Synopses & Reviews
Trying to learn Maya programming from the documentation can be daunting whether or not you are a programmer. The first edition of MEL Scripting for Maya Animators
earned the reputation as the best introductory book on MEL, Maya’s scripting language. Now fully revised and updated, the second edition also includes new features, such as a discussion of global procedures, new chapters on fixing programming bottlenecks, advanced user interface techniques, and optimizing character rigs. New chapters on utility nodes and Maya's Web Panel feature provide new ideas on how to use MEL in applications.
This new edition has kept the popular style of the first edition that offered very clear explanations of programming concepts to those without programming experience. A generous collection of code examples and Maya scene files is included on the companion Web site. This is a book for animators, artists, game developers, visual effects developers, and technical directors who want to learn the fundamentals of Maya, how to automate tasks, personalize user interfaces, build custom tools, and solve problems with MEL.
* Fully updated with several new chapters.
* Profusely illustrated and includes a companion Web site with numerous code examples and scene files.
* The authors bring their extensive experience in professional production studios to provide expert guidance.
"Reading and following the lessons of this book provides one of the best ways for a casual Maya user to elevate their skills to a professional level. The fundamental techniques developed in MEL Scripting for Maya Animators
are critical for visual effects artists to learn."
Scott Stokdyk, Visual Effects Supervisor, Sony Pictures Imageworks
cts Supervisor, Sony Pictures Imageworks
Maya artists and animators face complex problems that are not easily solved with the built-in capabilities of the program. MEL (Maya Embedded Language), the scripting language included with Maya, enables users to automate and customize their work. Programming in MEL is often the first programming task of any kind attempted by an artist or animator. However, learning to program is hard for many artists, and it is very hard to learn how to program MEL by just reading the Maya documentation. In the first edition of MEL Scripting for Maya Animators, Mark Wilkins and Chris Kazmier provided very clear explanations of basic programming concepts to an audience without programming experience. That book earned the reputation as the best introductory book on MEL. Since that edition, Maya has released two new major version upgrades and its user base has continued to grow. Now in a second edition, the book is fully updated to Maya 6 and includes a number of brand new features, such as a discussion of global procedures, new chapters on fixing programming bottlenecks, advanced user interface techniques, and optimizing character rigs.
About the Author
Mark R. Wilkins is a technical director at DreamWorks Animation SKG, where he helped develop a production pipeline using Maya for effects and character animation. Mark also provides training and technical assistance to animators using Maya. He previously worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation in a variety of positions including software engineer and scene setup supervisor. He has contributed to a number of films, including Dinosaur
, Mission: Impossible 2
, Minority Report
, and Madagascar
. Mark holds a degree in physics from Harvey Mudd College.Chris Kazmier is a senior technical director at Sony Pictures Imageworks, where he creates computer-generated effects for live-action films. He has worked on projects ranging from The Haunted Mansion
to Sony's first all 3D feature animation Open Season
. Previously, Chris worked at DreamWorks on Sinbad
and at PDI/DreamWorks on the Intel Aliens ad campaign. Credits also include Fox Animation Studio's Titan AE
Sony Pictures Imageworks, Culver City, California, U.S.A.
Table of Contents
Preface; Special Acknowledgment; Chapter 1 Maya Under the Hood; Chapter 2 The Basics of MEL Commands; Chapter 3 Using Expressions; Chapter 4 Controlling Particles with Expressions; Chapter 5 Problem Solving with MEL Scripting; Chapter 6 Variables and Data Types; Chapter 7 Using MEL Commands; Chapter 8 Manipulating Nodes in MEL; Chapter 9 Controlling the Flow of Execution; Chapter 10 Procedures and Functions; Chapter 11 Naming Nodes, Scripts, and Variables; Chapter 12 Designing MEL User Interfaces; Chapter 14 Custom Dialog Boxes; Chapter 15 Making Advanced Dialog Boxes with form Layout; Chapter 16 Making Advanced Dialog Boxes with Web Panels; Chapter 17 Improving Performance With Utility Nodes; Chapter 18 Installing MEL Scripts; Chapter 19 Examples Using MEL with Particle Dynamics; Chapter 20 Examples Using MEL with Solid Body Dynamics; Chapter 21 Example of a Simple Crowd System; Chapter 22 Examples Using MEL in Character Rigging; Index