REPLACE SHAPES – OVERVIEW
The Replace Shapes tool allows you to copy or replace geometry across many objects; it also supports other node types not only geometry.
Upgrade objects from low resolution to hires geometry, convert duplicated geometry into instances, randomize geometry and more.
The tool works well with repeating objects such as
– Roof tiles
– Hair pieces
+ many more
You can randomize geometry by using Replace Shapes with the randomize function found in our Select tool.
Replace Shapes can be also used while combining other node types such as curves for rig controls. Please see the tool Edit Controls which is better at editing rig controls.
(video coming soon)
Maya has no inbuilt tools for copying shape nodes to other objects. It cannot convert duplicated objects to instances.
Maya has a similar tool, Modify > Replace Objects which has problems (see below).
Replace Shapes allows you to instantly copy and replace shape nodes across many objects. It essentially allows you to upgrade a large amount of objects to new geometry, but it can be used for other node types too.
The tool keeps existing objects unlike Modify > Replace Objects. So Zoo’s Replace Shapes maintains incoming connections such as animation, custom attributes, object names and shader information. It also avoids matching issues.
USING THE TOOL
There are two methods for copying the shape nodes.
Option A: Select the object who’s shape nodes you wish to copy/replace and then shift-select the target objects you wish to copy to or replace. Run the tool.
Option B: Enter the Master Object into the UI, this object will be the copied object. Next select all the objects you wish to copy to or replace and run the tool.
The Master Object method is useful if you are using other tools in conjunction with Replace Shapes like our Random Select found in our Select tool.
Note: Entering a Master Object will override the Option A selection method.
FIXING MATCH ISSUES
The replace function can give unexpected offsets, usually due to frozen transform issues.
This is because replacing shape nodes does not respect Rotation/Scale Pivot offsets which are added with freeze transforms.
The tool will discover whether all objects have matching Rotation Pivot offsets, and if they do the replace function should work as expected.
However, if the object’s rotation pivots do not match then there are two work around solutions.
1. Match Master Object Rotation Pivots
Usually the master object can be matched to the objects it’s replacing.
– Select the master object then shift-select one of the replace objects.
– Click Match Pivot Space
This will match the master object to have the same rotation pivot as the objects it’s replacing.
2. Unfreeze Objects
Unfreeze Objects is the brute force method for zeroing all object’s rotation pivots.
– Select all objects and press the Unfreeze Objects button.
All objects rotate pivots will be zeroed and should match as expected.
Note: Objects cannot have incoming connections for Unfreeze Objects.
Instance Shape Nodes Checkbox
Will instance the new shape nodes being copied instead of duplicating.
Keep Target Shaders Checkbox
Keeps the existing shaders of the original objects as they are replaced.
Match Pivot Space Button
Matches an object’s `rotation-pivot` to another.
Useful for fixing shape replace issues.
– Select two objects, the first object will be matched to the second.
The first object must not have incoming connections.
Unfreeze Objects Button
Unfreezes selected objects by removing the Rotation Pivot and Scale Pivot offsets.
Fixes issues related to replacing shape nodes.
Objects must have no incoming connections and cannot be referenced.
Master Object Textbox
This option object will be copied or replaced to other selected objects.
If left empty the first selected object will become the `Master Object`.
Master Object Arrow Button
Enter the Master Object into the UI, select an object and press.
Uninstance Selected Button
Removes the instances on the selected objects.
Objects will become regular objects.
Replace Shape Nodes button
This is the main function, it will copy/replace shape nodes to selected other objects.
Option A: Select the object to copy/replace and shift-select the target objects you wish replace and run.
Option B: Add the copy/replace object into the UI as the Master Object, then select the objects you wish to replace and run.
Note: Entering a Master Object overrides the `Option A` selection method.
Replace Existing Shapes Checkbox
If on will replace the existing shape nodes of the target object by deleting the existing shape nodes.
If off, the existing shape nodes will remain and there will be multiple shape nodes under the target objects.
Delete Original Object Checkbox
Will delete the `Master Object` after the replace is run.