Goals of MmmmTools

The primary goal of the MmmmTools project is to make Maya easier to use, and easier to setup.

Although Maya is a great piece of software, is seems quite incomplete after it is installed out of the box.

A lot of extra scripts usually need to be installed by the user before Maya is fully ready for production. A default install of Maya is missing some very basic functionality. For example, Maya has no built in auto backup feature, so when Maya crashes, (which happens frequently) artists often loose more work than they really should.

Another example is that Maya’s hotkeys, as shipped by default, aren’t very well thought out. There are a lot of very commonly used features for which hotkeys don’t exist. For example, in 3dsmax, “m” bring up the material editor. Maya by default has no hotkey which instantly shows the hypershade window (the hypershade is Maya’s closest equivalent to the material editor in 3dsmax).  Another example is that although extrude is one of the most common modeling operations, there is no default hotkey for extrude in Maya. There should be.

Many Maya scripts are not particularly easy to install. Once installed, sometimes they are difficult to use, or require typing things into the command line, as opposed to being easily reached in the GUI. Ultimately, MmmmTools will include features which make it easy to use many commonly installed scripts.

Python is implemented in Maya, but it is implemented in a way that is counter intuitive as compared to more normal methods of python programming. (Maya’s Python isn’t very “pythonic”.) An excellent piece of software called “pymel” exists, which makes scripting maya much much easier. However, because of Maya’s default python paths, Maya makes using Pymel harder than it ought to be. MmmmTools has fixes for this built in.

Other Major Maya Problems:

  • Maya has major usability problems involving the capslock button.
  • Maya has no method of easily renaming things
  • Texture reloading isn’t done automatically, and the method for doing it manually involves far too many mouse clicks.
  • Ability to automatically select  texture border edges does not exist .
  • Ability to work in arbitrary coordinate systems easily. (Such as methods available in Wings3D or in 3dsmax.)
  • Many features in maya depend on the user holding down keys, which can be poor for those with Repetitive Strain Injury problems.
  • There is only one user setup type of file in the users MayaVersion/scripts folder. Installing a lot of scripts means manually editing this file.  There should be a user specific place where scripts can be placed so that they run automatically.

Ultimately, we hope that MmmmTools will solve many of the default Maya install problems, without the user needing to be aware of, and then downloading/installing a multitude of seperate scripts.

Leave a Reply