poseDeformer - Pose Space Deformer Maya Plugin by Michael B. Comet
Copyright 2004,2005 Michael B. Comet

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
    Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307  USA

    For information on poseDeformer contact:
        Michael B. Comet - comet@comet-cartoons.com
        or visit http://www.comet-cartooons.com/toons/


This plug-in provides a new deformer that lets you do pose space deformation in Maya. It works in conjunction with the poseReader plug-in also provided. This is similar but not quite the same as using blendshapes.

The main differences between this and regular blendShapes:

Since the deformer must store data in a pose space, the basic MEL script setup requires Maya Skin to be applied to the geometry first, so it can read what joints are used on the geometry. Also because data is stored as offsets, and because it is in pose space, calculation for generating a target is slower than a blendshape, and when it is done the target is deleted. However you can alwawys go back to a pose, and then edit the shape easily with the UI again at a later time to make tweaks. Finally, the poseReader node is used to drive the weight of each pose target automatically as the joint(s) moves into the pose.


This recompiled plugin requires a Windows version of Maya 6.0. Source code is also provided for other platforms.


  1. Quit Maya if it is running.

  2. Unzip the contents of the ZIP file.

  3. Copy the poseDeformer.mll and poseReader.mll to the Maya binary plugin path where you installed Maya. This is typically:
            C:\Program Files\Alias\Maya6.0\bin\plug-ins\

  4. Copy ALL MEL Scripts, such as the poseDeformerUI.mel, poseReaderUI.mel, libSkin.mel libString.mel and libMirror.mel file into your Maya scripts folder.

  5. Restart Maya.

  6. Open to the menu for Window | Setting/Preferences | Plug-in Manager...

  7. Look for the "poseDeformer.mll" and "poseReader.mll" entry in the window. Choose "loaded" to load the plugin. You can also check the "auto load" box so that the plugin is loaded automatically every time you start Maya. Or you can just run the UI mel script and it will load the plugins for you.

  8. Close the dialog.

  9. Choose File | Save Preferences to make sure your prefs are saved.

  10. The plugin is now loaded and installed, you can now use the new MEL command called "poseDeformerUI" to launch the UI to set up poseDeformer nodes.


  1. Set up regular maya skinCluster smooth skinning on the geometry.

  2. Run the poseDeformerUI MEL Script.

  3. Follow the steps in the UI.


If you are looking for more help, you can also check out a very nice page Matt Estela put together at:

Comet Cartoons - http://www.comet-cartoons.com/ - Michael B. Comet