First off, we need to have an appropriate environment. In order for us to be set up for success, we need to well… set ourselves up for success. I spent years using the “wrong” IDE. I fought with it, I yelled at it, i even re installed it a few times thinking it would fix my problems. For the longest time i was convinced that the problem was me, not the software. While there are many right answers to the question of the “Best IDE for Python” questions, there are definitely some wrong ones. So don’t be like me, pick a better one.
Here is the list of software we need. Some of it costs money… well it all costs money, but some of it can be used in trial, education, or limited versions. I will attempt to have an accessible environment during this project, so we can all speak the same language.
- Maya. Well sure, this is a given, but I had to put it in here. The software is not exactly cheap, but there are some things you can do. If you are a student enrolled in a school, you probably have access to an education version (that one will do nicely). You can also try out the software for 30 days (we probably wont be finished by then, but 30 days should be enough to figure out if you want to continue).
- Python 2.7. Unfortunately, Autodesk has not moved on from Python 2.x to 3.x. This means that we need to do our work in an older version of Python. Since Autodesk is pretty much a monopoly when it comes to rigging, then we must make do. Make sure you download 2.7.x, and not 3.x.
- PyCharm. This is my go-to IDE for Python. It integrates nicely with Maya and with Github.
- Sublime Text. Why have 2 IDEs? Well, there are some nice things about having a light weight text editor that is fully featured. I use it quite a bit. If you are on a tight budget, you can skip this one.
- Github account. I will share all the code written for this project in Github, so it will be helpful to have an account so you can follow along. To setup Git, follow these instructions: Set Up Git.
OK, now go install all the software and come back, I’ll wait.