Jason Redd provides a detailed look at creating web based tools in Autodesk Maya with his video series “Develop Web Based Tools in Maya-www.creativeredd.com“. That is to say building tools in Maya that will add data from Maya to a database server and also reload information from that online database.

In Jason’s example he is showing a tool that will load skeletal data from a online database store, allowing him to build out rig sections in Maya made possible from that database communication between Maya and the online server.

The components that make up the tool in Maya are the QT user interface (PyQt), and the web server. The tool will gather data from Maya and package it, so that it can be communicated to the online server via JSON (Javascript Object Notation). JSON is a lightweight data interchange format base in Javascript, to which Jason Redd likens to being very similar to XML, making JSON easy to parse out.

In this 8 part series, Jason Redd shows how to set up data in Maya for JSON, how to build and load the user interface for the tool in QT Designer, and set up the PyQT functionality for the tool. He then shows how to set up the web based server database side, setting up and configuring Django and Rest Framework in PyCharm.

Then its a matter of setting up the communication from Autodesk Maya to Django, and finally Jason covers retrieving data from the Django server into Maya that will build the skeleton.

Jason has a post with all of the tutorials in the Develop Maya Web Base Tools series that you can check out here, and he has also made a Vimeo channel with the 8 part series available here.