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Using The Plug-In Manager

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This is part of a beginner's learning guide for Maya. Tutorials in this series are short but cover a single topic in each one.

This tutorial covers how to use the plug-in manager in Maya.

What's A Plug-In

A plug-in lets you add additional features to Maya without having to rewrite the entire program. Example: Mental Ray is a rendering software plug-in; it's not actually a built-in feature in Maya. Plug-ins can be loaded into Maya and unloaded into Maya via the plug-in manager.

Go to window>settings/preferences>plug-in manager.

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To load a plug-in, simply check "Loaded". When a plug-in is checked "Loaded", that means it's loaded in the current scene. When a plug-in is checked Auto Load, this plug-in will load every time you re-open Maya. The plug-ins end with a .mll extension because these are actual files located on your computer. You can find these files at:

C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya8.5\bin\plug-ins

You can download additional plug-ins from the internet and copy them into this location. They will not be automatically loaded, so you'll have to find them in the plug-In manager list and check Loaded or Auto Load.

To load a plug-in that isn't in the plug-in folder, click the browse button and locate the plug-in on your hard drive.

Not all plug-ins have the .mll extension. Some have a .py extension. This is because they were made using Python.

In some cases, you may want to unload a plug-in. Simply uncheck all of its load options.

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