Extraordinarily Useful and Lightweight Python Tools for Maya

Extraordinarily Useful and Lightweight Python Tools for Maya

Erik Lehmann’s Python Tools Automates and Simplifies Shader, UV and Renaming Tasks in Maya.

Erik Lehmann is a Senior Build TD at DNEG who got in touch with me to let me know about his recent release of some compact and lightweight Python-drive tools for Maya that can help speed up everyday tasks. Small and helpful tools in Maya are pretty commonplace, while a lot of them are easy to forget — That is not true of Lehmann’s tools for Shader, UV and Renaming assists which have all come a long way since their initial releases.

It only took watching a few seconds of the explainer vids to realize how amazing these tools are. They all offer small panels that pack a lot of power and bring most sunken features to the forefront without any distractions. All of them make things so much smoother too.

UV Toolkit

The UV Toolkit is a perfect example. It brings many of Maya’s UV features out front but also makes them a much more straightforward process on the usability scale. For instance, you can create a checker pattern shader using a custom texture map. You can then assign, or delete that shader to objects in a scene with a click of a button. Erik’s UV Toolkit also has a simple solution for setting proper scale on UV shells, quickly equalizing UV size.

The kit also can scale multiple shells from their local centers, distribute your layouts, transfer layouts from one to various objects and automatically.

One last thing: there is a single button that unfolds cable geometry no matter the winding shape.


Maya has a few ways to rename elements in the scene. Lehmann’s advanced lightweight Renamer leaps those comfortably. Renamer lets you change names, add padding, prefixes, suffixes and search and replace. That all sounds ok, but you have to watch the explainer video to get a sense of how fantastic the compact panel can be. The ability to rename elements in a group using the group’s name had me instantly sold.

Shader Toolkit

Erik’s Shader kit works much like the others, only for shader management tasks. The package also comes with ways to fix common issues, such as renaming shading groups consistently with a click of a button.

The toolkits for Maya vary in price from $1.99 to $2.49 — Find out more or purchase them here.