MayaFPS v1.5.0 Documentation

Introduction

MayaFPS is a plugin for Autodesk® Maya® which implements first person camera controls. It allows controlling the perspective camera in Maya using traditional first person shooter controls (WASD for movement, mouse to look around). This is very useful and saves a lot of time for a lot of scene types, like game levels and architectural walkthroughs.


Voice work by Matthew Quinlan

MayaFPS Requirements

Loading MayaFPS

After extracting the MayaFPS zip file to a knonw location, MayaFPS can be loaded in Maya like any other Maya plugin. Open the Plugin Manager: Go to Windows > Settings/Preferences > Plugin Manager. From there, click on the browse button and locate the MayaFPS plugin file corresponding to your version of Maya. The plugin files are all located in the mll folder in the extracted archive.

Assuming no errors occur, MayaFPS will load and display the Welcome/start-up dialog.


Welcome Dialog Screenshot

Auto-loading

To make MayaFPS available for auto-loading when Maya starts, it needs to be in a Maya plug-in path. You can place the MayaFPS mll files in the default plug-ins folder (typically C:\Program Files\Autodesk\<MayaVersion>\bin\plug-ins). Alternatively, you can add any path on your system to Maya's plug-in paths and then place the MayaFPS mll files there. To add a path to Maya's plug-in paths, open the Maya environment file (typically "My Documents\Maya\<MayaVersion>\Maya.env") and add the following:

MAYA_PLUG_IN_PATH = C:\example plugins path\

Alternatively, set the environment variable in your PC: My Computer > Properties > Advanced > Environment Variables, and then add the folder to MAYA_PLUG_IN_PATH.

Updating MayaFPS

By default, MayaFPS checks for updates each time it is loaded in Maya. When an update is available, you will receive a popup notification inside Maya. Unless otherwise noted, updating MayaFPS is done by downloading the latest version from the website and replacing the old mll files with the new ones. You may be asked to input your license key to activate the updated MayaFPS.

Using MayaFPS

Once MayaFPS is loaded, you can use first person camera controls in perspective views in Maya. The following describes how to use MayaFPS.

MayaFPS Settings

You can bring up the settings dialog by pressing and holding down RMB (+ any required modifiers) and pressing F2, or by executing the mel command mayafps -settings.


Settings Dialog Screenshot

NOTE: Always remember to click the Apply button after making changes in the Settings window.

Following is a description of all the settings on the dialog.

Activation

These settings control which mouse button and which keyboard modifiers are used to engage first person controls.

Default: Activate On: Right-Mouse-Button. Keyboard modifiers: NONE

NOTE: If you use RMB as the activation button without any keyboard modifiers, then you can invoke Maya's Marking Menu by tapping LMB while RMB is pressed.

NOTE: Modifier keys need to be pressed only at the time the activation button is pressed. Once first person controls are engaged, you can release any modifier keys. This is important to keep in mind, since MayaFPS uses CTRL and SHIFT to adjust camera movement speed.

NOTE: It's not recommended to use the Windows Logo (WIN) key alone as a modifier, as MayaFPS will not try to suppress Windows' Start Menu.

Movement

These settings allow you to control how MayaFPS moves the camera in response to keyboard movement shortcuts (WASD+QE).

Movement Speed

This controls the speed at which the camera moves in the scene when the user presses any of the movement keys while first person controls are engaged. Note that movement speed can also be adjusted while first person controls are engaged by using the mouse wheel.

Walk/Run Factor

This value controls how much the camera's movement speed is affected when the user presses CTRL or SHIFT while first person controls are engaged. CTRL and SHIFT are used to temporarily increase or decrease movement speed, similar to walking and running in most first person shooter games.

When SHIFT is pressed: final movement speed = movement speed * factor
When CTRL is pressed: final movement speed = movement speed / factor

Tweak Factor

This value controls how much effect using the mouse wheel has on the movement speed. A lower value results in finer but slower changes to movement speed.

When scrolling away from you: new movement speed = movement speed * factor
When scrolling towards you: new movement speed = movement speed / factor

Horizontal/Vertical Speed Factor

These values affect the horizontal and vertical movement speeds of the camera, respectively.

When moving the camera horizontally: Final movement speed = movement speed * Horizontal Speed Factor
When moving the camera vertically: Final movement speed = movement speed * Vertical Speed Factor

CAPSLOCK Locks Movement Plane

If this is set to 'true', MayaFPS will restrict the camera's movement to the horizontal plane when CAPSLOCK is toggled on. This simulates the movement of a character walking on the ground plane while looking up or down.

Looking

These settings allow you to fine-tune the way MayaFPS rotates the camera in response to mouse movement.

Sensitivity

This value controls how much the camera rotates in response to mouse movement. This value corresponds to the "mouse sensitivity" or "looking sensitivity" setting typically found in first person shooter games.
Note: This value can be adjusted without using the Settings dialog by pressing '1' and '2' while first person controls are engaged.

Tweak Factor

This value controls how much effect using the '1' and '2' keys have on mouse sensitivity. A lower value results in finer but slower control over mouse sensitivity.

When pressing the '1' key: new sensitivity = sensitivity * factor
When pressing the '2' key: new sensitivity = sensitivity / factor

Smoothing

Default: 50, range is 0 to 100

MayaFPS smooths mouse input to avoid jerkiness while rotating the camera. This value controls the amount of smoothing to apply on mouse input. Higher values result in smoother but less responsive rotations, while lower values result in quicker but possibly jerky rotations. Setting this value to 0 effectively disables mouse smoothing.

moothing Interval

This value controls the time duration (in milliseconds) for mouse input samples used for smoothing rotations. When you move the mouse while first person controls are engaged, MayaFPS will average all mouse input samples that are not older than this value. A higher value will result in smoother but less responsive rotations, while lower values result in quicker but possibly jerky rotations. Setting this value to 0 effectively disables mouse smoothing.

Controls

You can customize the keys used by MayaFPS in this section.

NOTE: These keys are only used while first person controls are engaged.
NOTE: Please only use single-key shortcuts. MayaFPS does not support using multi-key shortcuts in this section.

Individual items in the Controls section will not be discussed as they are self-explanatory.

Camera's Tumble Pivot

Most users will use first person shooter controls alongside Maya's own camera navigation tools. Maya's tumble tool uses either the camera's tumble pivot or the camera's center of interest point to tumble about.

MayaFPS can update either of those after the user has finished navigating the camera using first person shooter controls. MayaFPS calculates the new point based on the Tumble Pivot Distance setting described below.

Modify Tumble Pivot

Specifies if MayaFPS should update the camera's tumble pivot after the user has finished navigating the camera using first person shooter controls. MayaFPS uses the Tumble Pivot Distance to update the camera's tumble pivot if this option is selected.

Modify Center of Interest

Specifies if MayaFPS should update the camera's center of interest after the user has finished navigating the camera using first person shooter controls. MayaFPS uses the Tumble Pivot Distance to update the camera's center of interest if this option is selected.

Tumble Pivot Distance

Specifies the new tumble distance from the camera that should be used after the user has finished navigating the scene using first person shooter controls. This value is used only if either "Modify Tumble Pivot" or "Modify Center of Interest" is checked.

Usage considerations

Contact & Support

If you have any problems using MayaFPS, or any questions not answered in this document, please visit us at code-section.com. You can find updated information there. You can also post your questions or thoughts and join discussions about MayaFPS, or send us an e-mail at cm@code-section.com.

Appendix

Adding Shelf Buttons

MayaFPS adds a mel command that you can use to enable/disable MayaFPS or access the settings window. You can add a button to a shelf in Maya for easy access to these features. To add a button to enable/disable MayaFPS, do the following: