout tools 2013? do you have any plans or even a release date for us?

looking forward

br mayanic


Posted 6 September 2012 9:33 pm

mayanic - I've done some tests with LT 2012 on 2013 and it seems to work fine. Although I am making some updates related to the Maya 2013 Extension release based on the new Scene Assembly stuff. I hope to have that done sometime in October.


Posted 7 September 2012 12:36 am

Would you like to take a look at my post ? area.autodesk com/forum/autodesk-maya/wishlist/huge-old-time-killer-tasks-and-tips/


Posted 7 September 2012 1:03 am



Posted 7 September 2012 2:02 am

Hi Steve,

I am getting an error on OS X

No module named AlignUVShells


Posted 7 September 2012 4:12 am

why "add border" doesn't show up on my screen like i see on your videos i have maya 2013


Posted 7 September 2012 6:58 am

You should try the Pacific SW if its too hot in Austin. Skiing in Queenstown New Zealands where you should be


Posted 7 September 2012 2:01 pm

wesm - this is because that tool is a python script and the python script path for BT unfortunately has to be setup manually. See BT docs for python setup instruction. If that doesn't work let me know.

fabsrn - this was a bug in the initial release for Maya 2013. You'll need to download the Maya 2013 Service Pack which can be found via this link...


Posted 12 September 2012 9:53 am

very good video.
Auto Unwrap is very interesting!

with maya 2013 on win7 64bit i have an error for AlighUVShells:
# Error: ImportError: No module named AlignUVShells #

but there's a free script "UV-mover" for use this function.


Posted 12 September 2012 11:01 am

Very nice tools, it would be great if there were solid ways to find unwanted overlapping UVs and Unsewn edges.


Posted 12 September 2012 1:54 pm

Ramones - AlignUVShells is a python script and the python script path for BT unfortunately has to be setup manually. See BT docs for python setup instruction.


Posted 28 November 2012 11:22 pm

I've not been able to get this to work. The HUD displays won't come up. There something I need to have on that I'm missing?


Posted 29 November 2012 3:00 am

cmptrArtist - this was a bug in the initial release for Maya 2013. You'll need to download the Maya 2013 Service Pack which can be found via this link...


Posted 10 February 2013 8:25 pm

Thanks for answering my questions before I asked great tools - I'm updating to SP1 now


Posted 11 February 2013 8:29 pm

It would be great to see this in the regular install of Maya, seems like something which is super useful and not just a "bonus" - particularly if you could make the proportional method much faster (perhaps not going through the GUI?) - I'd use it all the time.

Anyway, really awesome script Steve, looking forward to what you do with it in the future!


Posted 4 August 2013 8:49 pm

Hi Steve, i've been having trying to install the python script to try out the Align UV Shells, but since i'm on OS X and pretty much i don't know anything about scripting and i need to modify the path for the tool to work, i'm kind of lost.
So far i've modified the script to this:

import sys

When i try to load the tool it gives me the same error: No module named AlignUVShells, even though there is.
I've put the script in all of the Script folders there i have, personals and the one that maya create, but i haven't had success, could you help me with this?

Thanks in advance, best regards!!


Posted 5 August 2013 9:06 pm

@carloscid - Fortunately we were able to automate this in the 2014 release. But I was also experimenting with a fix for 2013. Try replacing the userSetup.mel file in your bonusTools install with the new userSetup.mel file below, then reboot Maya and let me know if works.

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