View Full Version : transferring rigs in maya

08 August 2005, 09:33 PM
How do you transfer a rig from one character to another in maya?

08 August 2005, 01:48 PM
If you're dealing with characters of the same size and proportions this is fairly simple. You can save off a copy of your scene, export your skin weights, delete the old character mesh, import the new character mesh and rebind/import your skin weights. Other deformers will make it more complicated, but it is still doable.
Now, if you need to resize/reproportion the rig it can be very tricky, depending on how you generated your rig initially. You may need to disconnect or delete IK handles, translate joints on their down axis (default is X) rotate joints, reorient them and finally rebuild the IK.
This general problem of reusing rigs is what leads many of us to script the rigging process. If you aren't familiar with rig scripts, take a look at David Walden's rigging scripts for a general idea of how these work.


08 August 2005, 07:53 AM
I've had to do this quite a bit at work. Huge pain but very doable. Proportions are the enemy but if it's close and modeled in close position then that's half the work. May need a bit of vert tweaking. If topology is way off then wieghting will take time. If it's pretty close then no needing to import/export weights which never works for me. You have all the wieght info on the orginal character. Just import the new geo that needs to be skinned into the same file.

a little handy mel function is this.
select your geo then run this:

string $bones = skinCluster -q -inf;
select -r $bones;

This will get all the bones that are influlenced by the old skinCluster.
Shift select your new geo and bind it.
Select old geo then new geo and do Skin->Edit Smooth Skin -> Copy Weights.

May have to do a bit of painting but that should get you pretty close with minimal time. The cool thing about the copy wieghts is that will interpolate between the two mesh and will give you the average of the two weight influences, so it gets you really close to the orginal, suffice that the geo's are similar.

Hope that helped too.

=:: sean nolan ::=
=::character td::=
=::shaba games::=

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08 August 2005, 07:53 AM
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