Maya OrigShape Overview

The shape orig, or origShape as I have a habit of calling it, is something that every rigger in Maya should know about. Knowing this will start to demystify a lot of what happening with deformers.

The main thing to understand here is that when you apply a deformer to a mesh in Maya, for the deformer to know how to deform a mesh, it needs to know the original shape/starting point of the vertices. Hence the name shape orig. What this means is that deformers will always use this as a starting point for their deformations, and if we modify this starting point we can change the starting shape of our mesh without loosing any of our rigging or weighting!

I go more into detail in the video below, and here is a list of what I cover:

  • 00:00 - Basic origShape overview
  • 05:04 - Using origShape for model update
  • 10:56 - Multiple origShapes and how that impacts file size
  • 15:05 - Changing vert count and order via origShape
  • 19:13 - One shape to cutout shapes