I don’t know why I haven’t done this sooner, this only took me 5 minutes and will save me hours over its lifetime. By default if you drag n’ drop an image file into Maya it will open it with fcheck image viewer. Which I can’t think of a convenient use for. This tiny little script will allow you to drag and drop an image file (currently just tif jpg and png, but you can add more following the format) and it will create a free image plane with the image. This works with multiple files too.

Previously you have to create an image plane, hit ctrl+a for the attribute editor, oops image plane wasn’t selected, find it in the scene or outliner, select it, go back to the attribute edtior, click the folder icon, navigate from some obscure folder back to your project folder and double-click on the image file.

This script re-defines one of the default procedures in the performFileDropAction.mel located in the Maya program file scripts. You won’t want to edit that file, but you can just copy paste this into the script editor as a mel script, then drag it to your shelf for quick access. The other option is to put this in a .mel file in your user/Maya/Script folder, then source it in your userSetup.mel file. That will run it every Maya launches. If you need further instructions on this feel free to comment and I’ll elaborate more on installing scripts.

// > Copy below <

global proc int 
performFileDropAction (string $theFile)
    if ( ( `gmatch $theFile "*.jpg" ` ) || 
    ( `gmatch $theFile "*.tif"` ) || 
    ( `gmatch $theFile "*.png"` ) )
        // create an image plane with $theFile
        string $theImagePlane[] = `imagePlane -maintainRatio 1 -lookThrough persp`;
        setAttr -type "string" ( $theImagePlane[0]+".imageName" ) $theFile;
        return 1;
          return( performFileImportAction( $theFile ) );
// > Copy Above <

I modeled these for back in August of 2014 for the The Build Shop. I was very excited to see it as the sword for Power Rangers bootleg by Adi Shankar.


3D Model: Mummy Hand

July 23rd, 2014

Modeled in Maya then Mudbox then 3D printed on my Ultimaker. Click image for HiRez interactive 360.

This Mummy Hand was a model I did to get a freelance contract to do more work for guitargrip.com.   I modeled the lowpoly in Maya and did the high resolution details in Mudbox.  The wraps are separate geometry from the hand itself.  At first I didn’t bother booleaning and combining the geometry because Cura has a great option to ignore internal wall structures.  So this allowed me to less work in between half size test prints.  This option combine everything (Type-A) under the expert settings.

I printed this on my Ultimaker Original at 50micron layer height.  The main goal was maximum quality so this took almost 40hrs to print.  At the time I did not have the heated bed upgrade and printed on blue painters tape which worked fine with PLA.  And this was only a 5% infill to save as much time as possible.  I did not use any support even though there was some significant over hang with the wraps.  This turned out to have an interesting and positive effect for this design with the mummy wraps.  The wraps came out stringy on the underside which gave it an unraveled look.

I used Ultimachine White PLA at 210c with retraction to minimize strings.  It still had plenty of stringing between the fingers but wasn’t very hard to clean up.  I also needed to make sure I had cooling set to at least 15-20 seconds during the last part of the finger nails so it didn’t goop up and I also had dual fans on the printer at that time.  This has always been something I struggle with.

This is also the first version of the Mummy hand as I later redesigned the wraps to be less repetitive between the fingers.  I also updated the proportions and fingers.  The first one was more distorted and creepy I think but not very practical.  I can publish these models if anyone is interested.

Click image for interactive 360

Mummy Hand Print

Mouse over for wire frame. Click Image to go to TurboSquid and buy. More info below images.

Velocity Cycling Jersey

Velocity Jersey Zipper

Velocity Jersey UV Layout

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This Celtic style Treasure Chest was kind of fun model to create even though it was tricky because of its small-scale.  This is intended to be used in a board game so it’s about 3/4″ inches wide.  It can easily painted or scaled up for any type of miniature use.

3D Printable Celtic Treasure Chest


It’s available now for download or you can request a print on these various marketplaces.

Download 3D Printable file

Request a print

This is a broken pillar 3d printable model for use as a miniature or with board games.

Pillar Broken Bottom


It’s available now for download or you can request a print on these various marketplaces.

Download 3D Printable file

Request a print

This is a variation to the princess bracelet.  It has 5 slots to add your own gems to.  If anyone is familiar with the game Diablo you will know what’s possible by adding gems to your equipment!

Princess Bracelet Slotted



It’s available now for download or you can request a print on these various marketplaces.

Download 3D Printable file

Request a print

If you love em you can scroll down to find out where to buy, download or request a print.

Princess bracelet


Greek style Pillar for board games or miniatures.


Here is the breakdown with links to my shops. Some sites offer flexibility and some have a large user base.

I listed these from top to bottom from my most preferred to my least.

I like Maker6.com since it lets you sell the digital model or print the model as a service for customers. They don’t have too much for models yet.

Ponoko is almost the same as Maker6 but offers more services like laser cutting. Their interface was less intuitive at first.

TurboSquid has been around for over a decade and offers tons of models most of which are geared towards media and games but non the less they are a 3D Model Marketplace.

Youmagine is partnered with Ultimaker which they believe in sharing and innovation. Which is why I’ll be adding plenty of models here in the future even if I don’t get paid for them.

Sculpteo and Shapeways are quick and simple for publishing but don’t offer users the ability to download the file and print on their own. But offer some nice printing options, like metal printing, for a hefty price ofcourse. You can always buy a model for a few bucks then send it to them.  Sculpteo might be a little better for choosing pricing as a publisher.

3Dagogo.com is fairly new and they don’t many models yet. They offer multiple pricing for multiple license agreements (Personal, Buisness, Commercial). I don’t believe in licenses, like ghosts, and DRM so not my first choice. oh and won’t let me charge less than $1.99 arggg! >:-|

3DHubs.com does not have a market place for selling 3D Printable models yet but they do connect you to local people who offer their printer.

Unity Asset Store is a huge place for finding models that are game engine ready. I haven’t published anything there yet which is why it’s so far down on the list but I have heard great things about it.

Thingiverse I put on the bottom of this list since it is owned by Makerbot and they sold out and are not open source anymore. They do have tons of free 3D Print ready models though and some are decent.

Let me know what you think about these sites or models in the comments below

This is a python script that I developed in preparation for my initial phone interview with Google.

It is an interactive Doodle “Google” style inside of Maya for this St. Patty’s day and a good example of my scripting capabilities in Maya.

There are a couple of bugs/limitations I haven’t sorted yet. One of which is when selecting multiple objects only one of the objects will fade to Green not all of them.
Another thing is you can only run one word at a time  with no spaces.  To try a different word start a new scene. Instructions are in comments at the bottom of the script.

The script as a whole is not practical for most projects but the individual steps used can be applied to many situations.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s St. Patty’s day, not Easter? I don’t see any eggs?

Download warp.py zip


Code Below Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve always wanted to publish more models on Turbosquid, but I’ve always run into a wall when it comes to prepping the files for publishing. There are many requirements and it just seemed to prove tedious to export the model in 3 formats, take screenshots, provide a high and a low poly for all the formats as well, so that means exporting 6 files. Now if I laid out the UV’s and textured it I need to provide that image as well. Also, I need to create a 360 image sequence which they encourage. Of course I need a wire frame image of this too. 4hrs later I finally go to publish it and of course something wrong with the model. So I need to re do all of this. Needless to say it takes me a day to publish something. Yeah I’m slow, well not any more.

I’ve since automated nearly 80% of this. The script does pretty much everything described above.


Features currently available.

  • Builds a camera to rotate around the model in 24 frames. (frames can be adjusted)
  • Exports 4 formats(fbx, ma, obj, stl), in low and high poly versions.
  • Renders that sequence shaded with wire frame.
  • Then Does the same Textured with no wire frame.
  • Then again smoothed with no wire frame.
  • Then renames the images with 3 digit padding
  • Bundles all of this in a subfolder right next to the file location called /bg360 with renders in subfolder called /images.
  • Uses the current selection in the outliner as the name of the file. (forces proper object naming)

Recently Updated

  • Render with smooth preview instead of actually smoothing the object
  • by adding “_rigid” to the object name will prevent it from getting smoothed or smooth preview
  • Slider for image size, background color and smooth level
  • Turn on resolution gate for quick composition
  • Archive previous 360 image sequence and exported files

Features I’d like to add

  • Exports the UV’s for the Low Poly.
  • Bundles files with any Textures used.
  • Add frame numbers in sequence with version number for reviewing with clients


This took about 2 days to script in python from scratch. This script now switches your current view to the 360 camera created and locks left right panning so you can pick a vertical angle and zoom in accordingly. You have to set up the render settings before hand, as well. By default it uses hardware 2.0 for fast good looking images.  Although you can set up whatever kind of rendering you want (Mental Ray, VRay, etc) and it’ll render with that.  Needless to say, I’m gunna get those 2 days back pretty quick when publishing models. So look out for new models being published here on bg3d.com

I’m not releasing this script at this point in time. I’d like to optimize the code and also get it so the rendering happens in the background without locking up Maya. I believe I can achieve this by launching a second session of Maya that is calling a script with parameters.  This could also leverage a way to render on other workstations, without render dispatch software.  I would also like to also keep this flexible so that it could be used in a render farm situation.

So much is possible with this kind of scripting.  You can view an example of images output here.