So in much of my frustration when working recently on laying out UVs after rigging a few models I’ve been working on in my thesis, I discovered that Maya’s Transfer Attributes function for getting UVs from one model to another model that’s rigged does not quite work right. What appears to happen is that there is a linked attribute between the model and the rest that seems to be just fine at first, however, if you want to move your transfered UVs around in the UV editor, it’s not permanent. Especially if you decide to delete the original model from your scene which is even worse as it reverts the changes you made back to the model’s originally UV positions.
This frustration is due to the fact that Maya creates a shape node that is a duplicate of another node that hides once it has a skin or deformer bound to the object. When this happens, the duplicate node receives all the new attributes. So when you apply UV settings to the object, it’ll be to the current shape node on the object while the original shape node retains the original UV information. When you transfer the UVs to a similar object in the scene, the transfer information is linked and while you could Delete History on the object to bake in the settings, it’ll ruin and delete your rig. Even deleting non-deformer history on the object will not work either.
So the solution is to find the original shape node on the deformer/skin bounded object and apply the transfer UV information to that, delete the history on the node and then return it to being the original node and then it’ll appropriately affect the rig’s UV layout. I created a script to help with this process and made it possible to apply UV mapping to single and multiple objects. Below details the quick steps to follow in running the script.
As promised, there is a way for you to easily select multiple objects and apply the UVs to those in all one-fell-swoop! And guess what? It’s the same procedure!
Mind you, just in case, always version up your saved scenes before running through magical scripts. Through my needs and testing, this works. Any questions or comments are welcome. Hopefully this finds some use in other hands!