Easily Control Vector Direction With Standard Euler Rotations

Simon Paul Mills Shares a Quick Tip for Easily Turning Vector Direction to Standard Euler Rotations in Maya

If you have ever worked with Nucleus simulations in Maya, you’ll quickly realize that things like wind direction have vector controls. That is to say that they will typically show as X, Y, Z values. Vector attributes are simple to understand, but they are not so intuitive to edit. Of course, you can rotate the Nucleus widget in the scene, but that can also affect your simulation in negative ways. Senior 3d Technical Artist/animator Simon Paul Mills has a quick solution. Change the direction vectors to standard Euler Rotations, and have a controller in the scene for it.

Doing it this way can be very useful for controlling wind in cloth simulations. It’s not that hard to do either. All you have to do is make a controller in the scene and connect a vectorProduct node between the controller and the Nucleus attribute. Connect the worldMatrix to vectorProduct, and set it to Vector Matrix Product. Then connect the output to the attribute that you want to control. Super easy!