Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Studio Library - Tool To Manage Poses in Maya

Autodesk Maya has its weaknesses, and one of these is the difficulty of copying and pasting your animation from one character rig to another.

Maya also lacks a user friendly interface for saving out and re-using your character poses.

Fortunately, the free Studio Library tool now offers Maya animators a Python script for managing poses and transferring animation in Maya.

What is Studio Library?
Like the free PAIE plugin, Studio Library is a free Maya plugin that allows you to save out your character poses, and also export your animation. You can find it and download it here

Why do animators need to save their poses?
Because creating a good character pose (especially one with good facial expressions) can be a lot of work, and takes time.  Being able to save a pose and then find it again in a hurry can save a great deal of work in future - allowing the animator to concentrate on other tasks.

On a group project, this kind of interface can be a vital way of making sure that every animator is "on model" - giving the characters similar styles of body poses and expressions. Any animator on the project who is stuck on a pose or facial expression can visit the pose library and - voila! - instant pose.

Does it work?
According to our students, Studio Library "is a good deal more flexible than the PAIE plugin. It allows you to export and import keys, and also permits you to blend different poses, apply saved poses to. It is super easy to install and has a nice interface".

Production Use
Studio Library, or variations of it, is widely used by commercial animation studios. To see how MPC used a library-based approach to animating The Jungle Book, see this blog post.

How do you install Studio Library?
1. Download and unzip the *studiolibrary.zip*

####OSX
2. Use SHIFT+G in the finder and copy the *studiolibrary* folder to
~/Library/Preferences/Autodesk/maya/scripts

####Linux
2. Open the file manager and copy the *studiolibrary* folder to
~/maya/scripts

####Windows
2. Open the file explorer and copy the *studiolibrary* folder to
C:/Users/USERNAME/Documents/maya/scripts


How do you run Studio Library?
Start Maya and run the following code in the **Python** script editor.

import studiolibrary
studiolibrary.main()

Any problems?
Please send an email with the error message and a detailed step by step process of how you got the error. kurt.rathjen@gmail.com

Where can you see a demonstration video?
Watch the demonstration video below to see how Studio Library works.





How to export and import a pose (see video below)



Maya 2018
Studio Library doesn't appear to work in Maya 2018, but it does work in Maya 2017 and older versions. It can be temperamental; if it doesn't work in the version of Maya you are using, try a different version. As ever, if you can't install a plugin first time, try closing and re-opening Maya, or re-booting your machine.

Parent Master
Studio Library does not work with constraint tools such as the ZV Parentmaster.

Other great Maya Plugins
Other free Maya plugins we recommend include the ParentMaster plugin, the TweenMachine, and also aTools. All are free to download and install.


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