3D Artist

21 Maya plugins you need in your life

Tips & Tutorials
Steve Holmes

Discover the best plugins and apps to enhance your Maya work

21 Maya plugins you need in your life


creativecrash.com/maya/script/sppaint3d Free
Spreads and scatters your objects through painting.

Rapid Rig

creativecrash.com/maya/script/-rapid-rig-advanced-auto-rig-for-maya $40
A powerful autorigging plugin for Maya, perfect for speeding up what is normally a very time-consuming process.

The Setup Machine

anzovin.com/tsm $99
This character rigging plugin produces a high-quality skeleton and proxy, control rig, and basic but accurate skin weighting for models in a few clicks.


moculus.io From $65.55
This Oculus Rift plugin for Maya enables you to create 3D work directly in VR, aiming to add more immersion into the creation process.


pulldownit.com From €395
Also available for Maya, this dynamics solver creates realistic fractures as well as massive rigid body simulations. An ideal plugin for earthquakes!


creativecrash.com/maya/script/zentools Free
A great combination of tools for modelling, selection, UVLayout, hair and character setup.

Golaem Crowd

golaem.com From $1,980 for three months rental
Artist-driven crowd simulation to get an army of soldiers or a horde of zombies in no time. Used in Game Of Thrones, Hercules and more.


basefount.com/miarmy.html From £895 for three months rental
Great for crowd simulation, AI and behavioural animation, creature physical simulation and rendering. Lots of training and tech demos included.

Joint Splitter

bit.ly/1Gpxy1O Free
This free rigging tool enables you to add additional joints between two other joints with precision.


elementacular.alexandra.dk $175
Create volumetric clouds and control the cloud shape by manipulating its underlying geometry.

My Merge Vertex

bit.ly/1DGy5p8 Free
Easily collapse and merge many vertices at the same time by setting distance. Very useful for whenever you create half a model and need to mirror and connect together both halves.


froyok.fr Free
An excellent toolset developed specifically for working faster with goodies for modelling, selection and an enhanced UI.


creativecrash.com/maya/script/qtown Free
Generate a procedural city. Even simple geometry can look like more complex buildings, which now come with automatically generated UV coordinates.


macaronikazoo.com Free
This set of open source scripts have been developed by programmer and animator Hamish McKenzie, and they aim to help both riggers and animators in their everyday lives.


faceshift.com Free
Stream live facial performances or import recorded performances directly into your character rig.


bit.ly/1HvwEB9 Free
A fantastic production shading library for Arnold developed by Anders Langlands, who is now a Solid Angle employee.

Comet Scripts

comet-cartoons.com/melscript.php Free
A selection of free Maya MEL scripts to help riggers along the way.

Autodesk Maya bonus tools

area.autodesk.com/bonustools Free
Every Maya user should know about this free collection of Maya scripts and plugins from Autodesk.

Studio Library

studiolibrary.com Free
A completely free Python script for managing your animation clips and poses.


polygonal-design.fr From €299
Now included as standard inside Maya 2015 and up, Unfold3D is a powerful program for creating fast UVs with minimum effort.


ngskintools.com Free
Character skinning plugin for Maya that gives the ability to smooth weights with no strange artefacts, undo/redo problems, mirror weights without needing to go to a T-pose and more.

Image – Astral Projection by Chris Chui