This documentation will cover the installation of L3Library for Maya Windows.

  • First download the L3Library archive for the Maya version of your choice here.
  • Unpack the archive. In the example shown below we unpack to "C:\Temp".

  • Launch Maya
  • Open the script editor and switch to the Python panel. Paste the following code snippet to the script editor:

    import imp
    L3SetupPath = r'C:/temp/L3Library_1.4.0_m2016_win'
    L3Setup = imp.load_compiled( 'L3Setup', L3SetupPath + r'/scripts/L3Setup.pyc' )
    L3Setup.main( L3SetupPath )

    The string marked red must be modified to match the path where you unpacked the archive.

  • Execute the script by hitting the enter key or choose Command > Execute from the script editor's menu. Using the enter key will keep the script in the editor.

  • The L3 Installer window will open.

  • First of all you should make sure your system is up to date. The installation UI provides links to .NET and Visual Studio 2010 Redistributable installations. If the links are outdated you can easily find both Microsoft installation packages using your favorite search engine.

    Note: If .NET or Visual Studio Redistributable are not installed or up to date you will get an error message in Maya when trying to load the L3Library plugin, that a module could not be found or loaded.

    Maya's new Viewport 2.0 requires your graphic card drivers to be up to date. Otherwise you may get error messages when our plugins try to register viewport drawing methods.

  • Next you should check the installation paths. The first time the L3 Installer is opened it will use default paths that point to "C:/Tools/MayaVersion/...".

    You may modify the paths to install to any location, e.g. a network drive. The UI will remember the changes you make.

    Note: We do not recommend to install files into Maya's original script, icon and plugin folders. It is easier to maintain plugins and updates if you install them to a separate location.

    "Delete Old Files" can be enabled to backup and remove any L3Library files found in any of Maya's search paths. This ensures old files are removed in case you install to a new location. Otherwise Maya may still find and load files from previous installatons which will cause malfunction. The installer will always create backup files, no matter if this option is enabled or turned off.

  • Next click the Install button at the bottom of the UI. After reading and accepting the end user license agreement the installation process will be started..
  • Restart Maya
  • If the Lightstorm menu does not show up in Maya's main menu select Window > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager, locate the L3Library plugin and set both "Loaded" and "Auto load".

Now that L3Library is installed all future installation of our tools become a lot easier. To install new versions of L3Library or L3Deformer use the following workflow:

  • Downloaded the appropriate archive and unpack it.
  • Choose Lightstorm3D > L3Library > Install Software > Setup Launcher

    The following window will pop up:

  • Browse the "setup.dat" file in the folder where you unpacked the archive.
  • Click "Launch Installer" and continue the procedure described above.

You can of course still use manual installation of files or modify the installation afterwards. The installer modifies the Maya.env file found in "C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents\maya\2016".

The installer sets the following environment variables (paths are just examples):

MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH = C:\Tools\2016\Scripts\L3Library
PYTHONPATH = C:\Tools\2016\Scripts\L3Library
MAYA_PLUG_IN_PATH = C:\Tools\2016\plugins\x64
XBMLANGPATH = C:\Tools\2016\Icons
MAYA_TOOLCLIPS_PATH = C:/Tools/2016/Toolclips
L3LicensePath = C:\Tools\Licenses
L3LibraryDocs = C:\Tools\2016\Docs\L3Library

To verify these paths in Maya use the following MEL commands (execute them separately):

getenv "L3LicensePath";
getenv "L3LibraryDocs";
getenv "PYTHONPATH";

The installer also creates or modifies an existing file. This is required to initialize our tools at launch. We add the following lines to the

import L3Library

If you installed L3Deformer you'll also need

import L3Deformer

If these lines are missing or the file is not found by Maya in a Python search path you will get the following error message when trying to load the L3Library or L3Deformer plugin:

# Error: name ‘L3Library’ is not defined
# Error: name ‘L3Deformer’ is not defined

Please check out the L3Library FAQ when encountering any installation problems.