instanceAlongCurve is a Maya plugin developed in Python that tries to simplify the process of instancing various objects along a curve. The plugin essentially creates a new DAG node which handles all the necessary logic. It also includes a node creation command and a very familiar and user friendly interface.
I built this in 2015 because Maya didn’t provide an intuitive way to do curve instancing. MASH was also being integrated around that time, and although it is pretty powerful, it is a heavier process and not as streamlined as I’d prefer.
Streamlining is also why I chose Python to write the plugin instead of a more robust C++ version. I believe it’s easier for artists and users to install and maintain python plugins, in contrast to a controlled environment/pipeline where one could automate the plugin management. In fact, this allowed the plugin to survive many Maya versions without the need for fixes or recompilation.
Check out the plugin at GitHub!