Monday, 6 April 2020

How to Use Studio Library for Maya

Now that all our animation students at BNU are working remotely, it's more important than ever for our students to be aware of the many free plugins that are available to help them work from home in Autodesk Maya.

One of the weaknesses of Maya is the difficulty of copying and pasting your animation from one character rig to another, and Maya also lacks a user friendly interface for saving out and re-using your character poses.  To solve this problem, the free Studio Library tool offers Maya animators a Python script for managing poses and transferring animation in Maya.

Good character poses take time
About Studio Library
Like the free PAIE plugin, Studio Library is a free Maya plugin that allows you to save out your character poses, and also export your animation. You can find it and download it here

Save Out Your Poses
Creating a good character pose (especially one with good facial expressions) can be a lot of work, and takes time.  Being able to save a pose and then find it again in a hurry can save a great deal of work in future - allowing the animator to concentrate on other tasks.

Share Poses on Group Projects
On a group project, sharing poses can be a vital way of making sure that every animator is "on model" - giving the characters similar styles of body poses and expressions. Any animator on the project who is stuck on a pose or facial expression can visit the pose library and - voila! - instant pose.

Does it work?
According to our students, Studio Library "is a good deal more flexible than the PAIE plugin. It allows you to export and import keys, and also permits you to blend different poses, apply saved poses to. It is super easy to install and has a nice interface".

Production Use
Studio Library, or variations of it, is widely used by commercial animation studios. To see how MPC used a library-based approach to animating The Jungle Book, see this blog post.

How to Install Studio Library
1. Download and unzip the **

2. Use SHIFT+G in the finder and copy the *studiolibrary* folder to

2. Open the file manager and copy the *studiolibrary* folder to

2. Open the file explorer and copy the *studiolibrary* folder to

How do you run Studio Library?
Start Maya and run the following code in the **Python** script editor.

import studiolibrary

Any problems?
Please send an email with the error message and a detailed step by step process of how you got the error.

Where can you see a demonstration video?
Watch the demonstration video below to see how Studio Library works.

How to export and import a pose (see video below)

Maya 2019
Studio Library can be temperamental; if it doesn't work in the version of Maya you are using, try a different version. As ever, if you can't install a plugin first time, try closing and re-opening Maya, or re-booting your machine.

Parent Master
Studio Library does not work with constraint tools such as the ZV Parentmaster.

Other great Maya Plugins
Other free Maya plugins we recommend include the ParentMaster plugin, the TweenMachine, and also aTools. All are free to download and install.

For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days,  take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK.

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