Experimental Scripting for Animation in Maya
Arts Col 759, 5 credits
MW 3:30-5:18

Professor Alan Price
office hours: MW 11:00-12:00 by appointment


Course Syllabus

This schedule is subject to change and will be announced during class hours.

M 03.28 - W 03.20

Overview of Maya’s Dependency Graph Architecture
Accessing Attributes
class notes
First steps in script creation and exploring the Maya command set
makeRobotArm.mel and keyRobotArm.mel
Chapters 1 and 2 of MEL Scripting for Maya Animators
Assignment: Create a script that generates a new scene
(due M 04.04)

M 04.04 -
W 04.06
Introduction to expressions - notes
Creating custom attributes
Creating connections between nodes
Fun with Sin

Read chapter 3 (Chapter 4 is optional to understand more about expressions, but we will return to it when doing particles later in the quarter)
Read the Maya Online Reference > MEL and Expressions > Animation Expressions
Assignment: Create an expression-driven animated scene with custom attributes (due 4:00 M 04.11)

M 04.11 - W 04.13

Variables, Data Types, and Operators
Conditional and looping Statements

Distinctions between Expressions and MEL scripts
Read chapters 5 through 9

M 04.18- W 04.20

Procedures and Functions
Read chapter 10
Designing custom GUI's
Basic dialogs

Windows and Layouts

Read chapters 11 through 14 (13 and 14 most important)
Assignment: Create a script with GUI for interactively generating event(s)
(due 4:00 M 04.25)

M 04.25 - W 04.27

Designing a Character Rig or Control GUI
Reference for ikFoot
Connecting controls to attributes
Read chapter 19
Assignment: Create a GUI for persistent control over elements in a scene.
(due W 05.04)

M 05.02 - W 05.04

Expressions with particle systems and dynamic properties
Chapters 4, 16 and 17

M 05.09 - W 05.11

Experiments with flocking systems
chapter 18
Assignment: Create a script that generates and creates custom connections with dynamic properties or particles with expressions
(due W 05.18)

M 05.16 - W 05.18

M - Presentation

W - Project review

M 05.23
- W 05.25
Final project proposals – Individual meetings
In-Class Work Time for Final Projects

(M 05.30 Memorial Day)
W 06.01

In-Class Work Time for Final Projects

W 06.08 - Finals Presentation
1:30 - 3:18 meeting time