Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Studio Library - a Free Tool For Managing Poses in Maya

Autodesk Maya is a powerful piece of software, free for students to download, and now the industry standard for 3D animation around the world.  

But Maya does have its weaknesses, and one of these is the difficulty of copying and pasting your animation from one character rig to another. Maya also lacks a user friendly interface for saving out and re-using your character poses.  Fortunately, Studio Library now offers Maya animators a free python script for managing poses and transferring animation in Maya.

What is Studio Library?
Like the free PAIE plugin, Studio Library is a free Maya plugin that allows you to save out your character poses, and also export your animation. You can find it and download it here

Why do animators need to save their poses?
Because creating a good character pose (especially one with good facial expressions) can be a lot of work, and takes time.  Being able to save a pose and then find it again in a hurry can save a great deal of work in future - allowing the animator to concentrate on other tasks.

On a group project, this kind of interface can be a vital way of making sure that every animator is "on model" - giving the characters similar styles of body poses and expressions. Any animator on the project who is stuck on a pose or facial expression can visit the pose library and - voila! - instant pose.

Does it work?
According to our students, Studio Library "is a good deal more flexible than the PAIE plugin. It allows you to export and import keys, and also permits you to blend different poses, apply saved poses to. It is super easy to install and has a nice interface". 

How do you install it?

1. Download and unzip the *studiolibrary.zip*

####OSX
2. Use SHIFT+G in the finder and copy the *studiolibrary* folder to
~/Library/Preferences/Autodesk/maya/scripts

####Linux
2. Open the file manager and copy the *studiolibrary* folder to
~/maya/scripts

####Windows
2. Open the file explorer and copy the *studiolibrary* folder to
C:/Users/USERNAME/Documents/maya/scripts


How do you run it?
Start Maya and run the following code in the **Python** script editor.

import studiolibrary
studiolibrary.main()

Any problems?
Please send an email with the error message and a detailed step by step process of how you got the error. kurt.rathjen@gmail.com

Where can you see a demonstration video?
Watch the demonstration video below to see how Studio Library works.





How to export and import a pose (see video below)






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