Maya API plugin developed in Python that tries to simplify the process of instancing various objects along a curve. The plugin essentially creates a new dependency graph node called instanceAlongCurveLocator, which handles all the necessary logic. It also includes a node creation command and an Attribute Editor template for a very familiar and user friendly interface.
Because it is a DG node that is recomputed each time Maya considers necessary, there is no need to execute manual scripts or hacks or custom windows to update the instances. Also, it is very efficient in updating each instance, because every relevant instance attribute is connected to the locator, and only recomputes what is needed.
However, Maya makes instancing objects from a plugin node very difficult, so there are some known limitations.
It's a dependency graph node, so it works gracefully with the Maya environment.
Instance an object by count or by distance between instances.
Various rotation modes, including chain mode.
Customize the instances transformation by ramps evaluated in curve parameter space.
Customize the ramps' offset with keys or expressions for animations.
Customize how instances look in viewport.
Randomize instances transformations.
User friendly, highly flexible.
Save instanceAlongCurve.py under MAYA_PLUG_IN_PATH
(Mac OS X) $HOME/Library/Preferences/Autodesk/maya/plug-ins