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Chrono1081

Anyone here know anything about programming tools for visual effects artists?

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Hi guys,

For about the past 6 months I've been seeing jobs in the visual effects industry for programmers to create tools for 3D artists. I think I would really like this type of job but I can't find any books or anything regarding how to go about this type of thing.

I've already looked at the job descriptions and all have requirements for C++, OpenGL, Maya API (I'm assuming using MEL script?) and OpenCL so obviously these are things to study but I was wondering if anyone had any links, or books, or anything that would give me more in depth knowledge about this process.

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In a game studio, these guys might be called "technical artists" -- you might be able to find some more learning resources under that umbrella.
http://www.gamasutra..._technical_.php
http://www.skillset....icle_5287_1.asp


Regarding Maya, the API is natively C++, but has also always been available through MEL. There was also a Python wrapper for MEL, which recently has been superseded by true Python support via "PyMel". Assuming you're not using C++ directly, then Python seems to be becoming much more popular than MEL these days.
For making GUIs for your tools, familiarity with something like QT would be useful too (Maya2011's GUI library is QT - but your employer might be on an older version still).

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In a game studio, these guys might be called "technical artists" -- you might be able to find some more learning resources under that umbrella.
http://www.gamasutra..._technical_.php
http://www.skillset....icle_5287_1.asp


Regarding Maya, the API is natively C++, but has also always been available through MEL. There was also a Python wrapper for MEL, which recently has been superseded by true Python support via "PyMel". Assuming you're not using C++ directly, then Python seems to be becoming much more popular than MEL these days.
For making GUIs for your tools, familiarity with something like QT would be useful too (Maya2011's GUI library is QT - but your employer might be on an older version still).


Thanks so much! I'll be checking these out. I'm obviously a few years away of being able to apply for these types of jobs but I can't wait to start learning.

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