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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Notes in building UI in Maya

Hello,

I thought these couple notes on making ui's would be helpful.

Separating tab code into different functions so just removing a single line will remove the tab from ui.

Testing ui buttons with a simple print, this way can test ui even if backend tool needs changing.


The key things for tabs is, a tabLayout line, and a setParent line after tabs. Most of the code below is just formating the window. Using form gave me lots of control over where I wanted to put things in the ui.

Here's how the ui looked.







Here was the make gui function:

global proc makeGui()
{
//setup up title for gui
string $titleWindow = "Skinning Tool (c) Anozie 2012";

string $mainWindowName = "ToolMainWindow";

//delete window pref for this window if it exists
if(`windowPref -exists $mainWindowName`){ windowPref -remove $mainWindowName;}

if( `window -exists $mainWindowName` )
{
deleteUI $mainWindowName;
}
window -t $titleWindow -width 400 -height 260 -sizeable false $mainWindowName;


//optional add tabs here
string $tabs = `tabLayout`; //needed before can add tabs
tabGetWeight_ui($mainWindowName);
tabGetWorldPosition_ui($mainWindowName);
tabGetVtx_ui($mainWindowName);
tabPutWeight_ui($mainWindowName);

showWindow $mainWindowName;
}



and here is an example of a tab, all the others have similar look.

The names for things in tab need to be different for different tabs.
This was a little confusing for me, so here is what i mean by above.

This here works:
if one tab had

textFieldGrp -l $name objectName;

and another tab had

textFieldGrp -l $name hithere;


but this wouldn't work
if one tab had

textFieldGrp -l $name objectName;

and another tab had

textFieldGrp -l $name objectName;





/////given a window add this tab
/*
needs arguments
string name of window
*/
global proc tabGetWeight_ui(string $winName)
{

if( `window -exists $winName` )
{

//what are the labels
string $titleTab = "get weight";
string $titleButton = "find weights";
string $t_getWeightVtx_TextField = "vertices";
string $t_getWeightJnt_TextField = "joints";



//set up format for gui
string $form = `formLayout -numberOfDivisions 320 $titleTab`;

textFieldGrp -l $t_getWeightVtx_TextField getWeightVtx_TextField;
textFieldGrp -l $t_getWeightJnt_TextField getWeightJnt_TextField;
button -label $titleButton -command "getWeights()" getButton;

//how should things be positioned
formLayout -edit
-attachForm getWeightVtx_TextField "top" 30
-attachForm getWeightJnt_TextField "top" 70
-attachForm getButton "top" 190
-attachForm getButton "left" 10
$form;


setParent $winName;//add tab to arg window
}


}



finally, here's the button command for the only button in the tab above

/////ui button command
/*
needs no arguments
*/
global proc getWeights()
{
print("getting weights");
}




I would also recommend taking a look at Walter Behrne's (polyextrude dot com) his online tutorials were fantastic, and I learned about tabs from reading them.


Thanks,
Nathaniel