So I’m kinda excited today. After learning MEL for about 3 weeks now, I created my first tool set (slim, but with more to come) to help with workflow and pipelines in creating Blendshapes.
After rigging for the past couple months, I’ve run into some areas of production that could have saved me a little time and one of those areas are creating Blendshapes that are initially symmetrical utilizing utilities like soft select/move or Mudbox (my personal choice). This said, it’s kind of a pain to paint weights on one side and then mirror as it doesn’t provide a perfect solution as you may run into double translations when combining the two Blendshape nodes – especially with parts of the face such as smiles and frowns. As a result, I found a solution to invert the weight maps of the Blendshapes that then allows me to duplicate the geometry to a Rightside and Leftside – breaking up the nodes.
You can download the tool here (McBe BlendShape Tools v1.0) and source/run the script within the Maya Script Editor. This was created within Autodesk Maya 2012 and I have not tested in prior versions.
Options include just inverting, inverting and then duplicating, and if you duplicate, you have the option to identify which is the right side or left side of the object and it will add a suffix of “_LT” and “_RT” to the created shapes. I also added offsetting of the objects as I tend to do this for organizing large scenes of blendshape geometry nodes.
Below are examples of it in action splitting a smile and recombining it. Feel free to give me feedback so I can help you improve your workflow!