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Mass copy skin weight

Date : Sometime 2008
Maya Version : Should work with all versions of Maya from 8.5

This wondrous tool will automatically copy skin weight from source objects to your target objects.

It will even bind your target objects to the right joints for you.

So , for most of the time you just select top parent of the model that you want your skin to copy from and then add the selection of target objects and just copy weights over.

It will bind your target objects to the joints associated with source objects and copy the weights over.  If there are no exact vertex match, then it will interpolate as best as it can.


This tool is bit different than some you may find commonly in the internet. Differences are:

It is simple to use. Click source , Click target , Perform copy. That is it. It is that simple.

Your target object can be name independent , topology independent , number independent. It interpolates skin weight value as best as it can.

Target objects do not have to be bind to any joints. It automatically binds to the source joints.

Very useful when you create LOD model. Select top group node of high polygon model , add selection of top group node of low polygon model. Then perform copy weight.

Very useful when you have existing skinned model and want to add something to it. Add T-shirts to your existing skinned character model and copy weights over. You are already 90% done.

Automatically convert rigid skins to smooth skin.

Automatically prunes resulting skin weights to your specified value

You do not save your skin weights to disk and then load them into another set of skinned objects. It transfers directly within Maya so you need to have both source and target models in one Maya scene. Once you have copied the weights over you can safely delete the source models if you chose to.

If you are a character artist and need to do LOD models and bind them, this tool will save your time SO MUCH. Once you have used it and know what it can do, you just can’t do it without.

How does it work?

Well, to my surprise, Maya does have a decent weight copier. But it is not very intuitive to use. Like most of the Maya default tools, this script automates lots of process and utilize Maya’s built-in skin copying function in a way that I felt it should be.

I do not claim that every result will be 100% to your satisfaction. Because it all depends on conditions of your target models. But it will certainly give you a head start.

Only one selection for source object is allowed. But you can have as many target objects selection. If you have many source objects then group them together and select the group node for the source object selection. Only works with polygonal objects.

How to run this scipt :

  • Copy the scripts (.py) to your usual python script folder and plugins to the plugins folder. This could be your default Maya script folder under My documents
  • Import Maya python lib typing : import maya.cmds as cmds and then pressing crtl+enter in the script editor (in python tab)
  • Import the file if necessary by typing : import Cas_massCopyWeight_python and then pressing crtl+enter in the script editor (in python tab)
  • Run script : Cas_massCopyWeight_python.Cas_massCopyWeight_UI() and then pressing crtl+enter in the script editor
  • Combine both import and command into one short cut button on your shelf for easy access next time

13 Responses to “Mass copy skin weight” »

  1. Marcthur Says:

    Hello there,
    I use this tool very often, it is a real time saver.
    I have maya 2011.
    Suddenly the script gives an error message

    # Error: TypeError: file C:/Documents and Settings/M/My documents/maya/scripts\ line 118: ‘NoneType’ object is unsubscriptable #

    Any tips how to avoid or solve this?

    Thanks in advance

  2. admin Says:

    Latest version 4.1 should solve “NoneType” issue…

  3. suresh Says:

    Hello Admin;

    After Run script :

    The script is showing an error of # Error: IndentationError: unexpected indent any solution


  4. Adrien Says:

    Hi Admin!

    Just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for this script, this saved me tons of time when I needed to transfer skin weights on a LOD mesh. Works perfectly for me on Maya 2013 64Bits.


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  13. JooJ Says:

    Not sure if this site is still active, but I’m facing a problem which I accidentaly closed the UI window and it doesn’t opens itself again when I execute the script. What should I do to make the script work again? It doesn’t give any error message, it simply doesn’t gives any result.

    import maya.cmds as cmds

    import Cas_massCopyWeight_python


    I tried to mess with all those buttons and even reinstalled maya, but I don’t have any idea of what should I do now, I ran out of options so I need a hint of how to make this program work again after closing its tab.

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