Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Visual Studio as a Maya Python IDE

I already love to use Visual Studio for C++ plugin development but when it came to python tool development, Visual Studio used to lack a lot of the features that I genuinely enjoyed in Eclipse. However, thanks to Jos Balcaen, there are amazing new plugins available with Visual Studio's Python tools that allow Visual Studio to have all of the fun perks that Eclipse has as a Maya Python IDE. These plugins are available for Visual Studio 12 or higher. I'm using 12 in this picture with Maya 2014. It works really great and the workflow to connect Visual Studio to Maya is nearly identical to Eclipse. This is a really great deal especially if you're a big Visual Studio nut and want to use Intellisense or Visual Assist to debug your python tools. This is especially sleek if you're primarily using Windows and of course if you can afford a license :D.

If you have Visual Studio 12 or higher, you can set it up as a Maya Python IDE using this link:

Currently, I'm doing an audit between Visual Studio, Eclipse, and PyCharm to see which IDE fits best for my needs. Right now it looks like if you only care about python development, just use PyCharm. It's a really excellent Python IDE in general, arguably better than the other two for Python development. If you want a full fledged multi-language IDE to develop Python and C++ tools for Maya or what not and you only use Windows, go with Visual Studio. If you need something FREE, open source, cross platform (Windows, Linux, Mac), and multi-language and you're willing to put in a little bit of extra effort, go with Eclipse for sure.

Hope this information is useful. Let me know if there is any other IDE out there that can give these options a run for their money and I will research that as well!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Paint in Specular Maps on your models in Mudbox

This may not be anything particularly new going on but I know I've always been looking for a nice and effective way to paint and author specular maps without having to desaturate other textures and blow up their contrast in Photoshop. Autodesk just recently posted this tutorial on how to author specular maps in Mudbox using all of the awesome paint tools that used to be used for sculpting and painting color maps.

I'm sure Zbrush has a response to this somewhere but from my experience, I haven't seen anything that gives you this much control at the sculpting phase of asset creation.

Hit the jump to see the video tutorial...