You can retarget animation data from the joints of one skeleton (source) to the joints of another skeleton (target). The source skeleton is the skeleton from which you want to retarget its animation data, and the target skeleton is the skeleton to which you want to retarget the source’s animation.
Retargeting in Maya is based on the Autodesk HumanIK character solver. Once you have defined your character’s skeletal structure using the HumanIK character structure, you can transfer animation between skeletons that have the same or different skeletal structures and proportions.
In addition to providing basic retargeting, HumanIK is integrated with animation layers. These tools together provide you with a workflow for non-destructively retargeting character animation. The HumanIK retargeting tools let you adjust retargeting parameters dynamically, without having to bake your animation to see results.
When you retarget animation from one character to another, you can put the retargeted animation onto a layer, then add more layers to modify the retargeted animation. For example, use additive layers to exaggerate a retargeted jumping movement, or use override layers to fix imperfect motion capture data.