If you’re doing tools work in Maya and you aren’t using Python, PyQt, and an IDE for debugging… well… quite frankly you’re doing it wrong. šŸ™‚ There are a few guides out there that have helped me and others get this workflow going, such as this one from Nathan Horne and this one from Christian Akesson. You should definitely read both of those posts, because almost everything I learned about this topic came from these two guys.

The purpose of this post is to shortcut the process to get this up and running as fast as possible using Maya 2012 x64, without delving into the details. Basically a very succinct “how” without the “why”, thatĀ I have had laying around in my notes for awhile. I use it as a checklist to setup my development environment on new machines. Here goes:

      1. Download and install Eclipse 3.7.1 Classic SDK (Indigo) for x64.
      2. Use Eclipse’s Software Update window (under Help) to install PyDev
      3. Add pymel autocompletion by first following these instructions to set up a Maya Python interpreter from the pymel guide.
        • IMPORTANT! Make sure to add these folders to the PYTHONPATH for your Maya interpreter:
          • your_path_to_maya\bin\python26.zip
          • your_path_to_maya\devkit\other\pymel\extras\completion\py
            Maya interpreter PYTHONPATH
        • Setup your Predfined tab in your interpreter to point to the included Maya 2012 pypredef path:
          • your_path_to_maya\devkit\other\pymel\extras\completion\pypredef
        • DownloadĀ and extract the additional Maya commands pypredef elsewhere on your system.
          • VERY IMPORTANT!Ā Prepend “maya.” to all files in the documentation pypredef for Maya 2012. This is the only way it worked for me without double entries.
          • VERY IMPORTANT!Ā The Predefines are loaded in alphabetical order. Make sure the directory for the downloaded pypredefs is listed AFTER the Maya pymel path, as below:
      4. Close and restart Eclipse.
      5. For MEL syntax highlighting:
      6. Install the Eclipse Maya Plugin to support sending the contents of the current window or selected to Maya’s script editor.
      7. (Optional) Install Eclipse Perforce integration

After this everything with Eclipse and Maya should be working! Next, you should set up PyQt so you can make the creation of complex GUIs a breeze. There are several ways to do this and Nathan’s post covers most of them. My preferred method is a bit different and I’ll cover it another day. Good luck and let me know how everything works out for you!