TOOLS or How to equip yourselves with tools?

09-Tools-large

Hi everybody (Translation in progress),

On a day-to-day of an animator we usually loose a lot of time with repetitive and heavy tasks which increase the factor of human error but we often forgot an important fact: We work with computers that can do those kind of tasks for us!

For example, I remember I used to work the spacing, creating a breakdown and moving it on the timeline to favor one of the keyposes, trying to keep my blocking organized…until I discovered the tweenmachine. You can imagine the revolution it has been for me, to go form several manipulations to a simple slider!

For this reason, sometimes, it is convenient to stop and “sharp your axe“: which means to take the time to analyze the operations performed daily and see if there is a script or tool that allowed you earning hours.

Here I share with you my database I have sorted in these categories:

 

LAYOUT
shotView (Maya): Creates a floating viewport to watch the animations.
AnimRange (Maya): Select different ranges in the timeline.
zoomerator.mel 1.0 (Maya): Create a small interface to manipulate the zoom.
Zoom Camera (Maya): Allows making a quick zoom in the camera view you are working.
Ze Ref Camera 1.0.0 (Maya): Allows you to import the same reference in different viewports and work faster.

 

Graphical User Interface & SELECTION
abxPicker (2011+) 2.5.2 (Maya): Creates a quick GUI with Drag and drops.
pose2shelf (Maya): Allows saving poses and selections to the shelf.
animSelector (Maya): Creates a GUI (created by my teammate Luca Fiorentini).
prSelectionUi 0.9.8 (Maya): Creates and edits selections and poses for animation.

 

LIBRARY
Pose Lib (Maya): Saves poses of your characters.
poseMan (Maya): Saves poses of any object.
dkAnim (Maya): Import and export animation channels.
Studio Library (Maya): Manages poses and animations.

 

POSING
tweenmachine (Maya): Creates breakdowns based on nearby poses.
snWorldSpaceTool (Maya): Copy / Paste world transformations to objects.
BoSmear 2.0 (Maya): Allows deforming the character in a 2D way.

 

TIMING
Monkey Jam (Maya): Exports all the keys fom maya to an exposure sheet to work the timing.
bh_timelineMarkers (Maya): Creates marks on the timeline to navigate more easily.
JB Key Coloring (Maya): Changes easily and quickly the color of the keyframes.
Color Key (Maya): Colors the keyframe on the timeline.
Color Coded Keys (Maya): Changes the color of a keyframe on the timeline.
Draw Animation (Maya): Creates an animation of an object based on the mouse's mocap.

 

TANGENT & GRAPH EDITOR
autoTangent (Maya): Adjusts the tangents as smooth as possible avoiding overshoots.
abxSmartKey (Maya): Filters channels in the Graph Editor, Timeline, etc.

 

CONSTRAINTS
ZV Parent Master (Maya): Helps to animate interactions and contacts between objects.
CreatureRigs:Constraint (Maya): Manages links between objects.

 

TRAJECTORY & GHOSTING
BhGhost (Maya): Creates a ghosting and onion-skinning in 3d.
cMotionTrail (Maya): Creates trajectories and motion-trails.
Arc Tracker (Maya): Tracks animation's arcs.

 

DRAWING
GreasePencil (Maya): Draws directly into Maya.
Blue Pencil (Maya): Allows drawing to create thumbnails, trajectories and notes.

 

OTHERS
Animation Toolbox 2.0 (Maya): Tools to manipulate keyframes.
MGTools (Maya): Collection of tools to help the animator.
moveObjectRel (Maya): Changes the type of translation according to the world, the screen or a reference object.
cgJedi Animation Suite (Maya): Designed to make Maya's tools more intuitive.
TragidiTools (Maya): Created to help the modern animator with a traditional workflow.
kWORk Rec Animation 1.2.8 (Maya): Records the mouse during playback.
Zurbrigg Shot Mask (Maya): Creates a mask and frame counter on any camera of the scene.
Zurbrigg Keyframe MP (Maya): A compact but powerful video player for Maya.

 

SOFTS
TVPaint Animation: 2D animation software “Made in France”.
DigiCel FlipBook: 2D animation software.
Plastic Animation Paper: 2D animation software.
Kinovea: A player that allows a complete study of the video reference.
Screen Marker: Allows writing notes on the screen.
Peek Through: Makesthe foreground window transparent on Windows 7, Vista and XP.
Animation Hours (IPhone): A stopwatch for animators.
MoviePro (IPhone):To record at 24fps.

 

As you can see, for any problems that you have had, there is probably a script to solve it.
I hope that has been usefull and invite you to help me complete this database…and why not, if you dream about a perfect tool, ask the TDs and riggers who are reading this blog to develop it.

Keep animating!!!

 

3 thoughts on “TOOLS or How to equip yourselves with tools?

  1. Thank you for the list of these great tools!
    If anyone else has any new ones they would like to share please add.
    Atools is a good one.

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