Maya and PyCharm

by Rob Galanakis on 15/01/2013

Recently at work I had the opportunity of spending a day to get Maya and PyCharm working nicely. It took some tweaking but we’re at a point now where we’re totally happy with our Maya/Python integration.

Remote Debugger: Just follow the instructions here: We ended up making a Maya menu item that will add the PyCharm helpers to the syspath and start the pydev debugger client (basically, the only in-Maya instructions in that link).

Autocomplete: To get autocomplete working, we just copied the stubs from “C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya2013\devkit\other\pymel\extras\completion\py” and put them into all of the subfolders under: “C:\Users\rgalanakis\.PyCharm20\system\python_stubs” (obviously, change your paths to what you need). We don’t use the mayapy.exe because we do mostly pure-python development (more on that below), and we can’t add the stubs folder to the syspath (see below), so this works well enough, even if it’s a little hacky.

Remote Commands: We didn’t set up the ability to control Maya from PyCharm, we prefer not to develop that way. Setting that up (commandPort stuff, PMIP PyCharm plugin, etc.)  was not worth it for us.

Copy/Paste: To get copy/paste from PyCharm into Maya working, we followed the advice here: Note, we made a minor change to the code in the last post, because we found screenshots weren’t working at all when Maya was running. We early-out the function if “oldMimeData.hasImage()”.

And that was it. We’re very, very happy with the result, and now we’re running PyCharm only (some of us were using WingIDE or Eclipse or other stuff to remote-debug Maya or work with autocomplete).


A note about the way we work- we try to make as much code as possible work standalone (pure python), which means very little of our codebase is in Maya. Furthermore we do TDD, and we extend that to Maya, by having a base TestCase class that sends commands to Maya under the hood (so the tests run in Maya and report their results back to the pure-python host process). So we can do TDD in PyCharm while writing Maya code. It is confusing to describe but trivial to use (inherit from MayaTestCase, write code that executes in Maya, otherwise treat it exactly like regular python). One day I’ll write up how it works in more depth.

There are 3 comments in this article:

  1. 15/01/2013Andrey Vlasovskikh says:

    Thanks for your post! These notes will be useful for anyone starting with Maya and PyCharm. Unfortunately, Maya is not on the roadmap for PyCharm 2.7, but we may improve Maya support in the future releases. There are several bug reports and feature requests in PyCharm’s tracker , please vote for them to get notifications about the progress.

  2. 11/06/2014James says:

    C’mon guys…where is the Maya support?
    when can we see “send to Maya” ??

  3. 29/06/2014Rob Galanakis says:

    Hi James, I’ll think about the best way to do that and see if we can hook it up in PyCharm. It’s certainly not technically difficult (I send commands to Maya all the time), but I don’t know how to hook it up through an IDE to use effectively.

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