In this post I am going to share 5 useful maya tips that will help you to get around problems in maya faster. From very simple maya python commands and use of expressions, there’s something for all maya users.
#01 Input math using expressions
Maya’s attribute editor does not allow you to make math calculations by default, like you can do in nuke or houdini. You can easily get around this by typing the equal sign (=) in the input field and then enter the calculation you want to make. This will do the math for you using an expression, you can now get rid of the expression by right clicking and “delete expression”, and it will keep the value from the calculation.
#02 Cleanup duplicated geometry
Let’s consider this example where I have somehow managed to duplicate the leaves geometry on top of each other. You will only notice it when you start to have issues in the alpha channel and such. The solution is simple, select all the vertices and merge them. Then use mesh cleanup options to remove lamina faces. If you want to make sure you haven’t deleted more than needed, keep an eye in your “selected” polycount and by the end you should have half the faces.
#03 Precision when you need it
If you really need precise values and maya’s attribute editor shows rounded values you can do this trick: change the input field that you want to get to any number and then undo. In the script editor you will find the “setAttr” command that will give you the name of the attribute, in this case, the horizontal camera aperture. Now copy the node and attribute name and paste it between quotes in a python getAttr command like in the above image, select the command and hit enter, this will give you the precise number of this attribute, notice that in the attribute editor you have only 3 decimals precision. An alternative method is to use the channel box precision options (edit > settings > change precision).
#04 Reorient scene with a locator
Sometimes when importing geometry from other softwares, the scene orientation can be messed up. A quick solution for this is to create a locator, scale it to fit the scene scale and rotate it until you have it lined up with the scene messed rotation. Then parent the scene to the locator and finally reset the transforms of the locator ( zero out translation and rotation ). You can now unparent the scene and delete the locator.
#05 Get all attributes of a node
A very useful maya command to use in your python scripts is the cmds.listAttr(), this will give you all attributes of a specified node. You can use this to debug, find or filter specific attributes.
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