View Full Version : Buttons on Maya Objects?

05-01-2010, 03:17 PM

I apologize if this matter was posted about before but I didn't see the issue come up in the forums so I figured I would start a thread. The other day I saw this hand rig and noticed something very interesting. The person who made the rig controlled these curves and made a "button" out of them. (I already know about control objects, I just want to know about the buttons specifically on the rig). When you clicked the R shaped curve the hand rig would reset if you had moved it, if you pressed the K curve you could toggle off Maya's ability to keyframe the hand. Personally, I wasn't aware that you could make buttons out of objects within the perspective window so I downloaded the file after seeing the video to investigate. I looked around the hypergraph, the expression editor, found no real connections on the curve to speak of, and I'm clueless as to how this guy made the buttons.

I did a bad job of explaining so here's the video:

and the rapidshare download file:

Any thoughts as to what this person did? It's probably the work of MEL or Python but I still would like to know how to do it if that's the case.

(And as a side note, with the FK controls, how did the rigger make the pivots snap to the joint like it does?)

Thanks for your responses in advance~

05-01-2010, 10:21 PM
The rigger made use of a scriptJob to drive the actions of "mode" and "key" (as he states in the video). It is basically a script that he wrote that is stored within the maya scene itself and is triggered when specific conditions are met. Not for a beginner. Look up scriptJob in the help documents for more info. Also, you can see the scriptJob in his scene through the Expression Editor window.

As for pivots, you can move a pivot by pressing the Insert key to enter "pivot point mode" and move the pivot to where you like. Press Insert again to go back to normal mode.

05-02-2010, 02:19 AM
Hamish McKenzie ( wrote some really nice tools that include a UI for setting up the type of script jobs that gonzalimator referred to. zooTriggered lets you make any object into a button that, when clicked, can trigger any command. I wrote a very simple walkthrough, here ( But that barely scratches the surface of what it can do, so check out the help files as well.


05-02-2010, 02:53 AM
Ah! You're right, I missed that important part of the video. Now I've got some research ahead of me to do. Still, I'm only a beginner in MEL and expressions so this is all new to me. Sounds like fun, I know what I'll be experimenting with for the next few days~

Thanks for your quick replies, you both have been a big help!


05-03-2010, 03:57 PM
you can snap to Bone by pressing the "v" key on the keyboard this is the Snap to Point button, but will allow you to snap to a joint as well.

You can also deconstruct or reverse engineer a rig using the hypershader and showing the inputs and outputs of different parts of the rig. This is a really good place to start.

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05-03-2010, 03:57 PM
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