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Maya Python for Games and Film: A Complete Reference for Maya Python and the Maya Python API Hardcover – September 28, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
when I'm working and it has been a tremendous help in transitioning from Mel scripting to Python.
I started out as a Character Modeller/ Rigger and only reluctantly started moving more into
the world of scripting. As such I had very little background knowledge in programming languages
beyond Mayas internal Mel script. I was having a lot of trouble finding the information I wanted
that related to python/ maya tool scripting and most of what I did find pertaining to Maya was often
way above my head. I found Maya Python for Games and Films presentation on Python scripting principles
and how they relate to the 3d world of Maya to be very clear and precise; consistently giving real
world examples and side by side comparisons to mel.
I would recommend this book to any aspiring Technical Artist, especially those coming from an artistic
backgrounds like myself. Python is pretty popular in todays game industry and, after only a short
time of using the python language, I can see why. I have yet to see a better and more thorough
introduction to using Python in Maya than this.
Other sources of Python I have viewed/ recommend are:
Python Programming by John M. Zelle
- good, clear intro to Python principles, no direct connection to Maya/ 3d program
3d Buzz dvd: Developing Modular Rigging Systems with Python
- Not an intro to python. However, it is very good at introducing
new concepts (even if you don't understand them at the time)
another 3d Buzz dvd: Python: creating Nodes in Maya
- again, not an intro but much shorter than Modular Rigging
dvd and introduces more cool concepts
The 375 pages of content are structured into 3 parts and I'll analyze each part below.
PART 1 - BASICS OF PYTHON AND MAYA (175 pages)
Even if you were a complete newbie to programming, this book has you covered, as it spends a good amount of time explaining all the basics of Python (variables, functions, sequence types, iteration, error trapping, classes etc.). The nice thing is that all examples are within the Maya context, so you can immediately understand where, when and why to use certain programming language features. This is of TREMENDOUS help to beginners, because many times programming concepts can become quite abstract if not demonstrated in a practical, application-oriented way. By the end of this part you'll know enough Python to tackle just about any scripting task in Maya.
My only critique is that there could've been more of the practical examples using the Maya commands module. A few common commands are covered (select, ls, xform, get/set/add/connectAttr and a few of others), but some extra examples would've been great. Don't get this wrong: learning how just a few commands work means you'll know how to read any command documentation, so it's only a problem if you're lazy, but I think a few more (short) examples would've been welcome.
PART 2 - DESIGNING MAYA TOOLS WITH PYTHON (80 pages)
This part mainly deals with the Maya GUI and Qt.Read more ›
I'm still working through the book but right now the content covered has been solid. Keep in mind that this is a broad overview. While readers will focus on building bits of code here and there to do something in Maya you won't walk away from this book with a completed auto rigging system. It's an introduction to using Python with Mayas API. It shows you the ins and outs but it's up to you to stitch these concepts together to create the tools you want.
(KINDLE CRIT) As for the print version I'm not sure this is an issue but with the Kindle version the example code formatting can be confusing. White spaces / indents are important in Python and as code examples become more complex indents for if, while loops, functions, etc tend to be ignored. I would imagine its hard to get this perfect in a kindle text since font size can be changed and formatting will change with device screen / window sizes. But a heads up, pay close attention to () and ; characters as these will help you format your code properly. More so when a code example spans across pages. If you have scripting experience this might be less of an issue & as you gain it through this book it becomes easier to sort out.
In the end even the book is solid. Formatting aside of some of the examples this is a great text to have if you're working into TD work with Python inside Maya. Start here with this book but don't stop there.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great, comprehensive book on using Python with Maya. There is a nice progression to the presented information. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ronnie L. Ashlock
Great... but I wish I could just buy the digital version for a discounted rate since I now own the real version. or just have bought the digital one for my phone.. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Wesley Chandler
I am not sure what the point of this book was. It just seemed to be a collections of disjointed facts. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Michael
I liked this book because I was interested in expanding my knowledge in Maya and this is a great stepping stone to understanding how others do so that I can learn. AWESOME BOOK!Published on June 6, 2013 by Jonathan
Well-written, well organized reference book that is full of screen shots, hints and sample code. I have a little Python experience, but I think this book would work for complete... Read morePublished on November 11, 2012 by R. Song
Instead of jumping from source to source, this in-depth volume explains in language everyone can follow how to move into Python. Read morePublished on April 26, 2012 by Hans Castorp
I totally agree with a previous reviewer & sure wish I had read their review before ordering this book! Read morePublished on April 11, 2012 by Momma Mary
As a completely new learner of this huge software package, I find it totally inexcusable that the authors keep referring to the blue, or the red, or the green item in the screen... Read morePublished on March 10, 2012 by TGinNC
Anyone who is thinking of getting the Kindle version just know the code formatting got all jacked up. I hope someone fixes it at some point because the content is great. Read morePublished on February 22, 2012 by Justin Jenkins