Blog Post

Learning to Script and Program Maya Python

We have curated a set of free or almost free resources for someone wanting to learn right now, no matter your income level or ability. There are many ways to learn and we think these are some of the best resources for you.
We hope you enjoyed the rigging resources and will find these scripting and programing links of help as you expand your skills and speed up your workflow.
Remember even learning a little scripting can help you use the existing scripts and tools that are free online and help you start making your own when you find the need.
If you are already scripting in Python and are ready to explore the API to make faster tools, the C++ resources will get you started.

Python scripting in Maya

Python Scripting A simple tool or script with a few lines can save hours of repetitive work, start working smarter, not harder.The great thing is once you learn Python basics, it is used in many 3d applications and programing concepts are always helpful to any character TD, especially while rigging.

Beginner Python for the Anxious CG Artist SERIES

This series shows you how to learn the basics of Python Scripting for the CG / VFX. If you have ever been overwhelmed or discouraged by past attempts at learning scripting and python, this is for you!

Introduction to Python Scripting in MayaSometimes Autodesk learning puts out very clear and helpful content like this introduction to the basics of Python Scripting series.

Here is an example from our Python Class Mentor on how to automate rigging a leg using python in Maya.

This is a re-post from the blog of our mentor, Ryan Griffin, Griffinanimation: Leg Rigging in Maya If you want to build a more robust scripted rigging system and understand how to do this with his help.
Complete Maya Python API course for Artists and Technical Artist.
After a successful run of this course for many years on CGCircuit and trusted by hundreds of industry professional, I published this course on YouTube for free.
This program is designed for students and professionals including Artists, Technical Artists and Engineers who want to learn plugin writing using Maya python and understand the technical side of Maya. In this video series we will start with very basic fundamental of Maya API and then we will move to the beginners concepts like : like accessing and modifying the attributes of different type of objects in Maya which a Technical Artist uses in their tools almost on the daily basis and your tools are a lot faster when you are using API instructions , then we will move towards learning about custom commands – using which we will create our own Maya commands, iterators, deformers, callbacks, locators and during this we will also create different sets of tools eg. Custom locator sets for character rigs, Particle-Vfx custom command, API- IK-FK seamless switching etc.
Why Maya-Python?
Python is used by every industry these days, whether it is a gaming, animation or visual effects industry. The efficiency of prototyping python tools has been proven as one of the best! Technical artists, artists and engineers quickly write, prototype python scripts to prove their tools. Most of the pipelines in the industries are written in Python.
Chayan Vinayak
This is a great quick overview of scripting with Python from Chad.

Python 3 for Maya (Vol. 1)

Python 3 for Maya is a free series designed for anyone who is new to Python and scripting in Maya.

By the end of this series students should have a fundamental understanding of the Python language, Maya commands and be able to write short scripts for Maya.

Visual code and compounds

Bifost has continued to grow in functionality. While many of the core programing concepts will apply like looping and variables, this is a visual way to create tools and results that are easy to experiment with and are much faster than a python plugin and almost as fast as a full compiled C++ plugin without having to leave Maya.

Autodesk Bifrost finally released and here is a quick gathering of resources that have been flying around on different social platforms. 

Maya API and C++ coding

When you are ready to expand what you can do from Python into more low level control over Maya that is as fast as possible when creating complex results or working with heavy data then the API using C++ is where you will go next. There are many great examples of Maya artists taking their ideas for better tools and creating free or paid plugins that help everyone and the way to do that is with the API.

Compiling Plugins

Not wanting to write a plugin? No problem, you might have found a free plugin online but need to compile it for your version of Maya, we have some help for that.

Free Compile plugins for Maya eBook Check out this free eBook guide Making Plugins for Maya from our API mentor Marco where you will learn how to build the  tcHarmonciDefomer from the the open source “Dem Bones” skinning decomposition tool from EA

While we linked you to Cult of rig for rigging, he covers many programing concepts and the API as well and we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss that content.

One more option for learning about compiling plugins is from Chad Vernon (who is coming up next) on how to use cmake to compile Maya plugins.

Chad Vernon recently converted his paid courses on programing the Maya API over to free and they are a great resource

.Creating a custom jiggle deformer

Writing a production ready skin exporter

*His applied 3d math is a good companion for helping understand the Cult of Rig videos.

We hope you found this helpful and hope it will save you and or your team time and money once you apply your newly learned coding skills to your daily work. Need more? Register now for mentor led instruction!

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