duberPython is coming to life!

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,Python,software,technical | Friday, December 11th, 2009

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I am very excited to present a very early development results for our own Python implementation in 3ds Max.

First a bit of an intro. At duber, I’ve setup everything around Python, the most versatile and powerful language I’ve ever seen. I felt in love with Python so much that it even influenced my decision to leave Fusion (my favourite compositing app) and dive into Nuke (my, now, most favourite compositing app). I even invested in a commercial data and asset management system, Tactic, that is entirely written in Python. I run tons of custom Python scripts to tie together programs such as Tactic, Nuke, FrameCycler, Photoshop etc… etc… But the last missing piece to the entire pipeline puzzle was 3ds Max.

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An interesting concept behind Structs in MAXScript

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,technical | Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

I bumped into this issue of referencing values inside of Structs, which is a very elegant solution to using variables across your code, while avoiding global declarations. The issue was pretty much that I wasn’t aware of the implementation design of Structs in MAXscript.

Basically, Structs are these overly simplified custom classes know from such languages as Python (to which I’ll try to compare these). However, Structs are really so simple that they don’t even implement such functionality as inheritance (a pitty by the way), or more advanced functionality known from Python. Structs, rather than classes, could be called groups. That’s what I’ve been using them for mainly. I grouped a bunch of functions and called them via a standard attribute reference paradigm.

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Python in 3ds Max – FINALLY POSSIBLE!

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,opinions,Python,software,technical | Sunday, October 25th, 2009

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Yes! Once again, Blur studio showed how it’s supposed to be done.

They’ve released, or allowed their Eric Hulser to release, an updated version of their blurPython modules for 32bit and 64bit 3ds Max versions from Max 9 all the way up to 2009! And not only that. They’ve also provided libs and modules for tying up Python, 3ds Max and Qt together! This is massive news as I’ve been trying to get Python (concretely IronPython) work in 3ds Max but I’ve been constantly hitting road blocks until I finally bumped into Blur’s updated blurPython.

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I’m loving Nuke!

loocas | opinions,software | Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

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Yes! I’m finding Nuke more and more appealing. Especially the customization and general workflow parts. I’m really digging the whole channels paradigm as well as the Python integration, of course ;)

I’m yet to script something more complex than a “dir(nuke)” or “print ‘test'” :D but I’ve managed to get some custom menus and toolbars out of the init scripts with the help of the documentation, which is great, by the way. I’ll also try to script custom Nuke comp scripts out of Nuke, say, via MAXScript, which shouldn’t be that complex. I’m thinking of writing out a simple pre-composite script after rendering is done, for example, which will generate not only the rendered images, but also a simple pre-made Nuke composition for the 2D artists to start with, with all the renders in it, maybe even put together. Just for the fun of it :)

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I’m finding Nuke quite interesting

loocas | opinions,software | Friday, May 8th, 2009

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As I’d mentioned, this year is a year of changes and expansion for me, so, naturally, I’m looking for ways of expanding my postproduction pipeline, namely, compositing. I’ve been using Eyeon’s Fusion for a few years now and I find it very powerful, fast and realiable. However, I’ve been looking into other areas as well.

While I own a copy of After Effects CS4, I don’t find it that flexible and suited for my particular needs. I certainly want to go the “node-based” way. Don’t get me wrong, After Effects is a great package with a huge userbase which means tons of plugins and tutorials are available for it, but, as I said, I don’t want to go this, linear, route. So, I have a few options that are within my financial reach: Fusion, Nuke or Toxik. I certailny don’t want to invest in a brand new product on the market with dubious future, especially when owned by Autodesk, which potentially rules out Toxik, however, I’ll see how well it plays with 3ds Max and Maya (downloading the trial as I’m typing). I’ve been using Fusion for some years and I love it, so that certainly makes it a hot candidate. However, I’m always open to new possibilities, better, smareter or quicker workflows. Basically, anything that helps to improve my work in any way, ultimately in quality, will be on my highest priorities list.

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Python 2.6 released

loocas | Python,software,technical | Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

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Python 2.6 had been officially released on 01.09.2008! Some really great new features but still compatible with 2.5 code, which is great for slowly transitioning to the upcoming Python 3000.

Don’t hesitate a second and go for the download!

dotNET sweetness for Maya

loocas | Maya,Python,technical | Thursday, September 11th, 2008

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When I first started developing some tools, to speed up and aid our pipeline, in Maya I was furious to find out about Maya’s implemented GUI tools and methods. It was extremely unintuitive, very badly documented (especially regarding examples of the given object etc…) and heavily limiting. What I’d love to have in Maya was something similar to Max’s GUI objects I was used to.

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Checksums in 3ds Max

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,Python,technical | Sunday, August 10th, 2008

After reading a very interesting and helpful article about checksums and how practical they are for comparing large datasets over at Adam Pletcher’s Tech Art Tiki blog, I was immediately interested in such methods as I’m doing some R&D on data management in a larger creative environment and need such a feature. Unfortunately, MAXScript natively doesn’t support MD5 hashes (or any other kinds of hashes), so you’re pretty much stuck with just a few options.

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Connecting to a MySQL database from CG applications.

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,Maya,Python,technical | Saturday, August 9th, 2008

I’ve been recently doing some R&D on MySQL databases and connection through Python in Maya as well as Python in Max (through blurPython library), but I couldn’t seem to have found a way to connect to a MySQL database via ODBC. The problem lied in OLE methods as they’re not both much documented in MAXScript reference and they’re tied to the operating system, not Max directly. But thankfully, I bumped into a solution today, out of a blue :)

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Scripting in Maya through Python? Get used to a lot of string operations.

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,Maya,Python,technical | Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

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I find myself scripting in Maya more and more often. As I’ve expressed many times already, I really love and appretiate Python’s way of dealing with things, so having this language available in Maya is a blessing. The most beautiful part is when software actually does all the hard and annoying work for you ;) Scripting in Maya using Python hadn’t been designed the way it should be. Unfortunately, Python only serves as a “wrapper” around MEL commands and MEL architecture. Fortunately there are attempts at simplifying Python scripting in Maya, such as PyMEL from Luma Pictures (which is a studio I feel honored to cooperate with on The Nutcracker: The Untold Story), which is a fantastic “plug-in” for any Maya TD! which was, not surprisingly, done solely through Python itself :) A fantastic demonstration of Python’s power. However, PyMEL isn’t the topic for this short post, maybe later, when I get more familiar with it and gain more experience using it.

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