SHAPES Brush is plug-in for Maya which brings additional sculpting tools to Maya which have been missing for a long time.
The brush features six different brushes. The grab and smooth are standard brushes which are always available. The difference is the brush function which is tied to the Ctrl key:
- Grab brush Let’s you to drag the mesh in screen space.
- Smooth Brush While holding down the Shift key the smoothing brush is activated. Smoothing is by default taking place as a relax function, which tries to keep the general volume of the mesh without shrinking effects. If relax is turned off the smoothing will also shrink the mesh. The strength of the smoothing can be adjusted.
Ctrl-Key functions based on the different brush modes:
- Slide Brush Holding down the Ctrl key while dragging the brush allows you to move the mesh while keeping the underlying shape. Note that the sliding is projection based, so if the brush size is set too large, geometry facing away from the camera (or in enclosed spaces) can be badly projected. This can result in stray vertices and is usually not desired. The general goal would be to set the brush size for sliding not too large and work in iterations.
- Pull/Push Brush Lets you pull the mesh out or in along the normals while dragging the mouse. The pull/push function is based on the mouse direction.
- Blend Brush Allows you to blend to a secondary mesh. First select the mesh you want to sculpt on, then shift select a second mesh you want to blend to. Choose the blend brush and while holding down the Ctrl key you blend your mesh to the secondary selection.
- Erase Brush Lets you brush your mesh back to it’s original state it was in when you began to start sculpting. The mesh is remembered as long as you don’t pick a different mesh and sculpt on that one. Right-click the Erase button in the UI for additional options.
For adjusting the brush size click the middle mouse button over the mesh and adjust the size by dragging the mouse left or right.
Holding down the Shift key while middle mouse dragging sets the smoothing strength.
All brushes can work in a specified depth which is set from the brush window. This allows for working inside a mesh without having to hide parts of the geometry.
Copy the plugin to your users plug-ins folder
- i.e. /Users/USERNAME/Library/Preferences/Autodesk/maya/2015-x64/plug-ins
Copy the icons to your users icons folder
- i.e. /Users/USERNAME/Library/Preferences/Autodesk/maya/2015-x64/prefs/icons
Copy the script to your users scripts folder
- i.e. /Users/USERNAME/Library/Preferences/Autodesk/maya/2015-x64/scripts
Run SHAPES Brush by entering the command ‘SHAPESBrushUI’ (without the quotes)
To setup a hotkey for the marking menu enter
‘source SHAPESBrushBuildMM;SHAPESBrush_setupMM;’ (without the quotes)
Supported Maya Versions (OSX, Windows x64 and Linux x64): 2012, 2013, 2013.5, 2014, 2015, 2016