A short final entry.  I was bad about taking notes on the roundtables (although I’ll link them here when I get them), and I didn’t make it to many other talks (I was very preoccupied with reviews and hitting the career pavilion, as I have no desire to become a starving technical artist after college).  A final note, though, for people who have never attended, go to parties/meetups after the conference, don’t just head back to your hotel.  Some of the best learning opportunities I had were sitting down over a beer and food with the best people in my field, and being able to learn person to person.

Jason Parks – Sony Interactive – Power Python for Maya – slides here

  • Eclipse
    • Superb python development environment
  • Pymel
    • Eclipse as a primary IDE
    • Wing (or eclipse) for debugging
  • Why pymel?
    • not compiled
    • Autodesk blesses it
    • open source
    • free
    • a Pythonic maya language
      • actually OOP
      • the most important difference between pymel and maya.cmds
  • Pythonic language in Maya
    • creation of a joint
      • myJoint = joint( )
    • list relatives
      • myJoint.listRelatives( )
    • All pertinent commands/functions are attached to the object
    • auto completion in an IDE will get you all methods of the object
    • dir( ) on an object will get you the same
    • Convenience Functions
      • myJoint.getParent( ) instead of myJoint.getRelatives( parent = True )
    • Readability is KEY
    • getting access to attributes is super quick and easy
    • Objects are known by their API DAG path, not the node name
      • solves a lot of problems by itself
    • Improved logging
  • Eclipse
    • Open source
    • popular
    • tons of add-ons
    • Mark Occurrences
      • Super useful
    • Pydev Outliner
    • Pydev + Eclipse maya editor, tutorial on creativecrash
    • Eclipse is aware of the code base (autocompletion)
  • Wing
    • Real-time Debugging
      • Break from Maya to debug
      • breakpoints, stack tracing, injection

As a bit of follow up to this talk, I just started using eclipse + pymel, and I’ve been converted, it’s definitely worth taking the jump, it makes writing the code much less tedious, and lets me focus on the actual problems at hand.

thanks for reading, hopefully you’ve found something useful.  If you feel like anything could be clarified or anything of that nature, feel free to leave a comment.