Sunday, May 10, 2009

What we do with Python

There's a great thread going at called What do you do with Python? The other day I posted a few of the things our studio has done with Python in the past year or two...

  • Measure start/stop times of various processes, logging data to SQL database. For instance, how long it takes 3ds Max to start up, so we can spot bad trends when new tools are published.
  • System for logging errors and tools usage data to central database, with optional emailing of errors/callstack. Works for Python tools as well as MaxScript (via COM).
  • A non-linear GUI editor for an otherwise complex/table-driven cutscene pipeline.
  • Build graphical user interfaces (generally with wxPython) that integrate with in-house and off-the-shelf C applications. For example, floating Python dialogs that link to app windows as children, or as docking task panes.
  • Tool that communicates with game C code (via socket) running on consoles to do in-game realtime lighting.
  • Embed Python interpreter into editor framework for next-gen development tools. This is the one I spend lots of time on these days... works like MaxScript in 3ds Max, but for our custom editors.
  • One Exporter that writes out various data files from 3ds Max, Photoshop, and imports/categorizes them in our asset system.
  • Logs me into Outlook's webmail without manually entering my creds every time. I guess that was a home project. :)
  • At 3ds Max startup, scan folders for MaxScripts, building a MacroScript .mcr file for all of them.
  • At 3ds Max startup, builds list of texture map folders for a given project, sorts them by user's discipline and adds them to Max's bitmap paths list.
  • Profile rendering performance of art assets recently submitted to Perforce, recording data to SQL database.
  • Searches web-based bug tracker database for entries assigned to you and displays data in a Vista Sidebar gadget.
  • Creates makefiles with dependencies, for distributed build processes in Incredibuild/XGE.
  • Wavelet transform calculations for content-based image comparison tools. For finding textures that are too similar, or comparing rendered output of one shader vs. another.
  • Takes zipcode or lat/long as input, gathers geo-survey data from various online sources and creates the road/terrain network inside our world editor.
  • Tons of data mining uses. Like searching various exported XML files for instances of X material, mesh, etc. in game world.
  • Tool for bridging various apps with COM interfaces in other tools. Like firing MaxScripts in 3ds Max from Ultraedit, or taking current Python script in Wing and running it in our editor's embedded interpreter.
  • Custom scripts for integrating our tools/processes into Wing (the Python IDE we use).

P.S. Call your mom today.