Friday, June 25, 2010

Lightbot 2.0 - Free Flash Game Teaches Programming Logic

I stumbled upon this great little gem on Reddit the other day: it's a free flash game that teaches you how to solve puzzles using programming style logic. You use functions, recursion and other programming tools and tricks to control a little man trying to solve his way through puzzles. It's brilliantly designed and has already helped me get a colleague of mine starting to think like a scripter.

"Light-bot is back, more puzzling than ever! Use programmer-style logic to tell the bot how to light up all the blue tiles! Functions, conditionals, recursion, expert levels- many different features for new and old players."

It's called Lightbot 2.0 and can be found here:

Friday, June 11, 2010

MEL Script: Print Toolbox

One of the best things about scripting is that it gives you the ability to design your own tools that compliment and speed up your workflow. When I'm using Maya I am in constant need of information from my scene. Whether I'm debugging a broken file, preparing scenes for delivery to a client, or setting up a rig, I always need little morsels of data from the scene to do this. To help me with this I wrote this simple little toolbox that let's me get a lot of the data in just a click.

It's a small floating gui with a half-dozen buttons that let you print out some very useful information.

  • Print Transform Values: Prints out basic transform values in the script editor for everything selected in an easy to read format.
  • Print SDK Count: Prints the number of set driven keys in your scene.
  • Print Joint Count: Prints the number of joints in your scene.
  • Print Selection Count: Tells you how many objects are selected.
  • Print All Nodes Count: Gives you the total number of nodes in your scene.
  • Print Selected To Array: This will print out your selected objects into an array that you can copy from the script editor.
There are of course an enormous number of random things that you may want to print out at any given time but these are the ones that I need to use on a day to day basis. Perhaps in an updated version I'll add the ability to customize which buttons appear and allow you to print out a load of other things. For now, enjoy!

Get the Print Toolbox here: jgPrintToolbox.mel

As always feedback and comments are welcome. If you're just getting into MEL scripting take a look at the script itself to see how it's working.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Shout Out: Animators Resource

Animators Resource is a blog dedicated to all things animation. It features links to helpful sites, videos, behind-the-scenes info on upcoming animated films, links to useful animation tools and a lot more awesome content. It's updated regularly by a group of dedicated animators and is a great resource for both the student and the professional.

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Script Swell - Blogged