Modeling Toolkit marking menu for Maya 2014


With the release of Maya 2014 the Modeling Toolkit (MTK) has been introduced to improve the modeling workflow, formerly known as the NEX plugin. The integration works pretty well even though it still feels like a plugin here and there. This is mostly due to the fact that the user can enable it if needed and even if it’s set to auto-enable it still gets switched on when entering component mode.
Still, it’s a great addition, brings many modeling improvements and it will probably be further integrated in future versions of Maya.

One thing that misses though is a faster access to the new toolset without having the MTK dock open all the time, especially if one is accustomed to heavy usage of Maya’s marking menus. The commands are available but currently buried inside Maya.

So I took the liberty and also changed some code around in the core-scripts to encapsulate the commands in existing marking menus. This way no extra hotkeys need to be setup and it will be right there whenever needed.

Here is what I came up with:

I noticed that CTRL+SHIFT+RMB usually shows the selection tools MM but it’s free otherwise. On the other hand, poly tools are available (depending on selection) via SHIFT+RMB. But since the user might want to also select regular Maya tools when in MTK it would not be wise to toggle this MM depending on if the MTK is active or not.
So I choose CTRL+SHIFT+RMB to call the custom MM. It only kicks in when in component mode, but it is selection independent.

The new marking menu contains all tools, includes an option to exit the current tool, as well as the possibility to toggle the MTK panel (for more modeling space). It also features the transform and selection constraints. With this it should be possible to do most of the MTK stuff without having the MTK panel open all the time. Of course there might be more one want to include but I figured that this should do it for now.



The archive contains three scripts: buildToolOptionsMM.mel, customModelingToolkitMM.mel, dR_buildRightMM.mel

Place the scripts in one of the user script directories that Maya will scan during startup. This way the original script stays in place (just for safety reasons) but the copy will still get evaluated after all scripts in the application folder.