Custom Shelf Directory

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  09 September 2013
Custom Shelf Directory

Hi all.

In work, it'd be nice if everyone had the same shelves as there are some shelves that everybody needs and some shelves that they don't. It'd be great if everyone had the same shelves and also the same buttons. If the shelf is added to on one system, it'd the applied to the other systems.


Does anyone know whether it's possible to reference shelves from somewhere other than the My Documents > maya > version > prefs > shelf folder?

It'd be quite nice to have shelves in a directory on the server where when everyone loads maya it loads the shelves in that folder. So, everyone has the same shelves.

What this would mean is that if a script or button is added to the shelf, the next time someone loads maya on another system, they'd also have that button.

I just thought of a major problem though so I actually don't think it'd work.

If someone adds 20 great buttons to a shelf and closes maya and/or saves preferences. Then someone else only adds 1 button to the shelf and closes maya, when everyone starts maya only the most recent shelf would be loaded. So, the 20 wouldn't be there.


Hmmm, I'm just trying to think of a way to make our workflow more productive.

Any ideas?
  09 September 2013
You can add a number of things to the Maya.env file to extend start-up.
If you're on windows it'll be in documents/maya/mayaversion/Maya.env

MAYA_SHELF_PATH can be set to add paths to look shelves up in.

You can find more info in the manual in user guide > environment variables.

As for people overwriting the shelves, you will need some form of control of course so people can't overwrite each other's work. Protection/user permissions at a minimum.
Come, Join the Cult - Rigging from First Principles
  09 September 2013
Thanks for the reply.

Think I've tested everything I need to know.

The only way I can get around the fact that every time people close maya the shelf files are changed is to maybe set the shelf files as read only.

Only one person in the team is allowed to change the read only status in order to add or remove things on the shelf.

However, if someone closes maya while this user has the file as writeable, the shelf file will still be changed.

Maybe it's too much trouble than it's worth.


Unless, I set the settings of maya on each system to not save preferences when closed.

And have a button on their personal custom shelves that'd save the preferences for only that shelf.


I have a headache
  09 September 2013
I synchronize my scripts folders with Dropbox and symlinks. You could do the same with shelves. It's a tip in my 101 Maya Tips book but here is the quick rundown:

copy your master shelf folder to your Dropbox folder and then delete the original shelves folder. Then make a symlink to the Dropbox copy in the original path. If you're on OS X or Linux, that would be:

ln -s /path/to/Dropbox/shelves /path/to/maya/shelves

on windows it would be:

mklink /d \path\to\maya\shelves \path\to\dropbox\shelves

In Windows the destination is first.
  09 September 2013
We sync our shelves too. When maya is started the shelves are copied from the central location to the users local maya folder, thus overwriting any changes that they dared to make

  09 September 2013
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