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Maya + Python + Arduino + Servo (Part 1) from Dan Thompson on Vimeo.

Maya + Python + Arduino + Servo (Part 2) from Dan Thompson on Vimeo.

I spend my days using a 3D animation package called Maya, and my nights building projects with Arduinos. Daniel Thompson is a visual effects artist who has combined Maya and an Arduino to drive a servomotor. My worlds just collided!

This post covers the scripts he used to do it. He has since built a Maya Python plug-in that is more accurate and can be keyframed. This is the really useful part, as it goes from being a very expensive 3D virtual knob to being a fully animateable animatronic system.
I’d love to see if he can get it working bi-directionally, so that the servo can act as a go-motion controller for Maya.

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.

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