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Monday, July 22, 2024

Animal Logic Opens Up with OMX and ALab

As part of its ongoing commitment to the open-source community, Animal Logic has announced the open-source release of OMX, a user-friendly and performant extension to Autodesk Maya Python API.

OMX is a thin Python wrapper around the Maya Python API 2.0, which aims to make the power and performance of the API more accessible to Artists, Technical Directors, and Developers. OMX makes it easy to work with Maya nodes and attributes, giving direct access to API objects for more advanced use cases while making writing undoable code a breeze.

“OMX has been a fantastic library to work with and I know it will be useful to the rest of our industry,” said Chiara Licandro, Rigging Technical Lead, Animal Logic. “OMX provides a more user-friendly introduction to OpenMaya, especially for anyone who hasn’t had much experience with the API.”

“We wrote OMX to encourage our rigging TDs to use the Maya API in their Python scripts and avoid the heavy performance cost incurred by existing alternatives,” explains Valerie Bernard, Animation and Rigging R&D Engineering Manager, Animal Logic. “It quickly became popular among all our Maya developers, including API experts from R&D and Production Technology. We’re very excited to be able to share it with the whole Maya community.”

Animal Logic has also announced the release of an update to its open-source project, ALab, with fixes and enhancements that will improve the wider community’s overall experience when using the dataset.

ALab, the first open-sourced complete USD production scene, has over 300 production-quality assets, two animated characters, and baked procedural fur and fabric. Since its release in 2021, ALab has provided the wider community with the tools to foster further exploration and adoption of the open-source USD ecosystem, with over 2600 downloads in 2023 by vendors and studios.

“Animal Logic continues to update and release ALab in its commitment to promote the use of USD by our industry,” said Darin Grant, Chief Technology Officer, Animal Logic. “It’s been rewarding to see our work used by so many to educate and showcase USD compatibility in products.”

The idea behind the ongoing open-source project, says Animal Logic, was to grow and develop the dataset with regular updates to the suite of assets. This release includes improved, interactive viewing components, fixes for several bugs reported by the growing ALab community, and the addition of the shot cameras used to produce the previously open-sourced ALab trailer.

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