13 Helpful Animation Tools for Maya

InspirationTuts shows off 13 animation tools for Maya that can help your workflow.

One of the best things about Autodesk Maya is the number of tools and scripts that are out there. If you work in animation, there are plenty of offerings out there that can help you with your workflow. A new video from the InspirationTuts channel shows off thirteen Maya plug-ins and scripts designed explicitly for animation.

It’s interesting to note that our friend Brian Horgan holds four out of the thirteen spots with his animation scripts. Others include Animbot, TweenMachine, and a few other full-on plug-ins like Ziva VFX. 

The List Includes

13_bh waveit 

bh_waveIt is an animation tool for Maya, which speeds up the process of blocking in simple wave motion for things like tails, capes, and anything else that might need it.

12_Studio Library

This script is a free tool for managing poses and animations in Maya. Studio Library can store animations, so if you’ve got poses, you can select sets and click on specific poses, and it brings it straight up.

11_bh path Anim

bh_pathAnim is a flexible tool for path animation in Maya.

The goal behind path Anim is to make the process of attaching any rig, with any number of limbs and body controls, to a spline and animate it walking or running along with it.

10_bh aim tools

bh_aimTools is an animation tool Brian Horgan created for Maya, inspired by the workflow demos of Richard Lico. It streamlines the process of using aim targets to control rotation animation and applying the animation back to the controls.

9_Craft Director Studio

With this animation plug-in, you hook up to a model and start “driving” vehicles and aircraft through3D environments. Adjust variables like suspension and add camera effects to achieve the exact look and feel for which you are looking.

8_Overlapper

Overlapper is a tool created by Dmitrii Kolpakov. The script can make overlapping action type of animation easier by eliminating all the work that animators need to make overlapping actions believable.

7_Physics tools

Maya physics tools allow you to spend more time on creating appealing poses that better show human emotions and movements. In contrast to the technical issues that Animators usually spend most of their time on.

6_TweenMachine

Tween Machine initially developed by Justin Barrett and used extensively throughout the animation and visual effects industries for years. 

 5_bh ghost

This script is an animation tool Brian Horgan wrote for Maya that provides a different approach to ghosting/onion-skinning in 3D animation.

 4_Advanced Skeleton

Advanced Skeleton can create rigs with unlimited body configurations. Not only creatures, but you can also rig props, vehicles, and just about anything. You can, at any time, go from Advanced Skeleton, back to the Fit Skeleton, make changes, and rebuild.

3_MGTools

MG Tools can save time and create a more efficient workflow. Miguel Winfield’s plug-in MG Tools has several features that aim to make things simpler and more accessible for the Maya animators. 

2_Ziva VFX

Ziva Dynamics, the developer of Ziva products, was founded in early 2015 by Academy Award-winner James Jacobs and Dr. Barbic.

1_Animbot

Animbot is a set of tools for Maya aimed at speeding up workflow. It has a lot of tools that can make the animator’s daily tasks feel like creative work rather than doing a chore.

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