There are new attributes for blendshapes in Maya 2012:
A new set of component weights have been added. These weights multiply the various target weights, allowing the user to quickly paint out regions where no target has an effect.
The base weight is an overall multiplier for the targets.
Therefore a zero weight on the base would mean no targets (regardless of their weights) have any effect.
A base weight of 1.0 (the default) would act normally, a weight of 2.0 multiply them by two, -1..., etc.
The blendShapes targets can now be assigned a 'normalization group'. Targets in the same group have the sum of their weights normalized to 1.0 when editing via the Component Editor or the Paint Blend Shape Weights tool). Optionally each group may also use an extra set of weights to include in the normalization calculation. These weights are associated with the group itself, not any particular target.
The normalization weights appears in a new columns in the Component Editor and as new paintable targets in the Paint Blend Shape Weights tool once it is created via the Edit Deformer -> Blendshape -> Edit Normalization group .
Sampling the colour values of a pixel on a 2D texture is easy enough in Maya; there is the MEL command 'colorAtPoint', and you can emit particles from a texture and query the RGB values per particle. Sampling a colour value of a 3D texture is not so straightforward, and the approach suggested in the documentation is to bake your 3D texture to an image file and use the aforementioned methods to query colour values on the resulting texture.
In this post, I'll demonstrate how to implement an API function that samples a 3D texture at any given XYZ point, and returns an RGB value.
We introduced a few new tools for Maya subscription customers with the release of Maya 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack. I wanted to take a moment and focus in on the software installation of one of these tools.
Using Craft Animation Tools will give you access to four pre-rigged models of two cars and two planes, as well as four camera rigs Craft SoftMotionCam, Craft ObserverCam, Craft MultiStateCam, Craft HumanizerCam.
When installing users of Windows will automatically get Craft Animation tools installed during the regular Maya installation process but this is not the case for Linux and Mac users. You will need to install it manually after the Maya install is completed.
Below are the steps needed to get Craft Animation Tools installed for Linux and Mac users.
Install the Craft Animations plug-in on Mac OS X
Double-click the Maya .dmg download package.
In the Finder window that opens, double-click the Support folder.
In the Finder window that opens, double-click the Craft Animation .dmg,then double-click Install.
Install the Craft Animations plug-in on Linux
Extract the Maya packages from the compressed file.
Navigate to the Support folder and extract the craftdirectorstudio .tar.gzfile.
As a super user, navigate to the directory where you extracted the package.
Type ./install.bash.This starts the Craft Animation plug-in installation. Before using the Craft Animation plug-in for the first time, you need to loadthe plug-In using the Plug-in Manager.
To load Craft Animations Director Studio plug-in
Select Window > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager. The Plug-inManager opens.
Locate Craft Animations and turn on Loaded.To load Craft automatically every time you start Maya, turn on Auto load.4 Click Close.
You can access the Craft Animations plug-in from the shelf by clickingthe DirectorStudio tab, then clicking the icon.
You are using the Artisan paint tool to interactively modify deformer weights, such as cluster weights, on a NURBS surface. You expect Maya to display the deformer weights on your selected surface in greyscale or with color values, but apart from the outline of the brush you see no color feedback whatsoever.
The reason Maya skips the display of your deformer weights is because of a property that has been set on your surface object.
The skin weights normalization has been updated in Maya 2011, there is a new and improved skin weight normalization, called post normalization. You can change the normalization settings by using the drop down menu in the Paint Skin Weights tools, it lets you set how you want your weights normalized. The interactive normalization setting is the same as before, while the post normalization gives you improved results. So to use the new normalization, the workflow would be do your weighting and then to use the Skin -> Edit Smooth Skin -> Normalize weights.