One thing I like to program is tools. I think it is very interesting to try to find the best way to solve a problem and do it in an easy way for the user. Some time ago I wanted to learn how to create Maya plugins, so, better than do useless examples, I asked my coworker and friend Cristina (she was the lead animator at Tequila Works) what utilities don’t present in Maya that she needed. And after some time learning Maya’s API and Python, this is the result:

  • MTAligner. This tool is similar to Align Tool on 3D Studio Max. You can align the position, rotation and scale of one object relative to another.

  • MTRotator. This tool is useful to rotate any number of objects around one point, or other object or the center of all objects selected.

  • MTKeyTransform. With this tool, in an animation, you can select a list of objects, after you can define a range of frames, and move and rotate selected objects in relation to the reference frame.

  • MTRuntimeKeyTransform. With this tool you can see on Maya’s viewport the animation curve of one object, also you can see and modify the keyframes of the animation and see the result immediately.

  • In the following example, you can see an animation of a bouncing ball. Little spheres show the frames and the four cubes define the keyframes. When you move these keys, the curve and animation are modified.