Friday, August 21, 2015

Ngaio, Our New Home

We are finally settling into our new home! We rented in Ngaio, out in the 'burbs, somewhere that we could house our dog:-)

Our place is nice, it has an amazing view over a beautiful housed valley, with a backdrop of some amazing mountains, in which are some amazing trails to run on!

It really is so beautiful here. Within a 10 minute run we can be on the most amazing trails I've ever run on, with beautiful streams and forests to entertain while running or walking the dog.

We have some great neighbours and it is relatively easy for us to get to work. I drive sometimes, and other times I ride, when weather permits. It is a tiny commute for Kate to work at the moment which is nice. We have also ended up halfway between Welly City Centre and Lower Hutt. This is great as Lower Hutt has nice markets and food shops, whereas if you lived in the city you are stuck with supermarkets and higher food prices.

Work is amazing. It is so inspiring to be working somewhere challenging and with such amazing people. I am learning so much and can't believe it's already been 3 weeks of work. The next year is going to pass quickly!

Anyways, that's enough, but I'll finish with some pics from some recent walks around Ngaio. Enjoy!

Kandallah Park

Kandallah Park

Escape Artist

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Never thought I'd get one...
Iron Man Tat

Random daily dribble....

So it is WET today. I had to drop Clooney to doggie day care and got so soaked doing so. When I dropped Clooney off there were two beautiful dalmations that he seemed to get along with really well! I hope he has a good day. He must like it cos he just zonks out afterwards.

I was up at 6 today so thought I'd do a bit of a run. It is coming along well. There is still some pain, but there is now pretty much no lingering pain within a few hours of the run. Each session it seems that I'm able to run a bit further. Today I sustained maybe 20mins with a few little walks. So I'm feeling good.

Day 4 at Weta today. Man it's fun working somewhere like Weta. It is just inspiring to work with such a talented team. There is a boat load to learn, I feel a bit like a sponge at the moment, soaking up all this new knowledge. Needless to say my brain is feeling fried each day :-)

The public transport here is pretty good, and as I catch the bus either side of rush hour it's pretty quick.

Other news-we bought a car! It has only done 65000km and looks in freaking schmick condition. It is a Mitsi Colt, 2005. Dual airbags, tiny 1.5lt engine. She runs on the smell of an oily rag, as my dad would say.

And I think the final news i I finally manned up and got my Iron Man tattoo. I'm super stoked with it. It looks exactly like I wanted :-) getting it is a reminder of the amazing time that kate and i had leading up to and doing Melbourne Iron Man and it isnspires me to keep up the exercise :-)

Till next time :-)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Commute Time....Blog Time

Well I have finally started at Weta. I'm on the bus for day 2. The plan was to ride, however 140kmph wind gusts made me think the ride may be a bit unsafe :-/

This presents a good opportunity to post some updates. We've been busy for the last two weeks. It's been fun and stressful, but once again, Kate and I have proven our ability to team up and work together in stressful situations.

We found a house in the suburb Ngaio. A little away from Weta, but it splits the difference between our works and has a rad yard for Clooney. We bought a nice little fuel efficient car :-)

Food here is amazing and we've been having brunch out with friends often. There are so many cafes and it seems that all coffee is great. There is good vegetarian cusine which is awesome.

The bike riding here is a lot of fun. I've been on some of the most beautiful rides I've ever done and they are all so accessible from Wellington. Our new house will have amazing rides and trail runs straight out of the front door.

I have started running a bit, and slowly but surely it's getting better. Hopefully a month away from some longer runs, maybe even in Adelaide for my sisters wedding.

Commute over...tbc

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Custom MPxCommand

Wow this API stuff is really cool. As I'm picking it up it is like learning a language. I'm getting more fluent and understanding the power of it more and more. So I have written a few dependencyNodes now, so I thought I'd make a custom MPxCommand.

I built a command that searches the dependencyGraph for a given node type. You specify the node type to search for and the direction to search in. YOu then call it just as though it is another maya command. So rad as this can now be built into my code as if it were just part of maya.

So my command is: findConnectedNodeType. You call it like:

node = cmds.findConnectedNodeType('blendColors','up')

The return value is either False or the found node name. The command looks through the upstream dependencyGraph until the first instance of that node is found. It then stops the iteration and returns the node name.

Cool stuff I learnt.

To return from a MPxCommand you must use the public function of MPxCommand setResult.

self.setResult(return value goes here)

This comes at the end of the doIt() function.

Enumerators are also making a bit more sense now that I am using them more. For example I had to use MItDependencyGraph. You can specify the direction to search, up or down stream. The help docs show this for the direction.

MItDependencyGraph     (     MObject &      rootNode,
        MPlug &      rootPlug,
        MIteratorType &      infoObject,
        Direction      direction = kDownstream,
        Traversal      traversal = kDepthFirst,
        Level      level = kNodeLevel,
        MStatus *      ReturnStatus = NULL

and this:

enum Direction
Direction within the DG relative to root Node or Plug.
kDownstream  From source to destination.
kUpstream  From destination to source.
A bit cryptic at first if you arent familiar with how to read this. So To insert this correctly into the MItDependencyGraph class call you need to do this.


So because this enumerator is a child of the class MItDependencyGraph , it must be specified in context of this class hierarchy. (OpenMaya.MItDependencyGraph). You can then set any number of the enum options that the help displays, in this case kDownstream or kUpstream and the class call will know to look for that enum if you set it (you don't have to specify anything and maya will use the default)

Ok. Hope that is a bit clearer than mud. Till next time.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Thats what lifes about....

I just met a guy, he's a barrista at a cafe at the start of willis st. He rode 5000km accross Canada. I asked if he was a cyclist? His answer was 'no, it was a drunken idea and i went through with it'. He rode Montreal to Vancouver. What an amazing trip that would have been.
If that's not living life, i dont know what is.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Stretch Node Maya API Plugin Comparisons

As mentioned in a previous post I had some woes querying the matrix data in my plugin. I did some simplified tests and have no implemented these tests into the node. The video below demonstrates a comparison between the matrix plug node and the transform plug node.

Stretch Node Python API Plugin demo from Tim Forbes on Vimeo.

Test stretch node plugin using matrix connections rather than channel connections. This video compares two test plugins briefly. One plugin using Matrix connections, the other using Transform channel connections. This is a test purely to look at different types of data handling and how I can use Mayas API to simplify node graphs for common rigging techniques.