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MFnCharacter Class Reference

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Detailed Description

Function Set for Characters.

Maya offers "character" nodes to simplify the setting of keyframes on collections of attributes. The implementation of the "character" is a sub-class of MFnSet taking advantage of the fact that attributes can be represented as MObjects and can be made members of a set. The fact that sets also derive from MObject means that characters may have other character sets as members thus establishing a hierarchy. Only attributes and characters can be members of a character set. The character node will disallow the addition of other objects to its set.

Character sets are also part of a partition, meaning that membership of character sets cannot overlap with other character sets. Thus, when an attribute already in a character is added to another character it must be removed from the original character.

Characters are integral to Maya's nonlinear animation system, "Trax". Trax allows the user to create "animation clips", which bundle a set of animation curves so that they can be reused multiple times, with different timing then the original clip. When a clip is created, Maya finds the the animation curves that are attached to the attributes in the character set and moves those animation curves into the newly created clip. The MFnClip function set is the Maya function set for clips.

Clips in maya can be of two types: source clips and scheduled clips. In the Maya UI, source clips are visible in the Visor while scheduled clips are visible in Trax. A source clip contains the animation curves for the clip. An scheduled clip contains data about the placement of an instance of a source clip in the Maya timeline. In this context, an "instance" means that the animation curves from the source clip are shared by the scheduled clip. Scheduled clips never contain their own animation curves, they always refer to a source clip's curves.

For example, if you create a clip called "run" in maya that lasts from frames 1-20, a source clip node will be created with a start of 1, a duration of 19, and dependency graph connections to all of the animation curves that make up the "run". If you then place an instance of the run clip at frame 5 and another instance of the run clip at frame 20, you have 2 scheduled clips: one with a start frame of 5 and one with a start frame of 20. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, only a single set of animation curves exist for the run regardless of the number of times the run is scheduled.

Trax also allows you to create "blends" between clips, which enable you to control the transition between the clips. A blend is represented in the dependency graph by an "animBlendInOut" node, which uses an animation curve to determine the transition type.

In the dependency graph, when a character has animation clips, the character node will always be connected to a "clipLibrary" node and a "clipScheduler" node. The clipLibrary node is connected to all of the source clips and their animation curves. The clipScheduler node is connected to the scheduled clips and blends. It is the clipScheduler that computes the final animation by looking at the placement and overlap of the clips and feeding the attribute data back into the character set.

Examples:

createClipCmd.cpp.

#include <MFnCharacter.h>

Inheritance diagram for MFnCharacter:
Inheritance graph
[legend]

List of all members.

Public Member Functions

virtual MFn::Type type () const
 Function set type.
virtual ~MFnCharacter ()
 Destructor.
 MFnCharacter ()
 Default constructor.
 MFnCharacter (MObject &object, MStatus *ReturnStatus=NULL)
 Constructor.
MStatus attachSourceToCharacter (MObject &sourceClip, MDGModifier &dgMod)
 Attaches a given source clip node (created using MFnClip::createSourceClip) to the character's clipLibrary.
MStatus attachInstanceToCharacter (MObject &instanceClip, MDGModifier &dgMod)
 Attaches an instance of a clip to the character.
MStatus addCurveToClip (MObject &curve, MObject &sourceClip, MPlug &characterPlug, MDGModifier &dgMod)
 Adds an animation curve to a clip.
MObject createBlend (MObject &instancedClip1, MObject &instancedClip2, MObject &blendAnimCurve, MDGModifier &dgMod, MStatus *ReturnStatus=NULL)
 Creates a blend between two instanced clips on the character.
bool blendExists (MObject &instancedClip1, MObject &instancedClip2, MObject &blendResult)
 Return true if a blend exists between the two instanced clips on the character.
bool removeBlend (MObject &instancedClip1, MObject &instancedClip2, MDGModifier &dgMod, MStatus *ReturnStatus=NULL)
 Remove the blend between the two instanced clips on the character.
bool getCharacterThatOwnsPlug (MPlug &plug, MObject &result) const
 Given a plug, test the plug to see if it is owned by a character.
MStatus getMemberPlugs (MPlugArray &result) const
 Get the members of the character set that are attributes.
MStatus getSubCharacters (MSelectionList &result) const
 Get a list of the subcharacters that are members of the character set.
MObject getClipScheduler (MStatus *ReturnStatus=NULL)
 Get the clipScheduler node that manages the playback of clips on this character.
int getScheduledClipCount (MStatus *ReturnStatus=NULL)
 Return the number of clips that have been scheduled on this character.
MObject getScheduledClip (int index, MStatus *ReturnStatus=NULL)
 Return the scheduled animClip node corresponding to the specified index.
int getSourceClipCount (MStatus *ReturnStatus=NULL)
 Return the number of source clips managed by the clipLibrary node of this character.
MObject getSourceClip (int index, MStatus *ReturnStatus=NULL)
 Return the animClip node corresponding to the specified index.
int getBlendCount (MStatus *ReturnStatus=NULL)
 Return the number of blends that have been added to clips on this character.
MObject getBlend (int index, MStatus *ReturnStatus=NULL)
 Return the animBlendInOut node corresponding to the specified index.
MStatus getBlendClips (int index, MObject &clip1, MObject &clip2)
 Returns the clip nodes that are blended by the blend node corresponding to the specified index.
 MFnCharacter (const MObject &object, MStatus *ReturnStatus=NULL)
 Constructor.

Protected Member Functions

virtual const char * className () const
 Class name.

Constructor & Destructor Documentation

MFnCharacter ( MObject object,
MStatus ReturnStatus = NULL 
)

Constructor.

Class constructor that initializes the function set to the given MObject.

Parameters:
[in]objectThe MObject to attach the function set to
[out]ReturnStatusthe return status
Status Codes:
MFnCharacter ( const MObject object,
MStatus ReturnStatus = NULL 
)

Constructor.

Class constructor that initializes the function set to the given MObject.

Parameters:
[in]objectThe MObject to attach the function set to
[out]ReturnStatusthe return status
Status Codes:

Member Function Documentation

MFn::Type type ( ) const [virtual]

Function set type.

Return the class type : MFn::kCharacter.

Reimplemented from MFnSet.

const char * className ( ) const [protected, virtual]

Class name.

Return the class name : "MFnCharacter".

Reimplemented from MFnSet.

MStatus attachSourceToCharacter ( MObject sourceClip,
MDGModifier dgMod 
)

Attaches a given source clip node (created using MFnClip::createSourceClip) to the character's clipLibrary.

Attaches a clipLibrary and clipScheduler to the character if they are not attached already.

Parameters:
[in]sourceClipsource clip to be attached
[in]dgModcommand modifier used for undo and redo
Returns:
The return status
Status Codes:
Examples:
createClipCmd.cpp.
MStatus attachInstanceToCharacter ( MObject instanceClip,
MDGModifier dgMod 
)

Attaches an instance of a clip to the character.

If the source clip related to the clip instance is not already attached to the character, it will be attached as well.

This command will fail if the instanced clip passed in is not associated with a source clip. The best way to associate an instanced clip with a source clip is to create the instanced clip using MFnClip::createInstancedClip.

Parameters:
[in]instanceClipthe animClip node representing the clipInstance
[in]dgModcommand modifier used for undo and redo
Returns:
The return status
Status Codes:
Examples:
createClipCmd.cpp.
MStatus addCurveToClip ( MObject curve,
MObject sourceClip,
MPlug plug,
MDGModifier dgMod 
)

Adds an animation curve to a clip.

The user must provide the animation curve, and the related source clip node (typically created using MFnCharacter::createSourceClip). The user must also specify the plug that the clip will drive. The plug must be a member of the character managed by this MFnCharacter.

Parameters:
[in]curvethe animation curve to be added to the clip
[in]sourceClipa source clip specifying the start and duratiohn of the clip
[in]plugplug that this animCurve will drive
[in]dgModcommand modifier used for undo and redo
Returns:
The return status
Status Codes:
Examples:
createClipCmd.cpp.
MObject createBlend ( MObject instancedClip1,
MObject instancedClip2,
MObject blendAnimCurve,
MDGModifier dgMod,
MStatus ReturnStatus = NULL 
)

Creates a blend between two instanced clips on the character.

The blend is defined by a specified paramCurve, which should be keyed between times of 0 and 1. Time 0 corresponds to the start time of the blend. Time 1 corresponds to the end time of the blend. The blend will be performed on the clips according to the keyed value of the blend curve, using the equation: (value)*clip1 + (1-value)*clip2. For example, let's say the blend curve goes from a value of (0,0) to (1,1). At the start of the blend you will have 100% of clip1, and 0% of clip2. At the end of the blend you will have 0% of clip1, and 100% of clip2.

Parameters:
[in]instancedClip1clip to be blended
[in]instancedClip2another clip to be blended
[in]blendAnimCurveanimCurve defining the type of the blend
[in]dgModcommand modifier used for undo and redo
[out]ReturnStatusreturn status
Returns:
The resulting animBlend node
Status Codes:
bool blendExists ( MObject instancedClip1,
MObject instancedClip2,
MObject blendResult 
)

Return true if a blend exists between the two instanced clips on the character.

If a blend exists, the animBlend node related to the blend is also returned.

Parameters:
[in]instancedClip1clip
[in]instancedClip2another clip
[in]blendResultthe blend, if a blend is found
Returns:
true, if a blend was found between the two clips
Status Codes:
bool removeBlend ( MObject instancedClip1,
MObject instancedClip2,
MDGModifier dgMod,
MStatus ReturnStatus = NULL 
)

Remove the blend between the two instanced clips on the character.

If a blend exists and was deleted, returns true. If a blend did not exist, returns false.

Parameters:
[in]instancedClip1clip
[in]instancedClip2another clip
[in]dgModcommand modifier used for undo and redo
[out]ReturnStatusthe return status
Returns:
true, if a blend was found and deleted
bool getCharacterThatOwnsPlug ( MPlug plug,
MObject result 
) const

Given a plug, test the plug to see if it is owned by a character.

If a character controls this plug, the character will be returned

Parameters:
[in]plugMPlug containing a plug for which you want to find the related character
[in]resultMobject containing a character if the plug is in a character, else an empty MObject
Returns:
true, if the plug is in a character
MStatus getMemberPlugs ( MPlugArray result) const

Get the members of the character set that are attributes.

Return them as a plug array. A character set can contain only attributes and subcharacters. To get all of the members of the character, use MFnSet::getMembers. To get the subcharacters, use MFnCharacter::getSubcharacters.

Parameters:
[out]resultstorage for the returned list of members
Returns:
Return status
Status Codes:
Examples:
createClipCmd.cpp.
MStatus getSubCharacters ( MSelectionList result) const

Get a list of the subcharacters that are members of the character set.

Parameters:
[out]resultstorage for the returned list of members
Returns:
Return status
Status Codes:
MObject getClipScheduler ( MStatus ReturnStatus = NULL)

Get the clipScheduler node that manages the playback of clips on this character.

If no clips have been created for this character, this method will return an empty MObject.

Parameters:
[out]ReturnStatusreturn status
Returns:
MObject containing a clipScheduler node
Status Codes:
int getScheduledClipCount ( MStatus ReturnStatus = NULL)

Return the number of clips that have been scheduled on this character.

Parameters:
[out]ReturnStatusreturn status
Returns:
Number of clips scheduled on this character
Status Codes:
MObject getScheduledClip ( int  index,
MStatus ReturnStatus = NULL 
)

Return the scheduled animClip node corresponding to the specified index.

The specified index should range from 0 to clipCount-1 where clipCount is the value returned by MFnCharacter::getScheduledClipCount.

Parameters:
[in]indexClip index.
[out]ReturnStatusreturn status
Returns:
MObject containing an animClip node
Status Codes:
  • MS::kSuccess operation successful
  • MS::kFailure this function set does not have a valid character object
  • MS::kIndexOutOfRange this index given exceeded the total clip count
  • MS::kObjectDoesNotExist the clip node for this index does not exist, indicates a missing connection in the dependency graph
int getSourceClipCount ( MStatus ReturnStatus = NULL)

Return the number of source clips managed by the clipLibrary node of this character.

For more information on source clips, refer to the description of the MFnCharacter node.

Parameters:
[out]ReturnStatusreturn status
Returns:
Number of source clips owned by the library on this character
Status Codes:
MObject getSourceClip ( int  index,
MStatus ReturnStatus = NULL 
)

Return the animClip node corresponding to the specified index.

The animClip node will be a source clip node. The specified index should range from 0 to clipCount-1 where clipCount is the value returned by MFnCharacter::getSourceClipCount.

Parameters:
[in]indexClip index.
[out]ReturnStatusReturn status.
Returns:
MObject containing an animClip node
Status Codes:
  • MS::kSuccess operation successful
  • MS::kFailure this function set does not have a valid character object
  • MS::kIndexOutOfRange this index given exceeded the total clip count
  • MS::kObjectDoesNotExist the clip node for this index does not exist, indicates a missing connection in the dependency graph
int getBlendCount ( MStatus ReturnStatus = NULL)

Return the number of blends that have been added to clips on this character.

Parameters:
[out]ReturnStatusreturn status
Returns:
Number of blends on clips in this character
Status Codes:
MObject getBlend ( int  index,
MStatus ReturnStatus = NULL 
)

Return the animBlendInOut node corresponding to the specified index.

Parameters:
[in]indexIndex of the desired node.
[out]ReturnStatusreturn status
Returns:
MObject containing an animBlendInOut node
Status Codes:
  • MS::kSuccess operation successful
  • MS::kFailure this function set does not have a valid character object
  • MS::kIndexOutOfRange this index given exceeded the total blend count
  • MS::kObjectDoesNotExist the blend node for this index does not exist, indicates a missing connection in the dependency graph or that no blend exists
MStatus getBlendClips ( int  index,
MObject clip1,
MObject clip2 
)

Returns the clip nodes that are blended by the blend node corresponding to the specified index.

Parameters:
[in]indexthe index of the blend
[out]clip1the first of the clips being blended
[out]clip2the second of the clips being blended
Returns:
Return status
Status Codes:
  • MS::kSuccess operation successful
  • MS::kFailure this function set does not have a valid character object
  • MS::kIndexOutOfRange this index given exceeded the total blend count
  • MS::kObjectDoesNotExist the clip nodes for this index do not exist, indicates a missing connection in the dependency graph or an invalid blend

MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter
MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter MFnCharacter