Friday, 10 June 2016

A Great Free Script To Toggle Control Curve Visibility On and Off

Here is a very useful script for Maya animators, developed by Justin Barratt, and one which we are recommending for all our students here at Animation Apprentice. It's a super-useful tool, used to toggle the visibility of your animation rigs' control curves on and off.

All you have to do is paste the lines of script below in your script editor in Maya (under the MEL tab) and then save save it to a shelf in the usual way. Once you've done this, it should help to speed up your workflow and make you a faster, and better, animator.

What's this script for?
It's for making your interface clearer, and improving your animation workflow. It's especially useful for animating with, say, the Morpheus rig. Morpheus has a lot of control curves, especially on his face, which can make it hard to see the character's facial expressions clearly.  Being able to toggle the control curves on and off quickly is very handy, and speeds up your work flow.

As Joris Van Laar, one of our students at Animation Apprentice, put it: "I've found that I notice mistakes in my animation more easy when my eye doesn't get distracted by anything else than the model. But I would sometimes get lazy and leave the curves on during playback, because it took too much time to turn them off using the menu. When I started using this script I noticed that I'm inclined to playback my animation more regularly, which improved the quality of my work."

To install the script, copy the lines below:


string $activePanel = `getPanel -wf`;
if (`modelEditor -q -nurbsCurves $activePanel` == 1) {
modelEditor -e -nurbsCurves 0 $activePanel;
} else {
modelEditor -e -nurbsCurves 1 $activePanel;


...and past them in your script editor. You can then create a Shelf Tab in the usual way, and save the Shelf Tab as VIZ, which can be turned on and off with a single click whenever you need it.

Who wrote the script?
The script was written by animator and digital artist Justin Barratt, of Tween Machine fame. You can find out more at

To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our next classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link.