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
– Grass
– Roof tiles
– Leaves
– Rocks
– Rivets
– Buttons
– Bricks
– 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)

 
 

THE PROBLEM

 

Maya has no inbuilt tools for copying shape nodes to other objects. It cannot convert duplicated objects to instances.

 
 

THE SOLUTION

 

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.

 
 

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.

 
 
Freeze Transforms Information
Maya’s Freeze Transforms function can affect the replace tool in a number of ways.

If objects have had their transforms frozen then the tool will ask you to remove the freeze offset, in most cases this is desirable.

Objects are be matched by pivot information, so scale and rotation values should be maintained in the same local space.

 
 

COMPACT SETTINGS

 

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.

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.

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.

 
 

ADVANCED SETTINGS

 

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.

Preserve Position Checkbox
Will attempt to preserve the position of the incoming shape node, this setting is in alpha and may not work as expected in many situations.

Delete Original Object Checkbox
Will delete the `Master Object` after the replace is run.

 
 

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