[Maya MEL] Reverse the Order of a Selection List (Natively)




I use the command “listRelatives -ad” to return all the children a selected object.
The problem is they are in a reverse order.

For instance, if the hierarchy as follows
grandparent (GP)
parent §
 child ©
  grandchild (GC)

It would return as
GC, C, P, GP

rather than
GP, P, C, GC.

I searched over the web and found some hits. Unfortunately, this one uses a custom script (“zooTools”) that needs installation. http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=190195
I also stumbled upon this native script in this thread (https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/maya-programming/reversing-the-order-of-a-string-array/td-p/4164197)
but it does not seem to work and returns the list in the same order.

$selected = `listRelatives -ad `;
for($n=0; $n<size($selected); ++$n) {
print $selected;

Thank you for looking at my problem


Hi bentraje,

I don’t know if there’s a way of doing this in the command, but I wrote my own that does something similar.

proc list_children(string $top_model)
    $children = `listRelatives -c $top_model`;
    $size = size($children);
        print $children[$i];
        print "\n";

$sel= `ls -sl`;
for ($list in $sel)

Hope this helps!


Create a new list > Loop thru the “faulty” list in reverse order and add each item to the new list.



Thanks for the response mate but I get one problem, it also list the shape nodes (which at this moment I don’t need). I tried looking up in the docs but there is no “transform” flag to limit the result to only transform nodes.

Is there a way around this?


Thanks for the response. But this is my problem, I don’t know how “list in reverse order”. Which is why I am asking the question :frowning:


Simplest way I know, you can just set the value directly to an index in your list. With a little math, you can figure out the proper index.

$selected = `listRelatives -ad`;
string $reversed[];
int $ssel = size($selected);
for($n=0; $n<$ssel; ++$n) {
    $reversed[$ssel - 1 - $n] = $selected[$n];
print $reversed;


You can pass -type "transform" to both ls and listRelatives, this will filter the results to transform nodes, and their subclasses.
If you need only transform nodes, you’d need to use ls with -exactType "transform"


@tfox_TD has the right idea for reversing the list.

If you want to exclude shapes, I’d just look for anything ending “Shape” and exclude it. That’s a quick and dirty way to take care of it anyway :stuck_out_tongue:


@TFoxTD @R.White @RiggerRyan

Slr (I thought it was my internet but it turns out I had problem accessing the site through Google chrome but not in IE).

Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Indeed the “-type “transform”” did the trick.
Also, thanks for sharing this code:
$reversed[$ssel - 1 - $n]

This was new to me.