If you’re working with different people, it’s always important to make sure that everyone follows the same guidelines. There has been many a time where I’ve worked with interns or other people who use wildly different settings than I do in Maya. By the time a model was ready for export, it sometimes wasn’t usable at all in Unity. And it wasn’t because that person did something wrong. It just happened because settings between artists weren’t the same. And that caused a lot of headaches further down the line.
My buddy Toby approached me this morning with an interesting question: is there a way to list all utility nodes currently in the scene through code? I assumed he already Googled it himself, but I nevertheless did the same thing. As it turns out, either no one has really asked the question or nobody came up with a very good answer. In a thread from 8 years ago on CGTalk someone suggests making a helper function, check every node in the scene against this helper function and return the type of node. It requires you to hardcode every type of utility node and doesn’t allow for much flexibility. This was probably around the time that Maya 7.0 was the latest version and I really don’t remember much from those days, so maybe this was the most efficient solution back in the day.
This is something I built in December 2014 as a proof of concept for something we were talking about at the studio. We’ve seen these amazing videos of people racing their drones and it seemed like a great idea to actually make a game out of it. Especially because nothing like this exists at the moment. Nobody really got into gear to start exploring this further, so I thought “fuck it, I’ll do it myself”. Because Unity is still the number one engine of choice at the studio, I built a working prototype in Unity 4.6. I think it took about a week or 2 to go from drawing board to what you see here and it was a blast to make it. Other than the drone and the terrain and textures, all assets were purchased on the Unity asset store.
One thing that has always bothered me in Maya was that some windows were dockable, but some weren’t. Especially the outliner not being dockable by default has always irritated the crap out of me. That’s why I made this very small, simple script that allows you to take any open window and dock it on the left, right, top or bottom. That way you can merrily work away in 4 views while still having another window docked on the side. Grab it here.