View Full Version : Transferring a Rig

05 May 2003, 08:23 AM

I have some questions to Mayas (Version 4.0) Rigging-Workflow.

Is it possible to transfer a Rig (with IK, Contstraints, Set Driven Keys, Custom Attributes, etc.) from one Character to another without redoing all the connections? Are there any Mel Scripts for this kind of Workflow?

I have to deal with 12 characters, all with the same joint-structure and naming and all of them should do same or similar motions. It would be very nice to do only one complete rig and then transferring it to the other 11 than doing all of them from scratch.

Thanks for any help.

05 May 2003, 12:46 PM
Well you could definitely write one.

Also check out Mark Behm's "AutoRig" script at

05 May 2003, 04:36 PM
you could also set up 11 different files each with 1 rig and 1 character, and then reference them all into one scene...


05 May 2003, 12:02 AM
How exacly does referencing work? I've heard about it, and understand the concept. I just dont know how the heck to do it, and more important, how to do it effectively (in maya).

Is there anything else I should know other than File > Create Reference except not to rename nodes (because it breaks)?

05 May 2003, 06:36 AM
If you use refrence on the Import function, that will make a connection to your files, and subsequently a cleaner workflow. But the files get huge. And your Outliner can be a mess unless you set up your characters correctly. I recommend page ten on my tutorial to people all the time. This is the best way to setup a character hierarchy I have seen. It makes it a pieck of cake to export or import other characters after that.


05 May 2003, 01:29 AM
Have you tried opening the already-rigged character and then importing the "new skin". Then bind that other character to the skeleton and then use the "copy weights" command?

I had to rig a few different characters once and all of them had the same structure (human males) so that worked almost perfectly.

Just my two cents :beer:

05 May 2003, 06:47 PM
Transfering rigs is pretty easy, and saves a little bit of time. But I only recomended if the characters are some what the same. The custom controls you might have to adjust to fit the geometry, maybe zero out some controls, other than that just adjust the joints by translation do not rotate them or you will lose your orientation, and that will give you headeachs furthor down the line. Bones with ik on them will not resize so take of the ik's then adjust the bones and then put the ik's back on, the only ik chain that is a little more work is the spline. But if you use all fk then just adjust the bones by translating and dont wory about it.


I have used referenced objects in my scenes, its ok but it has bugs. The only thing you have to do is creat reference to a character (for example) save tha file as something else and animate with it. Then if you want to adjst the rig a little you can do it on the original file, and the referenced file will update. But if that original file gets corupt or moved, or Maya takes a crap on it like its so well known to do, then everything you have animated its gone. Try it if you want but I dont recomended if not absolutley necessary.

My .2 cents

05 May 2003, 08:17 AM
Thanks a lot for your replies!

I trie to use some of these techniques and to look what works best for me. Maybe there will be some questions soon.

Best regards, Peter

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