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deformerWeights([attribute=string], [defaultValue=float], [deformer=string], [export=boolean], [ignoreName=boolean], [im=boolean], [method=string], [path=string], [positionTolerance=float], [remap=string], [shape=string], [skip=string], [vertexConnections=boolean], [weightPrecision=uint], [weightTolerance=float], [worldSpace=boolean])

Note: Strings representing object names and arguments must be separated by commas. This is not depicted in the synopsis.

deformerWeights is undoable, queryable, and editable.

Command to import and export deformer weights to and from a simple XML file. The weight data is stored in a per-vertex fashion along with a "point cloud" corresponding to the vertices from the geometry input to the deformer. For example a cluster deformer would have the following information: On import the weights are then mapped back to a specified deformer based on the specified mapping method. Note that the geometry used to perform the mapping association is not the visible shape but rather the incoming geometry to the deformer. For example, in the case of a skin cluster this would be the bind pose geometry.

Return value

STRINGpath to the file imported/exported, if successful

In query mode, return type is based on queried flag.


deformer, export


blendShape, skinCluster, skinPercent


attribute, defaultValue, deformer, export, ignoreName, im, method, path, positionTolerance, remap, shape, skip, vertexConnections, weightPrecision, weightTolerance, worldSpace
Long name (short name) Argument types Properties
attribute(at) string createqueryeditmultiuse
Specify the long name of deformer attribute that should be imported/exported along with the deformerWeights. i.e. -at "envelope" -at "skinningMethod" etc.. No warning or error is given if a specified attribute does not exist on a particular deformer, making it possible to use this command with multiple deformers without aborting or slowing down the import/export process. Currently supports numeric attributes and matrix attributes
defaultValue(dv) float createqueryedit
Manually set the default value. Default values are values that are not written to file. For example, for blendShapes the default value is automatically set to 1.0 and these values are not written to disk. For skinClusters the value is 0.0. If all weights should be forced to be written to disk, set a defaultValue = -1.0.
deformer(df) string createqueryeditmultiuse
Specify the deformer whose weights should be exported or imported. If a pattern is supplied for the deformer name (i.e: cluster*), only the first deformer that matches the pattern will be imported/exported unless used in conjunction with the -skip option
export(ex) boolean createqueryedit
Export the given deformer
ignoreName(ig) boolean createqueryedit
Ignore the names of the layers on import, just use the order of the layers instead. This can be used when joint names have been changed. Leaving it on only name that match on import will be write to the deformer.
im(im) boolean createqueryedit
Import weights to the specified deformer. See the method flag for details on how the weights will be mapped to the destination deformer.
method(m) string createqueryedit
Specify the method used to map the weight during import. Valid values are: "index", "nearest", "barycentric", "bilinear" and "over". The "index" method uses the vertex index to map the weights onto the object. This is most useful when the destination object shares the same topology as the exported data. The "nearest" method finds the nearest vertex in the imported data set and sets the weight value to that value. This is best used when mapping a higher resolution mesh to a lower resolution. The "barycentric" and "bilinear" methods are only supported with polygon mesh exported with -vc/vertexConnections flag. The "barycentric" method finds the nearest triangle of the input geometry and rescales the weights at the triangle vertices according to the barycentric weights to each vertex of the nearest triangle. The "bilinear" method finds the nearest convex quad of the input geometry and rescales the weights at the quad vertices according to the bilinear weights to each vertex of the nearest convex quad. For non-quad polygon, the "bilinear" method will fall back to "barycentric" method. The "over" method is similar to the "index" method but the weights on the destination mesh are not cleared prior to mapping, so that unmatched indices keep their weights intact.
path(p) string createqueryedit
The path to the given file. Default to the current project.
positionTolerance(pt) float createqueryedit
The position tolerance is used to determine the radius of search for the nearest method. This flag is only used with import. Defaults to a huge number.
remap(r) string createqueryeditmultiuse
Remap maps source regular expression to destination format. It maps any name that matches the regular expression (before the semi-colon) to the expression format (after the semi-colon). For example, -remap "test:(.*);$1" will rename all items in the test namespace to the global namespace. Accepts $1, $2, .., $9 as pattern holders in the expression format. Remap flag must be used together with import or export. When working with import, the name of the object from the xml file matching the regular expression is remapped to object in scene. When working with export, the name of the object from the scene matching the regular expression is remapped to object in xml file.
shape(sh) string createqueryeditmultiuse
Specify the source shape. Export will write out all the deformers on the shape node into one file. If a pattern is supplied for the shape name (i.e: pCylinder*), only the first shape that matches the pattern will be imported/exported unless used in conjunction with the -skip option.
skip(sk) string createqueryeditmultiuse
Skip any deformer, shape, or layer that whose name matches the given regular expression string
vertexConnections(vc) boolean createqueryedit
Export vertex connection information, which is required for -m/-method "barycentric" and "bilinear". The flag is only used with -ex/-export flag. The vertex connection information is automatically loaded during import if available in xml file.
weightPrecision(wp) uint createqueryedit
Sets the output decimal precision for exported weights. The default value is 3.
weightTolerance(wt) float createqueryedit
The weight tolerance is used to decide if a given weight value is close enough to the default value that it does not need to be included. This flag is only used with export. The default value is .001.
worldSpace(ws) boolean createqueryedit
For spatially based association methods (nearest), the position should be based on the world space position rather then the local object space.

Flag can appear in Create mode of command Flag can appear in Edit mode of command
Flag can appear in Query mode of command Flag can have multiple arguments, passed either as a tuple or a list.

Python examples

import maya.cmds as cmds

# Create plane and a cluster.
cmds.file( f=True,new=True )
cmds.polyPlane( ch=1, w=10, h=10, sx=5, sy=5, ax=(0,1,0) )
cmds.cluster('pPlane1', name='testCluster')
# Modify some weights on the -x side of the character
cmds.select( ['pPlane1.vtx[5]', 'pPlane1.vtx[11]', 'pPlane1.vtx[17]', 'pPlane1.vtx[23]'])
cmds.percent( 'testCluster', v=0.5 )
# export the weights from the cluster node
cmds.deformerWeights ("clusterWeights.xml", ex=True, deformer="testCluster")
# Export multiple deformers
cmds.deformerWeights("filename.xml", ex=True, deformer=["cluster1", "cluster3"])
# Export name space test1 in scene to test2 in xml
cmds.deformerWeights("filename.xml", ex=True, deformer="*:*", skip="None", remap="test1:(.*);test2:$1")
# Import name space test2 in xml to test1 in scene
cmds.deformerWeights("filename.xml", im=True, deformer="*:*", skip="None", remap="test2:(.*);test1:$1")
# Import all the deformers except the one whose names start with pCyli.
cmds.deformerWeights("filename.xml", im=True, deformer="*", skip="pCyli*")
# Export weights with connectivity information, and then import with bilinear mapping.
# This provides a way to transfer weights between meshes with different topologies.
cmds.deformerWeights ("testWeights.xml", ex=True, vc=True, deformer="skinCluster1")
cmds.deformerWeights ("testWeights.xml", im=True, method="bilinear", deformer="skinCluster1")
# Export all deformers and their attributes
attributes = ["envelope", "percentResolution", "usePartialResolution"]
cmds.deformerWeights("filename.xml", ex=True, deformer="*", attribute=attributes, skip="None")