Deformers

arrows.GIF

by Minkyung Choi

With Maya deformers, you can quickly build and animate deformed surfaces with a high level of control.

Switch to the Modeling or the Animation Module for these examples.
modeling_module  or  animation_module

All these tools work with either Polygons or NURBS



Blend Shape works with Unity
blendshape2

Blend Shape is different from other deformers. It is specifically designed to perform morphing tasks, and it has a separate slider editor. You can also access blend shape sliders in the Attribute Editor or through the channels in the Channel box.

Blend shape is especially useful for facial animation. In this type of animation, a group set shapes such as certain phonemes or facial expressions need to be readily accessible, editable and blendable.

Create two spheres. Change the second sphere shape by sculpting points

Change the name of the second sphere to something that describes the motion, ie. blob.

Select the first sphere (base)
Choose Deform->Blend Shape
(This adds blend shapes options in the channel editor)

Select the second sphere (target), use shift to select the first sphere (base) too.
(The order is important)

Choose Deform-> Blend Shape->Add
If the 2 shapes have a differing number of points go in the options and uncheck Check topology.

You may delete the second Sphere.

Select the sphere
Open blendShape1 in the Channel Box
Animate the channel named after the second sphere between 0 and 1


You may also select Windows->Animation Editors->Shape Editor
An editor opens with a target slider. A blend shape node is created and the target slider is an attribute of that node



Prepare nCloth Shapes for Unity and Blend
Make your nCloth simulation.
Play it, stop and duplicate shapes you would like to blend between.
Do this as many times as you would like to create blend targets.

Remove invisible nCloth nodes that mess you up in Unity:
Do this before animating if you are making a blend shape for Unity.
Select File->Optimize Scene Size->option
     Select Remove: Unknown nodes

Or if that did not work:
Select one shape at a time
Select Windows->General Editors->Hypergraph: Connections
     Select the light grey node
     Hit delete
     Close the Connection window
Repeat for each shape


Now you are ready to follow the Blend shape steps above.



Cluster
cluster
Add a node to manipulate translate, rotate, scale for a group of component points as a group.

Select the CVs or vertices you would like to group together.

Select Deform->Cluster

Use Windows->General Editors->Hypergraph: Hierarchy to select the cluster.
or Windows->Outliner



Curve Warp
CurveWarp
Curve warp is only available in the Modeling Module.
modeling_module 
Use a curve warp when you want to deform a polygon mesh along the length of a curve. Any modifications you make to the curve will affect the deformed object.

Select the mesh you would like to deform, and use shift to select the curve.

Select Deform->Curve Warp

Play with the Offset settings in the Channel Box to slide the mesh along the curve



Delta Mush
delta_mush
The first example has no Delta Mush, the second example uses Delta Mush on the selected vertices.

Delta Mush works with skinned IK joints. Use the Rigging Module.
rigging_module

Create a cylinder with enough divisions to bend along the length.
Use Skeleton->Create Joints to create 2 bones along the length.
Select the cylinder and the skeleton, choose Skin->Bind Skin.
Select the vertices you would like to deform, use Deform->Delta Mush
Select a joint from the skeleton and rotate it, notice the bulge effect.



Tension
tension
T
he Tension deformer simulates surface tension without squashing and stretching the surface too much.  It uses the connectivity between the mesh vertices to preserve the (relative) lengths between them.

Select the mesh you would like to deform. It makes most sense to use this with Poly or Linear NURBS.

Select Deform->Tension
Right click and select the mesh vertices and drag them around.



Lattice
lattice
This allows you control the deformation of complicated objects with fewer control points than deforming object directly. Maya creates Lattices around the object and when you transform the influence lattice, the object inside it gets deformed.

Create->Polygon Primitives-> Helix->option.jpg
    coils 10, height 10, width 2, radius 0.2

Select the helix and create Lattice 
   Deform->Lattice->option.jpg
        divisions: 2, 3, 2
Select the Lattice,
Hold down the right mouse button to bring up a mini menu, choose Lattice Point.
You can scale, rotate or move the points in order to deform the object into various shapes.
You can also skin the lattice to an IK skeleton.

You may animate by using the s key or cluster lattice points to add an animatable node.

Open Windows-> General Editors-> Hypergraph: Hierarchy or Windows->Outliner to view the 2 components of the lattice. These may also be manipulated for various effects.



Wrap
wrap
Use a low resolution object to manipulate a higher resolution object.

Create->NURBS Primitives->Sphere (default settings) low resolution
Create->Polygon Primitives->Sphere
Select the high-res Poly sphere, and then select the low-res sphere.
Select Deform->Wrap
Select the Poly sphere under wrap1 in the Channel Box
     Set Auto Weight Threshold to off.



Shrink Wrap
shrink_wrap
Shrinkwrap deformers let you project a poly object onto the surface of  another object. Every shrinkwrap deformation contains the the wrapper (the object that is deformed) and the target (the object around which the wrapper is shrunk).

Create->Polygon Primitives->Sphere
Create->Polygon Primitives->Plane, move the plane above the sphere.
First select the plane
(object that will be deformed) and then the sphere (object around which the wrapper is shrunk).

Deform->Shrink Wrap

Note:If you transform or deform the target after you have applied the  shrinkwrap deformation, the shape of the wrapper is also altered



Wire tool
wire
Wire deformation works with an influence wire and a base wire, like Lattice deformation. The deformation occurs according to the relative distance between the two wires. Useful for creating facial expressions

Create->NURBS Primitives->Plane
     Width 3, Length 3
     U patches 16, V patches 16
Create->NURBS Primitives->Circle

Deform-> Wire 
  (default setting)
Maya asks you to select shape(s) to deform:
     Select the plane and press Enter
     Select the circle press Enter

The circle is now called a wire. Note that a hidden duplicate of the wire, called the base wire, has been created as well.
Translate up the wire as shown below, then try moving up the base wire. As the distance between the two curves decreases, so does the intensity of the Wire deformation.
To pick up the base wire, go to Windows->General Editors->Hypergraph: Hierarchy or Windows->Outliner

There are option to manipulate in the Channel box for the plane.



Nonlinear
nonlinear
These are simple functions, but they're remarkably effective in creating their intended animations and deformations.
Select Deform->Nonlinear->
     Bend - bends an object along a circular arc.
     Flare - flares and tapers an object.
     Sine - curves an object into sine waves.
     Squash - stretches and squashes an object.
     Twist - twists an object.
     Wave - creates circular ripples on an object.



Soft Modification
soft_mod
Create a shape larger than 6 units
Select Deform->Soft Modification
Move the softMod1Handle



Sculpt
sculpt
Sculpt deformation uses a sphere as a sculpting tool to make round or flat ring-shaped deformations. 

Create->Polygon Primitives-> Plane->option.jpg
Scale up the plane

Deform->Sculpt

Open Windows->General Editor->Hypergraph: Hierarchy or Windows->Outliner to view the 2 components of the sculpt deformer. You may want to move, rotate or scale both elements together.



Jiggle
jiggle
Think jello, this is not so effective, because it is difficult to control.
First, animate a torus rotating
Deform->Jiggle
Use the Channel box:
     stiffness .1
     force on tangent .1

Play the animation



Point on Curve
point_on_curve
Right mouse over a curve to add a curve point
Deform->Point on Curve
This add a locator which you can move, rotate or scale to manipulate part of the curve.



Texture
texture_deformer
Texture deformers let you deform objects with a texture pattern. The are useful to quickly get the procedural noise of a shape or to preview a displacement map

Create NURBS->Primitives->Plane
Width 3, Length 3
Add enough subdivisions so you get a highly defined deformation

Deform->Texture

Use the Attribute Editor to add a Texture map.