Maya Clip tool

I’ve been working on a new clip tool for the animators at work, here’s what it looks like so far:

Current features:

  • Full support for animation layers
  • One to One curve reconstruction, exactly what you save comes back (Tangents, broken tangents, free’d weights, etc..)
  • Fast import/export
    • Export of my test animation takes about 2 seconds for a 2,200 frame animation with 70 controls (1 key per control per frame)
      • *Not including time for the playblast to capture for the preview. There is an option to only store the first frame preview if the animator chooses.
    • Import of the same animation takes 3 to 4 seconds
  • Small file size: <7 megabytes for 2,200 frame test animation including the preview avi (Animation is ~2.3mb of that after compression)
    • Typical size for a 24-30 frame animation with hand keyframing (Not solid mocap keys) typically runs at 100-400kb per animation including preview avi
  • Preview window
    • loads animation previews on the fly – Can load ~4.5mb avi from the compressed clip in about .1-.5 seconds
    • Play, pause, scrub, and manually enter time to preview from avi
    • Completely internal to Maya. Doesn’t even use PyQt or any sort of plug-ins
  • Clip capture dialog with options, and a custom preview window that allows you to edit the render camera
  • Additional metadata stored inside the file, can hold any arbitrary data, and is easy to read and manipulate while leaving the clip data intact
    • By default stores information like: Who exported the clip, when was it exported, what controls were exported with/without namespaces, what time does it start and end, total frame count, total keyframe count, etc…
  1. this looks beautiful 🙂

    I’ve been working on something similar (not very stable yet), and I found having a “comments” option really helped my guys out, somewhere they could note things about the anim as a reminder or for each other.

    just an idea 🙂

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