Wednesday, December 08, 2010


So you're cutting in Adobe premiere Cs5 and some of your video has the Xvideo codec applied. For some reason Premiere can't read your audio. Well, it's well documented that Adobe considers Premiere as a DV editing software and that the Xvid codec is for presentation only. BOOOO. The only solution is to extract your audio with an external program as a .wav and bring that into Premiere. AoA audio extrator......Free and it works.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Here's one that briefly burned me today and I thought I had a blog post of it. If you've created Ncloth and a default preset isn't moving correctly it's most likely that you are not working to 1/10th scale.
Because Maya perceives 1 unit as 1 meter (when your prefs are set to cm's), they also built the cloth solver to solve at that scale. Under the Nucleus node there is a space scale attribute that can be set to 0.01 if you are in a pinch but I'd suggest to model to 1/10th to get the most predictable results.

**Here's a fantastic whitepaper on the Nucleus solver.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Maya 2011 Vector Blur

Things are a bit different now when rendering vector blur. Now Maya has incorporated it into render passes. You no longer need the LM2DV shader.
Render out 32 bit EXR with the blur embedded into the pass and break it out into your comp package. This is how to do it with Maya's "composite" package.

1. Separate your FG and BG into render layers.
2. For each layer needing vectors, go into your passes tab in render settings and
add a BEAUTY and a mv2Dtoxik (2DmotionVector) pass.
3. In your quality tab make sure your framebuffer is RGBA 4x32bit instead of the default 8.
4. Image format - openEXR
5. Render

COMPOSITE - See image for nodes used and also use this dude's video

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nudge Keys Script

When you're working with stepped keys a cool tool to have is a 'nudge selected keys 1 frame left or right' script. I'm no complex MEL guy but here's the code you can slap onto a shelf button...

Nudge -1
keyframe -animation keys -option over -relative -timeChange (0 - 1) ;

Nudge +1
keyframe -animation keys -option over -relative -timeChange (0 + 1) ;

Monday, September 20, 2010


Finally figured out how to get the best player hooked up for playblasting. The problem is that it's never had an option for autolooping by default. Here's the config file hack.

With clicking on View->Playlist->and then either clicking on Repeat Once or Repeat All, you have to do that every time you open a multimedia file. If you want VLC Media Player to do it by default every time you open a file, open up the file called vlcrc, which is located in the ~/.vlc folder, with a text editor. Look for '# Repeat all (boolean) #loop=0 # Repeat current item (boolean) #repeat=0' inside that file. Change the 0s to 1s & remove the #s and, after doing that, make vlcrc read-only. Then, everytime you open up a multimedia file, the player will loop the multimedia file by default.


*Also unfortunately there are a lot of codecs missing in Maya 2011 64 bit Win7. Right now I'm using the FFD show codec which can be found here...

*TIP strange colors on your video when playblasting? In VLC change your video/output to Windows GDI output.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


There's a nice new feature in Maya now when you want to add sculpted detail to your models via Mudbox. Here's the quick rundown.
1. Model and UV up your Maya model.
2. File/Export selected to Mudbox
3. Sculpt it up.
4. File/send to Maya. You'll get an option box popup and next time you click on Maya BOOM your Mudbox object is back in.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Always found it frustrating to have a character/creature with Ncloth imported into a scene then have to move the character away from 0,0,0. The ncloth would snap away like crazy and youd have to relax it etc etc while positioning.

Here's a technique to have a fully positionable character have it's Ncloth solve as if it was on 0,0,0 anywhere you position it.

Let's say you have a cloth scarf transform constrained to your character's neck

1. Grab the geo of the scarf and parent constrain it to the transform constraint. Now the scarf moves wherever the transform constraint goes AND solves from rest position anywhere you position the character.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Basic Ncloth Hair Tutorial (CLICK ON IMAGE)

Haven't done a tut in a while. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Motion Blur + Constraints

Here's a trick that I found on an old cgtalk post...
Sometimes you have a character's hand constrained to a surface and in 1 frame you switch off the constraint. Well, since the renderer reads past and previous frames for motion blur you wind up with a crazy streaked motion blur on the frame where you turn the constraint off.

1. Grab the trans keyframes of your object (or say your character's arm control) on the frame BEFORE the constraint gets turned off.

2. Turn off snapping in your graph editor and drag the keys extremely close to the next keyframe (to the right) . Zoom in and drag them as close to the keyframe where the constraint turns off as you can. Voila, proper motion blur.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Transferring UVs AFTER rigging....

This is a tough one, but here's the HACK. Lets say you've rigged up your amazing character and realize OH, I have to make a bunch of UV changes. You copy out your character's head, UV it up nicely, bring it back in and use the "transfer attributes" from your copied head to the rigged one.
No deal. It's because your transfer attributes input comes after rigging and all UV inputs have to come before rigging. Same as in Ncloth.
I don't understand why Autodesk doesn't put in a "before deformers" option or something similar to how you can insert blendshapes at certain parts of a deformer chain.
Every object has a "shape orig" node which represents what an object was before it was deformed. We can apply a UV transfer to this no problem which will also transfer up the stack to your rigged object.
I access it like this

1. Select your rigged object, in the hypergraph hit options/display/ hidden nodes & shape nodes
2. You'll see a hidden node which is your Orig node, or what your object was before rigging.
3. In the orig node's attribute editor under object display, uncheck 'intermediate object'
4. Your Orig node is now accessible.
5. Apply your UV transfer attributes to it - then delete it's history.

There you go - you've applied your transfer to your object via it's history object. Maya sees it that you performed this operation before rigging. Now why Autodesk hasn't made a tool for this....who knows.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


For all you home, 1 machine render monkeys out there. I just discovered how to drop some core processing power (if you have a multi-core computer) while you are rendering so you can do all that web surfing while your machine chugs. CTRL-ALT-DEL into your task manager. Find the Maya process, right click on it and select set affinity. Click off one of procs. Cool, never knew about that one.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Nice and simple free app to rename those image sequences that you buffooned in your render settings. It's through creative crash so you need to register.

sequence 911 click here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I came across a VERY cool technique to drive Maya's hair or splineIK. I saw a post online and the guy said
"create strips of polys from your hair, apply nCloth to them then wrap the hair to the nCloth"
I said "huh"?
So basically here's what he means...

Let's say you need a dynamically driven IK handle that you would normally drive with a dynamic curve (say a pony tail or an antennae). Instead

1. Loft 2 curves together and create a poly 'ribbon'.
2. Create nCloth of your poly loft.
3. Take 1 of the curves and wrap deform it to the polys which are now nCloth.
4. Your curve is now driven by the movement of the nCloth which is MUCH more versatile and has way better collision detection.
5. Now you can set up joints and spline IK your nClothed curve to them...all of this being driven by your nCloth.
6. Set up your nCloth constraints which are very good and predictable. Adjust your ncloth movement as you need it.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


EDIT: WOW even a better technique...

Here's a cool tutorial on a quick and dirty way to convert 30i footage to 24fps in After Effects.