Rise of the Dynamixel

Right. First go at robotics to go online.

As I happen to be quite a big fan of animatronics, animation, building things and programming I’ve been playing around with a couple of Robotis Dynamixel actuators during the last month to see what they can and cannot do, and have now managed to set up my base for something that I see a bit of potential in.

Feeling so very comfortable in my favourite (and most hated) animation software Maya, my initial setup is by hooking up the actuators directly to Maya through a python-based server and a USB2Dynamixel which works as a close-to realtime connection allowing me to pose/animate/playback from Maya and seeing the result on the actuators while doing so, pretty neat hey?

The learning curve has been rather steep getting into bits and bytes when communicating with the hardware but I’m starting to get a hang of it now and my interest in the field is growing exponentially.

Video shows a preanimated motion that’s being played back from Maya on the laptop in the background.

The motion is currently being written as a goal angle at about 25fps with a static speed so my next big job is to get rid of as much jitter as possible by analysing the motion a bit tho I do have a hunch that the resolution is too small.

OMToolbox – Open Maya Toolbox

OMToolbox is a project I started a loooong time ago as is an extension of the first sculpting tools I made for Maya, also the first tools I ever wrote.

It started around my initial entry into the animation industry as a modelor, by frustration towards Mayas modeling toolset.
I had plenty of ideas for how to speed up my workflow with different tools but I couldn’t find the available online so I had to do my own, leading to my introduction to MEL.

After finishing the initial couple of tools I released them to the public under the name JWToolbox which by public demand later got turned into Open Maya Toolbox, meaning a community-based and maintained opensource toolbox for everything Maya. This caught the attention of Alias (Who owned Maya at that point) who featured the toolbox on their developers corner, however the community sadly died out when I no longer had the time to organize everything and couldn’t find a replacement, returning OMToolbox to a compilation of opensource Maya tools maintained by me… and I haven’t done a very good job at that lately with priorities not really pulling in that direction any longer. I’ll still update it occasionally tho, when I see fit.

Open Maya Toolbox @ Creative Crash




PAIE – Python Animation Import/Export

Being unfamiliar with blogs and their structure I’ll probably mess around with categorizing stuff and deciding how to post but here goes first tech-post nonetheless.

PAIE is a script I initially wrote for Radar Film on an animated feature called Berry and the Disco Worms and having grown tired of doing the same type of tools over and over again for different companies each time I got hired some place new, I decided to take a small cut in my pay to be able to release it opensource afterwards.. here it is 🙂

It’s a rather basic tool that allows you to export attribute values from a desired selection, save to a file and then load again to same or different selection afterwards.
It can export animation as well as poses, export from multiple namespaces at once and a bunch of other things.

Tool can be found on CreativeCrash – PAIE

I’ll prolly update it eventually and I reckon I might just update this post about it instead of cluttering up with more posts about same thing, but I’m not sure yet.