MEL script/Xbox 360 Controller Prototype Tool 'Walkabout'





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Uploaded on Jun 9, 2011

(NOTE) Walkabout has been edited since this, check out my channel for the updated version of the tool, which allows a user to press buttons on a 360 Controller and carry out animated actions such as reloading a gun waving an arm! Anything is possible, lemme know if you're interested =)

Ok folks, I've not uploaded anything on here for ages, mainly because I've been busy working on my Masters Degree in Advanced Computer Animation and Special Effects this year (waaaay harder than I thought it was going to be) but now that I have free time every now and then! Hurrah! So I'm working on a project that's all about external controller integration and Maya.

Yes, even in my own free time, I am still connected to Maya! I'm currently using the Xbox 360 Controller Server from here: http://onepartcode.com/main (god bless you for creating this) to hook up my 360 controller to Autodesk Maya 2012. I made a game akin to Kula World which was on the PS1 for a Uni project and haven't turned back from this awesomeness since! Right, down to the meat of this video, it's basically a tool in Maya that controls a character using a 360 controller instead of exporting to a game engine to see if the animation looks right.

"But I can just play animations in Maya without a controller" I hear you say! YES, you can, but can you play multiple animations and walk around using the keyboard without having LOADS of hassle re-assigning keys? Plus, if you're making a game for the 360, you're going to want to test out the controller itself right? This is what my project is all about, instead of exporting a character to something like Unity, you can hook it up to a 360 controller in Maya and test it out there and then. When I'm finishing, you'll be able to run about, jump, crouch and crawl (hopefully) along with doing stuff like weapon realod animations and the like. Maybe getting knocked to the ground or swimming too! The possiblities are endless.

Right now I'm not making the code public as I need to tweak it more still and it's only applicable to one character. Along with that I'm going to need to write a guide on how to change the program for your own character and I'll put an important NOTE right here: you will probably need basic knowledge of MEL script! If you don't know how to use MEL script, you might not be able to use this tool easily, as you'll need to go into the code itself and change values for your character. When I write the guide I'll try and make it easy to follow, but I can't guarantee that everyone will be able to use it or at least not the first version.

In the end I'll create an interface that is easy to use where you can enter your characters name etc and it will either change the code for you or generate code on the spot. However, that is a long way off yet and I need to do other things first. If anyone out there is interested in this and wants to participate, gimme a message on here, especially if you are an animator as I'm looking for people to create small animations for me. Animations such as weapon reloads and crounching! (I can't do keyframe animation very well at all XD).

That's it for now (and so it should be you're probably thinking). A little side note here for others working on similar projects, Maya 2010 has a tendency to crash when using the 360 server to connect to Maya and 2011 has a bug where you can't use devices/servers in playback mode. Everything works fine in Maya 2008 and Maya 2012 so far as I know though =D

'Til next entry!


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