Thursday, 4 June 2015

The Top Three Free Maya Plugins Every Animator Should Use

Maya 2016
What free plugins do Maya animators need? Each time Autodesk release a new version of Maya they fix many things that don't appear to need fixing - such as the design of the overall interface, but leave many traditional weaknesses in place.  Luckily for us, there are a number free plugins that can easily be accessed by Maya animators to make our lives easier. Here is our shortlist.

ParentMaster Plugin - free
Plugin Number 1: The ParentMaster
Top of our list is the free ParentMaster plugin.  The ParentMaster is a plugin created by Paolo Dominici which greatly simplifies the business of attaching and un-attaching objects in Maya.  Say, for example, you want to animate a character picking up a ball and then dropping it. This free tool will make your life much, much easier.

Plugin Number 2: The  PAIE plugin
The PAIE (Python Attribute Import/Export) is an animation transfer tool which lets you save out animation or poses to a file and import them again onto same or similar characters. It allows you to transfer animation freely from one shot to another. PAIE is a super useful tool which will allow you to export animation as well as poses.

The Tween Machine free plugin
Plugin Number 3: The Tween Machine
The free TweenMachine plugin, created by Justin Animator, helps animators to create breakdown poses in Maya on stepped curves. It's a time saving tool that takes much of the labour out of breaking down your poses once you are happy with the timing of the main blocking of your animation. 

The TweenMachine is a free Maya plugin designed to simplify the process of creating breakdown poses between your key poses.

For more information on surviving in the animation and visual effects business, read our post on how to find a job in the animation industry, and check out our post about what not to do at a job interview. Also see our post on starting your own small animation business, learn how to create an invoice, and see how we are helping our students find work through our film co-operative Nano Films. Download the free Escape Studios Careers in VFX Handbook. Take a look at how can help you find a job, and read our piece about how to survive as a freelance animator. Also, find out whatCinesite look for in a student's demo reel, and read our post on setting up your own animation business.

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