This script creates a user interface to quickly and intuitively animate a big number of attributes. It is intended mainly for facial setups but is designed in a modular way, allowing it to be used with numeric attributes from any node in Maya. This makes it possible to easily integrate it into existing pipelines since attributes are the main interface between an animator and the scene. The main features are:

  • Complete Integration
    Attributes from any number of different objects can be controlled in one UI. This even allows for integrating a Jason Osipa style facial setup with multiple control objects for one face.

  • Two-Layered Control
    The first is, of course, the direct control over every attribute with a slider (and value field). The second is a very flexible preset system.

  • Mix ’n Morph Presets
    Presets can not only be “applied”, they can be faded and morphed in real time. Furthermore, you can quickly choose which attributes you want to change. This means you can make the whole face smile, then add a little surprise to the eyes, an “FF” expression to the lips, add thought to the brows…

  • Auto Left-Right with Syncing and Mirroring
    The script automatically recognizes left-right and top-bottom attribute pairs and allows for several ways of mirroring and syncing.

    When you don’t use a compatible naming scheme, you can still take advantage of the symmetry functions by manually defining left-right and/or top-bottom attribute pairs.

  • Built-In Integration with the BCS (see http://dpk.stargrav.com/pafiledb/pafiledb.php?action=file&id=31)
    allows bilateral weights to be handled automatically. This means that you can make a weight bilateral and an existing setup for the UI will show both sliders for it. Also, all presets created while the weight wasn’t bilateral will still work and simply set both sides to the same value.

  • Preset/Section Library
    Presets and section configurations can be exported and organized in an external Library. This library is stored in a simple “.txt” file and can contain any number of presets and sections for different characters.

  • Flexible GUI
    The window can be opened floating (like, e.g., the Connection Editor) or it can be placed inside a Maya panel (like the camera views). Also, you can easily customize the GUI to only show the part you want to work with.

If you already have setups for the old DPK_animationInterface script, you can easily convert them so that they can be used with this new version. See 4.9 Setup Converter for more information.

About this Manual

To quickly become familiar with the basics, I recommend to take a look at Chapter 3. Quick Start.

If you want to know every detail or want to use the advanced features—like the preset library—you will find this information in Chapter 4. UI Reference. MEL scripters who want to automate creating setups for the animUI might find Chapter 5. MEL Interface to the AnimUI useful.