Develop Conference – MetaData Coding in a Maya Production Pipeline

Develop Conference Talk

In 2014 I did a talk at the Develop Conference in Brighton going through how we integrated the Red9 MetaData API into our production pipelines at Crytek.

The talk went through the benefits of integrating MetaData concepts in a Maya production pipeline. Red9 Metadata is Python API, part of the Red9 StudioTools, an open source toolkit freely available on the Autodesk Exchange website.

In the talk I showed how we integrated this concept to all aspects of the Crytek Maya animation pipeline. Meta is used in our animation rigs as a separate schema / network to manage data, binding tools to the systems via a generic layer. It’s used in our facial systems to manage relationships in code, breaking a complex system into manageable and logical chunks. We also use meta as the entry point for our exporter, the idea of connecting characters to export nodes which in turn connect to time and settings nodes.


  • The background, why?
  • The basics of the MetaData Api base class, what does it do and what benefits does it give us.
  • Basics of metaData internal attribute handling and auto-complete.
  • Factory class aspects, the core of the systems, walking nodes as classes.
  • Using Maya nodes as class representations to structure your code.
  • Class inheritance and attribute binding.
  • Practical examples in production.
  • Generic nature of metadata, how it lends itself to tool pipelines.
  • Subclassing, how’s it’s been heavily subclassed and expanded by the Morpheus2 project.

The videos below were recorded purely as guide videos for the presentation but I thought I’d post them here as they’re a really useful reference for anybody looking at delving into MetaData!
Power Point Slides