Using Python Scripting to Enhance Workflow in Autodesk Maya [Short Course]

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Date/Time: 06 – 17 December 2021
All presentations are available in the virtual platform on-demand.

Ann McNamara, Texas A&M University, United States of America
Ann McNamara is the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. She is also an Associate professor in the Department of Visualization. Her research focuses on novel approaches for optimizing an individual's experience when creating, viewing, and interacting with virtual and augmented spaces. She is the recipient of an NSF CAREER AWARD entitled ''Advancing Interaction Paradigms in Mobile Augmented Reality using Eye-Tracking”. In 2019, she was named as one of twenty-one Presidential Impact Fellows at Texas A&M University.

Description: Scripting empowers automation. Scripts can handle mundane and repetitive tasks in an efficient and precise manner. This course will introduce small, manageable projects that showcase the use of the Python programming language to enhance workflows in Autodesk Maya. It is intended to be an intermediate course. Attendees should be proficient in Autodesk Maya and have some programming knowledge, preferably in the Python programming language. The goal is to introduce scripting through concrete examples that demonstrate the power and usefulness of scripting. Python scripting can automate many tasks in Maya, from running simple commands to developing plug-ins. We will use Python with the Maya Commands library (Maya.cmds). Examples will be applied in Maya. Attendees will learn how to automate tasks using the magic of scripting. The course will cover projects including placing objects randomly in a scene, creating a custom user interface in Maya, scripting a MASH (motion graphics) network, and creating simple joint chains (rigs) using Python scripting. By the end of the course, attendees should walk away with a solid understanding of how scripting can enhance their daily workflow. Hopefully, they will have the tools, confidence, and initiative to explore more advanced scripts independently. Attendees should have Autodesk Maya, Python, and Visual Studio Code pre-loaded on their devices if they intend to follow along.