Skinner for Maya

Check out this plug-in:

It’s based on the auto rigging stuff Pinnichio stuff: /

Basicaly it’s a default bind based on heat dispersion simulation.. Ok, so whay you say? 🙂 Well, suffice to say you get a much better default bind! Amongst other things the algorithm understands that a mesh has boundaries and does not only take vertex/joint distance into account when creating your default bind. Whee…

I use it all the time now. Only one little issue. The skinning procedure somehow locks the skinCluster nodes, so you can’t delete them with the UI alone. So I made a tiny piece of code for it. The meat is this line: maya.cmds.lockNode(“skinClusterName”, lock=False)

Remove skin with code:

import pymel as pm ## I use pymel, but the code should work fine with maya.cmds as well
def removeSkinning(meshes=''):
"""Remove skinning on meshes. If the "meshes" kwarg is not used, the current selection is used"""

if meshes == '':
    meshes =

for m in meshes:
    skin = pm.mel.findRelatedSkinCluster(m)
if skin:
    pm.lockNode(skin, lock=False)

9 thoughts on “Skinner for Maya”

  1. Hey Sune. We’ve been using the skinner plugin for the last couple of days, but with certain characters Maya crashes with a runtime error. Have you encountered a similar problem? And if so, any idea how to avoid it?


  2. Hey Sune. In the madness of the job I completely forgot I’d posted here until now! I was using Maya 2008 on a Windows 32 bit platform since that’s the only compile for the plugin. I’ve checked the geometry for any holes or reversed normals or anything that might cause a problem. The project has passed but for future reference I’d like to fix this. Also, having the plugin for other versions and platforms would be great, eg. 2009, OSX. I’m going to attempt to understand the source code, but I’m not expecting too much.


  3. Hey Sune,
    I was trying to add this plugin to Maya 09 Complete and it doesnt load in the plug-in manager. Does skinner work with ’09 or will it be implemented in the future?

  4. Hi Justin,

    As a general rule, Maya plug-ins only work with the specific version of Maya that they are compiled for. So “Skinner”, only work with Maya 2008, 32-bit on Windows. Since allready I knew this, my question to Mike about what version of Maya he was on, did not really make much sense 🙂

    I guess most plugins can be compiled for any version of Maya on any operating System. But this has to be done by someone who has the “Source Code” for the plug-in, and also requires that the person compiling the plug-in, has access to the OS and version of Maya, he/she want’s to compile to. Also they need to know what they are doing, since it’s not an obvious process. I tried a few times, but failed and grew very old in the process! (Apparently Mike has the source Code – So best of luck with that! Let us know if you susced)

    You could mail the author (Not me 🙂 ) and try to make him do a 2009 version or you just could keep a Maya 2008 32-bit windows handy for running skinner, regardless of what versoin of maya you normaly use (I do this).


  5. Hey Sune,

    I contacted Jaewoo (the author) and he has compiled Skinner for Maya 2009 x64 and 32 bit. It seems like he has sent it out today to anyone who has requested it in the past. If you or Mike need it I’ll share right after I have his permission to do so. You may be able to get it directly from Jaewoo as well but he seems to be a very busy man. From the tests I’ve been running on it, it works great for low resolution meshes but crashes (like Mike was describing) on higher resolutions. I’ll dig a little deeper to see if that is indeed the case.

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