Pickrunner - The New Maya pickWalk Tool

Maya’s pickWalk tool is okay, but it doesn’t work well for many common scenarios. In particular, pickWalking is useless for rigs, because rig controllers are rarely grouped so that a user can move between them easily.

For this reason and a few others, Pickrunner was created.

Pickrunner is very simple. You assign how to move between objects in your scene once and then you can use your up/down/left/right keys to move between those objects just like you normally would. If an object doesn’t have any Pickrunner data assigned to it, the tool will just use pickWalk, instead. That way, even if Pickrunner is only partially implemented in a scene, it won’t interrupt the artist’s process.

Scene Setup

If you installed Pickrunner through the “pickrunner.mod” file, you should already have a new shelf called “Pickrunner” on-startup. Just click the Pickrunner GUI button.


This button will load the Pickrunner GUI, which comes in two modes, Assignment Mode and Selection Mode.


Assignment Mode

This is the default mode that you’ll see when you open the Pickrunner GUI. Assignment Mode is exactly as it sounds like. It’s the mode that lets you set up Pickrunner-object relationships.

While in Assignment Mode, you should see 4 direction buttons and a button labelled “Load Selection”.

Select an object, for example objectA, and then click “Load Selection”. objectA is now being editted by Pickrunner.

Select another object, for example objectB, and click any of the up, down, left, or right buttons.


If you’ve got “Auto-Pair” enabled, Pickrunner will reflect objects. So when you assign objectB as the “left” direction to objectA, “Auto-Pair” will also set objectA as the “right” direction to objectB. It’s just a timesaver. Turn it off if you don’t want it to do that.

Assuming you’ve done all of the connections you wanted, you’re ready to start using Pickrunner. If you have the direction hotkeys set up correctly, you should be able to press up/down/left/right to move between objects or use Pickrunner’s “Selection Mode”.

Selection Mode

This is a good mode to test your Pickrunner connections with. Select objects in the scene that have Pickrunner data and press the direction keys. Your selection should move from object to object.

Drawback To Pickrunner

Pickrunner is implemented using node UUIDs, which means you can go from any node to any node, even if the nodes are shading nodes (DG nodes).

The downside to using UUIDs though is that if you export your objects and import them into another scene, Pickrunner won’t work. Referencing your nodes will still work though, and in practice that’s usually good enough.

Final Notes

If you’re looking to contribute, please check out this page, first.