Zoo Tools Pro 2.7.5f has landed with one of our largest updates yet!
Explore the playful side of rigging with the Hive Autorigger’s new bendy limbs.
Rigging tasks have been made easier with the twist server, and the new copy/paste skin buttons found in the Skinning Toolbox that copy skinning to partial areas of a model while maintaining existing weights on the unselected areas.
The HSV Offset Shaders have now been added into the Zoo Shelf as a toolset tool, whereas previously, they were only accessible via the shader marking menu.
The usual bug fixes have also been included and many more features as well. Enjoy Zoo Tools Pro 2.7.5!
Note that 2.7.5 is now on patch 2.7.5f. See below for more information.
Upgrades: Hive Auto-Rigger
The Hive Auto-Rigger is now equipped with bendy limbs! Add subtle curvature to limbs, or push your toon characters into contorted and exaggerated styles.
Our bendable limbs have been designed for speed/performance and usability.
Our bendy-limbs have been carefully crafted with unique features that set them apart. Take a closer look at the following GIF images for more details.
1. Unlike the majority of other systems, auto-roundness properly preserves the length of limbs:
Additionally there are four layers of controls, primary, secondary, tertiary and individual joint/twists, each bendy set can be shown/hidden individually.
2. The primary controls provide easy curve modification.
In the following example, note how these controls function with auto-roundness in both its active and inactive states.
3. The secondary control fine-tunes the elbow’s placement while also accommodating auto-roundness.
4. The tertiary controls offer complete control over every tangent. These controls are, in fact, the tangents themselves and can be utilized in conjunction with auto-roundness.
Hive Auto-Rigger Enhancements:
– Bendy limbs added to arms, legs, and vchain components.
– Auto-bendy automatically keeps arm length when turned on.
– Improved control styling for the Arm Component, matching the templates.
– Hive now deactivates the node editor during builds improving build times.
– Twist joints now update in real-time with guide changes.
– World up-vector guides are integrated into arms, legs, and vchain components.
– UI elements like checkboxes are now available inside our build scripts.
Hive Template Enhancements:
– Limb world-up vectors are now present in all templates.
– Natalie now features hair visibility options on the head and waist controls.
– Bendy is now a part of the Natalie, Biped, UE5 Mannequin, Zoo Mannequin, and Sir Moustache templates.
– Zoo Selection Sets are automatically generated with all character templates.
– Fixed issue that resulted in child components of the spine moving when aligned.
– We’ve fixed a bug related to a failure to FBX export geometry due to type errors.
– Reset controls using the marking menu now correctly resets all attributes.
– Child components are now reset correctly via the Hive right-click menu.
– Fixed scale issues related to the VChain component.
– We have removed the “disable twisting” build script as it is incompatible with our new bendy twists.
New Tool: Zoo Selection Sets
Introducing our new Zoo Selection Sets which is a fantastic solution for set based workflows!
With just a tap of a hotkey, you can intuitively cycle through an object’s related sets.
List all selection sets in the scene, you can also add, remove, hide, and assign colored icons.
No matter how many characters or props you have in the scene you can easily navigate through large scenes with our namespace filters based on selection.
For more information and GIFs about this tool see the Zoo Selection Sets Tool Page.
Even with 1600 curves on our most complex rig Natalie, the tool remains highly interactive.
A massive shoutout to Wade Schnieder, who’s taken up the mantle of maintaining the free version of this tool on Github!
For more information about the Zoo Tools Pro version of Tween Machine see the page here.
New Tool: HSV Shader Offset
Adjust hue, brightness, and saturation across multiple shaders with our HSV Offset tool.
Now you can access the dockable version of the popup that was included in our last upgrade, this version is found under Shader Icon menu in the Zoo Shelf.
See the HSV Offset Tool Page for more information and GIFs.
New Tool: Twist Extractor
Use our anti-flip twist setup from the Hive Auto-Rigger in your own custom rigs!
Riggers often struggle with setting up their own twist server for rigging, in this version we’ve included a nifty tool that generates an ultra-lightweight and highly durable twist server for building your own rigs manually.
Zoo always uses native Maya nodes so animators never need to install extra plugins, everything works even without Zoo installed.
Enhancement: Animation Paths/Trails
Say goodbye to tedious Motion Trail management – our new marking menu lets you quickly create, rebuild, and tweak display settings with ease.
For more information and GIFs about this tool, see the Animation Paths Tool Page.
Enhancement: Skinning Toolbox
Free up your skinning workflows with our Skinning Toolbox.
Our new skin weight copy-paste buttons enable you to modify a selected part of a skinned mesh while keeping the existing skinning in the unselected area unaffected.
You can utilize this feature in various skinning workflows such as mesh modification, splitting, and rejoining.
For more information and GIFs about this tool, see the Skinning Toolbox Page.
Enhancement: Zoo Icon Library
Send any icon from Zoo Tools and incorporate it into your Selection Set Marking Menu!
Our little known icon tool, previously reserved for developers, now allows you to find icons quickly with the search feature.
Enhancement: SubD Marking Menu
Introducing the new SubD Marking Menu, display all subD modes on a single hotkey (3).
Tap to toggle modes or press-and-hold to activate the menu. Released in patch 2.7.5c.
Enhancement: Maya Scenes (Import & Reference)
Import and Reference scenes with the Maya Scenes Browser and the UI now prompts you for a namespace. In the case of importing no name will ignore the namespace.
Maya’s namesspace is the start of each objects name seperated by a colon. “:”
Released in patch 2.7.5e.
Enhancement: Edit Controls & Control Creator
With the new button/menu item in the Edit Controls & Control Creator tools, you can now quickly remove Zoo Tracker Attributes from selected controls.
Use this feature when you are finished tweaking your control shapes.
For more information about this tool, see the Edit Controls Tool Page.
Enhancement: Rigging Misc
The “Mark Center Pivot” button now includes a new right-click menu, enabling you to create markers that match all the objects you have selected, and not just a single center pivot.
You are also no longer limited to creating marker handles – we’ve also included the option to create regular locators too.
For more information about this tool, see the Edit Controls Tool Page.
Enhancement: Bake Animation
The Bake function has been updated to affect only the selected time range if one is present; otherwise, it uses the full playback range.
Enhancement: Marking Menus (All)
All Zoo marking menus can now be used in floating windows, such as torn-off perspective windows on a second monitor.
Enhancement: Zoo Hotkey Editor
Users can now assign arrow keys and other miscellaneous keys in the Zoo Hotkey Editor.
The process of adding hotkeys to custom hotkey sets has been made simpler in Zoo Tools. Users can now right-click on a Zoo Tools hotkey and add it to their custom hotkey set.
While upgrading, update your hotkeys using the button in the Zoo Preferences Window.
Enhancement: Zoo Hotkeys
We’ve added new hotkeys:
– Animation Motion Trail Marking Menu: ‘ (press and hold, or tap for rebuild)
– Refresh Maya’s Viewport (ogs -r): ctrl /
– Open Hive Autorigger: shift / (reassigned)
Unassigned open tool hotkeys have been added to our editor:
– Zoo Selection Sets Window
– Tween Machine Window
– Tween Machine (popup at mouse cursor)
– HSV Offset Shader Window
– HSV Offset Shader (popup at mouse cursor)
– Twist Extractor Window
A large update has been made to the Zoo Selection Set Marking Menu
– Zoo Selection Set Marking Menu: u (press and hold or tap for cycle related sets)
Maya’s native Hotkey Editor now includes all categorized Zoo hotkeys for easy access:
– Edit Hotkeys For: Custom Scripts
Bug Fix: Shader Manager
The issue with not being able to rename shaders without suffixing has been resolved.
Bug Fix: Zoo Renamer
A bug that misidentified custom nodes as shape nodes has been resolved.
—– New Patch Release Information ——
We have begun issuing patch updates to address bugs in major releases. Occasionally, we will also incorporate additional features.
Zoo 2.7.5 Patch B
BugFix: Hive Auto Bendy no longer calculates 4 times too strong.
Zoo 2.7.5 Patch C
Removed: Outliner hotkey has been removed previously (3)
Enhancement: SubD Marking Menu added to a hotkey (3)
Zoo 2.7.5 Patch D (14th March 2023)
Enhancement: Patch letter now appears in the Zoo Tools Menu
Enhancement: Marking Menus have code that can be modified for bindings to other modifier keys alt/shift/ctrl etc.
BugFix: Skinning Toolbox fully supports curves, Bind Skin, Transfer and Copy Paste.
BugFix: More robust Skin Copy/Paste can be used in multiple situations.
BugFix: Fixed bugs regarding building Hive rigs with containers. (Settings Checkbox)
Enhancement: Hive: Added option for building proxy attributes even while using containers.
BugFix: Hive Aim Component is working again
BugFix: Spine no longer causes small offsets while rebuilding rigs.
2.7.5 Patch E (16th March 2023)
BugFix: Guide twists controls were not updating with symmetry is now fixed.
2.7.5 Patch F (24th March 2023)
Enhancement: Import and Referencing from the Maya Scenes Browser asks for namespace.
BugFix: Resetting Attributes ignores the Rotation Order Attribute for hotkey, anim UI and Hive right-click menu. This is important in regards to rigs that expose the Rotation Order such as in Hive.
Buy or upgrade Zoo Tools Pro.
To see all tools go to the Zoo 2 Information Page.
Registered users can download and upgrade from the Zoo 2 Install Page.