3D Modeling in 3D Space, It's Not Just the Stuff of Sci-fi Movies Anymore

Categories: Design Visualization

Tuesday morning at a packed Autodesk Media & Entertainment press conference coinciding with SIGGRAPH in Anaheim, CA Avinash Dabir, Leap Motion Director of Developer Relations, unveiled the Leap Motion™ plug-in for Autodesk® Maya® 2014. This plug-in will serve as one of the premier plug-ins available for the new Leap Motion controller, launched earlier this week on Monday, July 22nd to international fanfare. Hundreds of thousands of devices have already been shipped to more than 150 countries around the world.


The free plug-in enables completely new ways of interacting with 3D scenes using your bare hands in true 3D space; remember Minority Report? Well now you can picture the plug-in in action. You can even customize interactions with a Leap Motion controller to drive a vast number of scenarios within the Maya software, such as 3D animation, modeling, sculpting, simulation, paint effects, camera controls and more! The plug-in for Maya can track all ten fingers at once, so it’s a great complement to your Wacom tablet or mouse and opens the door to a completely new way of interacting with your 3D designs. Digital artists the world over literally can’t wait to get their hands in front of Maya with the Leap Motion Controller.


How does it work?

The plug-in works by receiving a stream of motion tracking data from within the Leap Motion Controller and allows for a set of higher order objects such as hands, fingers, tools and gestures to control various commands in Maya through the software’s standard application programming interfaces (APIs) and script interfaces like Mel and Python. The plug-in exposes this information through nodes and attributes, which connect these attributes to other elements in an Autodesk Maya scene, allowing for true 3D interaction including sculpting, object picking, blend shapes control, camera control and more.

This version of the plug-in provides a variety of examples and tutorials for download and Maya users can also customize and create their own tools to work with the Leap Motion control by using Maya’s C++, Mel and Python APIs.

Where can you find it?

If you already have Maya 2014, simply visit Leap Motion Airspace™ and download it for free. If you don’t already have Maya but want to try it out, download the free 30-day trial and then visit Leap Motion Airspace to download the plug-in.

If you’re a student and want to try Maya 2014, download a free student license at

Download example files, tutorials and videos from

Click here to learn more about the plug-in and stay tuned for more exciting news coming soon.