Category Archives: Tools

You’ve got Threads in my Mel! (Timer Event Objects in Maya)

There’s been many times when I wanted to latch a command onto a  timer that runs independently of the main thread – still allowing control and interaction with maya while the timer is ticking.

The best example of this is an auto scene backup script.  Most, if not all, auto scene backup scripts out there latch onto some arbitrary events in the scriptJob command and execute the backup time check when these are triggered (selection change, tool change etc).

This typically does the job but can lead to some funny behavior depending on the events you’ve attached the backup to.


How could it be better?

In any other programming language that supports threads or even attaching timers to UI elements (ala maxScript) this would be very simple and is also simple enough problem inside a maya plugin – spawn a new thread, wait the given time then execute the command.

However I figured with Python’s implementation into Maya and it’s native ability for threading I should be able to achieve this without having to develop or distribute a compiled plugin.


It turns out it’s very simple.

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Renaming objects in Maya (intermediate)


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This is the second part to a three part tutorial on renaming objects in Maya.  In the first installment we established a collection of procedures and a simple UI that allows multiple objects to be renamed.

Some issues were identified with the methods used previously and so in this next stage I'm going to evaluate the procedures and improve the script. Specifically this tutorial will address the following issues:

  • The previous script is a handy quick renamer but doesn’t always produce unique names for all objects
  • Numerical increments with good padding options
  • The UI was over simplified and could be improved with more options

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Renaming objects in Maya (beginner)


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If you've ever done any scripting in Maya or even tried to clean up you scene a bit I'm sure you've run into some of Maya's quirks with how it handles object names. Specifically it gets real tricky when dealing with nodes that share duplicated names and renaming whole chains of nodes.

To help demystify what's going on I thought I'd run through the development of a 'rename' tool that will cover ways I've found to resolve these issues.


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