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  07 July 2004
Quote: is there any way to turn the hierarchy off (like the 'child compensation' function in XSI) ?

not exactly sure how what you mean, but you can completely disable all bones by disabling the bone deform effect.

or if you don't want a certain bone or bones to have any influence, you can crank up the Slip on a bone.

hope that helps (somewhat)
Those who live by the sword... get shot by those who don't.
  08 August 2004
Maya/Messiah workflow document (re-pasted)

Maya/Messiah workflow document
The not so definitive guide to Maya/Messiah workflow

I have only experimented with the Maya/messiah connection and as such these notes are only a guide to helping solve some problems you may encounter whist using messiah with Maya.


1. Installing and loading the messiah plug-in.

1a. maya.env

For the messiah plug-in to work for Maya you must not move it from its install folder. Do not copy the plug-in to the Maya plug-in folder.

Use the maya.env file located in your mydocuments/maya/5.0/

Add the line.

MAYA_PLUG_IN_PATH = C:\PROGRA~1\pmG\messiahstudio1.5\messiah

Or wherever you installed messiah. If you use multiple plug-ins with different paths the separate the paths with a colon like.

MAYA_PLUG_IN_PATH = <\\Aubbfs01\Resources\Art\Maya\shared\plugins>; C:\PROGRA~1\pmG\messiahstudio1.5\messiah
(all on one line)

1b. Plug-in manager issue.

The messiah plug-in will not 'auto load' in Maya plug-in preferences.
You must load it every time you wish to use it in Maya.

1c. Fatal error after loading a messiah linked scene.

Maya will crash with a 'fatal error' if you load a non-messiah linked scene AFTER you have loaded a messiah linked scene.

Some combinations and results:

Run Maya -> Load plug-in -> Load Maya scene = NO CRASH

Run Maya -> Load plug-in -> Load messiah linked scene -> Load Maya scene = CRASH

Run Maya -> Load plug-in -> Unload plug-in at any time and click on the Maya timeline = FREEZE

Run Maya -> Load plug-in -> Load messiah linked Scene -> Unload plug-in = FREEZE

Run Maya -> Load messiah linked scene -> Load plug-in -> Load Maya scene = CRASH

Run Maya -> Load Maya scene -> Load plug-in -> Load messiah linked scene = NO CRASH

Run Maya -> Load Maya scene -> Load plug-in -> Load messiah linked scene -> Load Maya Scene = CRASH

Run Maya -> Load Maya scene -> Load plug-in -> Load Maya scene = CRASH

This last one is particularly interesting as no messiah linked scene has been activated, only the messiah plug-in loaded in plug-in manager. Yet on the first one, we can load the plug-in straight away and then load the Maya scene and numerous Maya scenes afterwards with no crash.

2. Sending objects to messiah

2a. messiah -ad

You can only send one object at a time to messiah using the messiah -ad command.
Multi-selecting objects and trying to add them will result in the first mesh going through and all other meshes being corrupted.
If this happens you must delete the messiahDform node from your corrupted objects and re-applying them one by one.

Depending on Maya's unit size an object in messiah is anywhere between 10-100 times bigger when sent to messiah. I’ve had to scale down the object in messiah to 0.01 or 0.001 depending on Maya’s unit scale. If you do not want to scale down the mesh thus making it tiny in Maya then the next best thing is to increase the unit size in messiah.

Use the ] key to change the unit size in messiah until you can see your object correctly.

] = change the unit size up

2b. messiah -ax

This command will send your object to messiah with a messiahXform node.

This node will not displace your objects points/vertex’s. It will only constrain the move and rotate (not scale) transformation nodes to what you animate in messiah.
This is good to animate say a light parented to the null (locator) in messiah, and then this will be reflected in Maya, where you can parent a Maya light to get the same movement and rotation.

3. Getting the animated mesh to render in Maya

3a. Black/Blank frames when batch rendering

Although rendering a single view port frame works.
Currently, batch rendering a messiah linked scene will output blank/black frames.

3b. Solution to batch render problem

The current solution is to bake out the messiah displacement to the object and breaking/deleting the messiah connection. I think there is a baking function in Maya but I have never used it.

I suggest using Mark Wilson’s FREE point oven plug-in from <>

This has the added advantage of allowing you to easily update the baked animation and having it update in Maya automatically. It works using the “MDD” file format which stores the displacement information of the points/vertex’s over time. If you want to get the full story on how this plug-in works you should go to his web site.

Workflow goes something like this.

a. Send your objet to messiah.
b. Create your rig and animation in messiah.
b. Use the Point Oven baker plugin in messiah to output a MDD file.
c. Disconnect the messiahDform node from your object in Maya.
d. Use the Point Oven reader plugin in Maya to read the MDD file.
e. Light/Texture and render.

Information on how to Install and use the Point Oven plug-ins can be found with the plug-in install.

That’s all for now folk’s!
Geoff Suttor
  10 October 2004

As someone else has pointed out - the docs don't go into much detail on how to setup an hdr image to light up your scene.

" Image Light - Uses the intensity values in the image to cast light. You would use this to take an HDR sky image and have it illuminate your scene (apply the HDR image to the Environment material)."

So, with that having been said ...

Under Basic Properties, click on the + sign next to Color.
Select Texture Map from pull down menu.

Under Texture Map, click on (none) for drop down menu, select HDR image to load.
Next to Map Type, click on Planar for drop down menu, select HDR Image Light.

And voila! This is the interior of a heart that I'm working on.

And without reflection.

Hope that helps!

Last edited by chikega : 10 October 2004 at 08:24 PM.
  12 December 2004
excuse my english..

Last edited by doe : 12 December 2004 at 02:32 PM.
  03 March 2005

oopppsss wrong place for this

Last edited by Deitycreations : 03 March 2005 at 03:24 PM.
  06 June 2005
rigging help

how do i draw bone messiah
  08 August 2005
Opp found it

It always happens after you post

Last edited by T4D : 08 August 2005 at 02:05 PM.
  08 August 2005
When are you going to bring t4D over to Messiah?

Come on man u can do it..............
Maya | Lightwave | Messiah
  08 August 2005
only got into to it this weekso give me alittle time ,... this is very cool software tho

I'm sure I'll get around to doing something in it,
Cause i know I'll be speading alot of time with this UI infront of me
  11 November 2005
Dual monitor setup.

When you have a dual monitor setup like me (one 17" and one 19" flatscreens), then make sure the screen used for displaying messiah is made the primary screen.

EDIT: I noticed that some Pulldown/Popup Lists did not function properly when displaying messiah on the secundary screen.

Last edited by dOMINUSMess : 11 November 2005 at 02:31 PM.
  11 November 2005
Configuration File.

By default, messiah's configuration file (messiah4.cfg) is in : C:\Documents and Settings\your profile\Local Settings\Temp\messiah\ .

To place your messiah temp files in a more accessible place, you can add a custom path to the System Environment Variables, with "MESSIAH_TEMP_PATH" as Variable name, and any path you like in the value field.

Then in messiah : right click the File tab, press Save Config, and the config file should appear in the path you specified above.
Make a backup of that file (e.g. messiah4BACKUP.cfg), make changes to messiah's interface if so desired, again save the config file, and now every time messiah starts again, the custom interface will be loaded.
  11 November 2005
Channels block in Command mode: 'Add' pulldown list.

See attachment :
When adding channels to an expression via the "Add pulldown list" (attachment A) in the Channels Block in Command Mode, you might want to check the checkbox (attachment B) all the way to the right of the "Add pulldown list", that way the value in the pulldown list gets automatically updated when selecting a bone.

When it's unchecked, then you have to manually update the "Add pulldown list".
  11 November 2005
Mirroring hierarchies with IK in them.

When mirroring a rig or part of a rig that has IK in it, you might wonder why some bones or nulls not only get mirrored, but also get duplicated in the original hierarchy that you mirrored.

It's a "feature" that also duplicates the IK goal of any IK driven bone/item when you duplicate it or mirror it.
The same actually goes for muscle bone targets.

It can be useful in some cases, but also confusing.

Just delete the duplicated goals if you don't need them, and possibly reorient the IK driven objects/muscles to the correct goal.

EDIT: Nulls that are IK-goals get mirrored and Bones that are IK-goals get duplicated when those goals are setup to be goals in the Inverse Kinematics block in Animate Mode. This does not happen when the IK is setup via expressions and the Inverse Kinematics block is not used to specify a Goal, in that case you set the Goal-pulldown to "None".

Maybe this is not a topic for the beginner tips, but since I am a beginner ... )

Last edited by dOMINUSMess : 11 November 2005 at 05:23 PM.
  02 February 2006
This isn't a tip, but a request for information. Right now I'm using the demo of workstation. I have a free download model of a F5 freedom fighter from Factory Mesh. When the model in opened in messiah the model is 5 times larger then the camera, or grid. The question is how do I load the model at the right size for messiah, or how do I increase the work area to see the model at a resonable size?

I've searched the doc's and they are of little help.

thanks in advance for the help.

  02 February 2006
You use the bracket keys just like in Lightwave. [ and ]
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