Matthew Stanton

A Jewelry tool for Maya using the Houdini Engine


An artist friendly tool which allows for easy creation of jewellery. The main aim of this project was to take a procedural object in Houdini and allow a 3D artists ability to use it in Maya. This tool makes use of two important things MPX command and MPX node. The MPX command is used to create a command which runs the whole tool which is automatically linked to a button when the plugin is loaded into Maya. The MPX Node is used to create a node for each piece of jewellery in the scene to save the parameters for that piece of jewellery to. The main function of the tool is giving the user the ability to create a piece of jewellery, using parameters, this is all wrapped up into a UI containing a main window, a jewellery type window and a controls tab. At first you are presented with the main window, this will allow you to either create a new piece of jewellery or open the controls of another piece of jewellery already in the scene using a list view in the main window. Next, when creating a new piece of jewellery, is the jewellery type selector this window allows you to select the type of jewellery you want to create, currently the only option in the tool being a jhumka which is a bell-shaped Indian earring. Finally, the controls which are conveniently put into a dockable window which when created is nested next to the attribute editor, this was a big part of the project as learning how to dock the controls to the main window using the Maya API taught me a lot about the internals of Maya and using code like the workspaceControl function in the correct way to link to the main Maya window. When it comes to the procedural jhumka itself, as said before, it uses Houdini. The procedural jewellery was created in Houdini as a Houdini digital asset (HDA), then utilizing the Houdini engine plugin for Maya the procedural jhumka could be brought into Maya. Overall, this tool allows for easier and faster jewellery creation in Maya through the use of an easy to use UI which makes the simple to use for the intended user of an artist.

Thesis A Jewelry tool for Maya using the Houdini Engine

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