Thu, Oct 4th, 2012
posted by jjburton 02:10 PM

The past few weeks…

It’s been a hectic few weeks at CG Monks. David and I have been working hard finishing a crazy deadline commercial gig. ~2 minutes of content in about 2 and half weeks. Yeah, nutty. I had a lot of fun on my own segment though, of course, wish I’d had more time  to polish. When you have a week and a half to animate 30 seconds with a continual movement shot comprising  4 main characters, a couple of birds, sets popping in and out of place, a crowd of ~100 and all on a spinning ‘world’ some corners have to get cut:)

The team did a great job and for what we had to work with in the time we had, it’s a nice bit of work. Bokser acted as the project lead on our end, we shared TD hats and I acted as animation lead.

Morpheus 2.0…

The ball is rolling. We have our project in for Kickstarter for review and expect it to be ready for Monday. If not, we may have to delay a day or two but it’s out of our hands. Our pal, Martin is doing our edit for the Kickstarter vid and he did a great job – especially with a talking Josh who talks like he’s  had an double shot espresso…Venti.

Support Platform…

Ryan has been working away on getting our community platform up and running and we’re looking to start opening up for testing soon. If you’re interest, connect with us on our testers page. As it’s the vehicle we want to use for both our own tool and rig support and potential place for others, we wanna get the kinks out before we get too much traffic.


Production is a great finder of bugs and oh did I find some bugs in the cgmTools. This week I’m trying to get a handle on them to avoid repeating some of these issues in the future and preparing for starting Morpheus 2.0 development.

Fri, Sep 21st, 2012
posted by jjburton 01:09 PM

We have a rather big ball to get rolling. Hope you’ll join us!

Fri, Sep 14th, 2012
posted by jjburton 08:09 AM

Where we’re at in the tag animation. Been busy around here…

  • Bokser and I were both away some on vacation time and are starting a new gig this week so it’ll be slow on the update front
  • Lookin to post the Morpheus 2.0 Kickstarter teaser vid next week. Lookin forward to it
  • Hopin to get back to the rigger soon, it should would be handy about now
  • Guild Wars 2 is awesome
Mon, Aug 6th, 2012
posted by jjburton 10:08 AM

This week we’ve got a great little demo by one of Josh’s good friends –  talented animator and teacher, Keith Osborn. He put together nice little demonstration for how to use cgm.locinator to bake animation of a character from local space to world space and back. In this case, Keith takes a cycled animation cycle of ole’ Squirrely and animates the master translate, then plots that animation through the scene. Enough explanations, just give it a watch!

Work has been plugging a long in the meantime – mainly on the rigger – just don’t have enough to show that makes sense. Josh is out in LA visiting David and we’ve been making plans for Morpheus 2.0 and for the next year of development. Super exciting:)


Wed, Jul 11th, 2012
posted by jjburton 09:07 AM

Short and simple vid this week on how to install the tools. Prolly should have done this a while back.

Work has been coming along with the rigger, gotta say my rudimentary code from last year is just lousy. That’s why we learn and grow, no?

If you’ve missed it, we’re lookin for feedback on where to proceed next. If you’d like to give us your input, please fill out the form here:


Tue, Jul 3rd, 2012
posted by jjburton 02:07 PM
Big progress for the week:
  • Updated the documentation for attrTools
  • Added buffer mode and controls to the snap marking menu
  • Lots of work on attributes front. Got a good handle on pretty much all types except multi attributes which we’ll swing back and hit later
  • Big addition this week was developing the attributes.doCopyAttr command. Maya’s own copyAttr command is a bit limited in a few ways:
    • Doesn’t support attribute copying on shape attributes
    • Doesn’t copy attribute settings (keyable, locked, etc)
    • Doesn’t allow remapping (i.e. attributes must match between objects)
  • By making our own, we’ve added some pretty cool functionality;
    • If an attribute to copy to doesn’t exist on the target, it’ll make one
    • Attribute mapping
    • copying attribute state flags
    • On the fly attribute conversion
Lessons Learned:
  • Maya’s copyAttr doesn’t support shapes annoyingly, so gotta make one. However, this has afforded more options
  • Deleting certain attributes can crash maya, yay!
  • Adding a softMin/Max to an attribute, makes it a slider in the attribute editor
  • a = b not good for copying, a = copy.copy(b) copies without the connection (make sure to import copy first:)
Next Up
  • Ryan’s estimating the first bit of the new web push will be ready next week
  • Getting back to the rigger, trying to get the base plan going on it.


Tue, Jun 26th, 2012
posted by jjburton 05:06 PM

Major avenues of progress for the week:

  • attrTools coming along well along with the accompanying modules
  • Added a buffer to Locinator along with an accompanying mode toggle
  • Added a few more hiding options for setTools (maya sets, anim layer sets)

Lessons learned from the week…

  • min/max values on Attributes only seem to be honored with float attributes
  • attributeQuery fails to return the correct value on:
    • keyable flag. Must use getAttr to get correct state
    • hidden flag. Must use getAttr with channelBox flag
  • if you change the enum options of an attribute in maya 2011 it will update the channelbox but not the attribute editor until you select something else then the object again. just deselecting the object and the object again won’t update, nor reopening the file after saving. Awesome.
    • Tried a function to manually toggle a couple selections and that didn’t work
    • Looked a little into ui update stuff, no joy. Moved on after a couple of strikes. Not a deal breaker
  • Alias attributes only affect the channel box
  • Odd bug with baseMelUI or maybe just a maya thing in maya 2013. If a text field is disabled, it clears the bgc. 2011 didn’t to do that.
  • Can assign the window as the parent to a ui element in Hamish’s baseMelUI with a self.get() function. Useful for formLayout


Mon, Jun 18th, 2012
posted by jjburton 10:06 AM

  • New build –
    • If you grabbed it first thing this morning, there’s a rev 2 up for today with a bug fix – loaded/active mode wasn’t working right
  • There’s new documentation on for setTools accessible via the nav on the side here
  • Working on attrTools and Locinator this week…
    • Locinator
      • Adding buffer tools to it for repetitive work
    • AttrTools
      • Wanna get ready for initial release
Tue, Jun 12th, 2012
posted by jjburton 11:06 AM

Just a quick update. Hopefully updates will be a bit more regular now (least till the next gig crush). Things are coming along well. Few bits:

  • cgm.setTools initial release in the last pack. Video above.
  • First open release of the beta tools. See post prior to this.
  • New format for builds like that post as an easy way for users to get a certain build
  • Work continuing on the web front. Hopefully have an announcement on that soon
  • Cool stuff:
    • Prometheus – great (a few plot inconsistencies notwithstanding). Amazing art design. Props.
    • Guild Wars 2 Beta and Torchligh 2 Beta – this year is lookin good for pc games:)
Mon, Jun 4th, 2012
posted by jjburton 09:06 AM

Well it’s about jolly time. I know. Sorry for the delays and the lack of vids. We’ve been swamped with work this month. Josh wrapped up his gig and is back coding this week, Ryan has been getting the initial web stuff going and Bokser is on a gig through the end of the month.

Here’s the notes from today’s tester release:

  • Bohdon Sayre new contributor!
    • boTriggers now includedWill work on looking at implementing more
  • General
    • Fixed a bad function call from ObjectFactory for .name(). The new call is .doName(). Was causing the control maker to error out
    • work on installer – wasn’t working on 2012
    • need to make the shelf uninstallable
    • Marking menus
    • More minor work
  • cgm.AnimTools
    • Morgan Loomis’ Copy Anim and Convert Rotation order now implemented
  • cgm.tdTools
    • Added John Doublestein’s Dynamic Parent Constraint Tool
    • zoo.SkinPropagationTool – link broke at some point.Fixed
    • Made polyUnite work with FFD’s. It’s a bit of a hack. Wanna look at cleaner implementation
    • returnSelectedAttributesFromChannelBox (NEW) – query for lots of stuff
    • returnObjectBuffers(NEW) – search a scene for object buffers for other tools
  • cgm.BufferFactory
    • now working pretty much as expected
  • cgm.bufferTools
    • starting working on the gui
    • Got some basic stuff working
  • cgm.attributes
    • Oh, stupid attributes lib. Lots and lots of work in it. Trying to unify calls where possible to my preferred method of (obj,attr) format rather than having to format everthing.
    •  simplified several commands – return driven/driver attribute/object in conjunction with buffer tools
    • doSetAttr – made to work with different attribute types. changes based on type
    • convertAttrType – new function to change an attribute from one type to another. Enum’s are stored to strings as ‘option1;option2’. Strings with a ‘;’ will split to enum options on conversion
      • storeInfo – modified to match attr type for storing for the previous bullet
  • Bugs reported
    • zooHudCTRL – fixed bug from missing zooDates.mel. Added it. Fixed. Amazing.
    • cgm.tdTools.cgmNameToFloat – missing an import
    • cgm.tdTools.cgmNameToFloat – wasn’t creating keyable attr. Fixed. Also made better reporting.