Sunday, August 31, 2014

PyCharm and Maya

This was a little bit overdo so I wanted to make sure to talk about PyCharm a little bit. I haven't had a chance to fully use this IDE like Eclipse and Visual Studio. I can say that from initial testing, I really do like PyCharm and I think that it is a great option for tech artists when writing scripts for their DCC apps and for Python programming in general. Note that I am also comparing from a Windows perspective and from a pricing perspective. I notice that Linux users tend to lean toward Eclipse over other software partially because it supports multiple languages, compatible with multiple platforms, and free :).

Hit the jump for some video overviews and some links to setting up PyCharm with Maya 2013. Also I'll provide a brief comparison of Eclipse, Visual Studio, and Pycharm.

Here are some links to my posts on Eclipse and Visual Studio respectively if you're interested in using them as your Maya Python IDE:

Using PyCharm definitely feels cleaner than Eclipse and from a Python perspective, feels more feature packed than Visual Studio. It has a great way to enforce PEP-8 standards. It can version control code on its own and integrate with other version control systems. The interface is very clean. It is compatible with multiple platforms like Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. You can download it for free or buy a professional license with all features for multiple price ranges. If you're a student, it's 30 dollars for a license and 20 dollars to renew the license. The price goes up incrementally depending on what degree you choose to use the software.

Here is the download page:

Here is the pricing page:

Here are the Maya setup instructions:

Here is a video that gives a nice overview of how the software works and what kinds of features it provides at a cursory glance:

I will say that I really like this software and for a Python IDE, it's arguably the best one out there. It's a little hard to compare it to the other leading packages simply because it focuses almost exclusively on Python but that is the intent of the software. Nail down one language and be the premier IDE for it. With that said, here is my brief comparison:

Visual Studio
Pros: Brilliantly powerful IDE and Intellisense. Handles Python very well but definitely designed for compiled languages like C. If you're into game development, you're probably already using Visual Studio by default to program your game so adding Python on top of that is a free bonus. This IDE is solid if you're using Windows.

Cons: I wouldn't recommend buying Visual Studio if you only plan to use it for Python programming. It's very expensive software which price ranges from 300 dollars to 4300 dollars. This software is not really meant for Linux of Mac OS either.

Pros: Amazing Python IDE. Not too expensive. Works on all platforms. 

Cons: Pretty much only does Python. 

Pros: Free. Available on all platforms. can handle tons of different languages including C++, Java, and Python. 

Cons: You can probably tell that it doesn't get as much love on some platforms over others. It thrives in Linux and technically works well on Windows. I personally don't like the Windows implementation as much as the other platforms but it does the job very effectively. The interface can feel a bit clunky when using Eclipse for Python in Windows.

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