Maya plugin – extract deltas

If you are looking for a way to streamline your blend shape and corrective shape workflow check out SHAPES, a blend shape editor for Maya which combines a variety of tools for your everyday work. Click here to visit the SHAPES page.

Quite some time ago I stumbled across a pretty neat plugin for maya that is designed to help with modeling corrective blendshapes. I don’t remember where I found it but it came with an Xcode project and I think the credits go to James Jacobs, whos name is listed inside the code. So, thanks James, wherever you may be, this is just some awesome tool!

As it is with these plugins, they usually only run with the maya version they were compiled for and so it was just great to have the Xcode project to be able to compile new versions as new maya releases came along. I am by no means a programmer but since I am a little bit familiar with Xcode by now (Pipeline Render Manager runs pretty smoothly), compiling was not the most difficult task ;)

So, finally I just compiled a new version for the current maya version and wrapped it in a zip file along with two scripts plus icons that help with the easy task of extracting corrective shapes. I have been working with this for some time now and it really helped to reduce a lot of painstaking modeling time.


Previously extractDeltas was only available for OS X users and I received many mails from artists working on windows asking me for a windows compatible version. But without a windows development platform at hand this is rather (almost) impossible and even though quite a few people offered to take over the part of compiling for windows I never received any successful feedback.
Eventually I tracked down a solution with having a chance to use a windows development environment – and succeeded! Well, wasn’t too hard after all if you got the right tools. So, finally, extractDeltas is also alvailable as a win-x64 plugin! Enjoy!

The command for extracting the model is pretty straight forward:

extractDeltas -m <mesh with skinning but no shape> -s <corrective shape's name>;

The two scripts “icDuplicateSkin.mel” and “icExtractDeltas.mel” are designed to help with the process. icDuplicateSkin creates a simple copy of the selected skin object (polygons only), deletes the intermediate object and unlocks the transform attributes.

icExtractDeltas makes sure that the correct objects are selected and runs the command with the selection. The script is designed to have the bound geometry selected first and then the modeled corrective shape.

The following short video demonstrates the use of the scripts and the plugin.

Happy modeling ;)

Download: for maya 2011/2012/2013/2013.5/2014