Smart Layer v0.58, Beta (Python Script for Maya)

11 ratings

Smart Layer is a script for Autodesk Maya that allows you to adjust animation in a very easy and quick way. 

Usually, we adjust animation with animation layers. But with this approach, each change results in a ton of routine work, controlling the poses, managing keys and timings to avoid issues like feet sliding, wobbliness, etc. 

Smart Layer eliminates these issues, and work that before could take hours to do - now can be done in seconds. That makes it perfect for tasks like mocap cleanup, game animation, cinematics/movies layouts. 

Main applications:

  • proportionally "shift" the animation, and avoid feet sliding 
  • proportionally rotate the animation, and avoid feet sliding
  • make animation follow a spline, proportionally, without feet sliding
  • create variations of the same animation, but with different poses (like the same character stop animation can end with 10 different idles)
  • create strafe animations from movement-forward
  • create animations for different directions, using only forward animation (character starts, attacks, abilities, etc.) 
  • create movement-in-circle animations from movement-forward
  • adjust individual controls and keep the original animation flow

The script doesn't care about the rig type, would it be a biped or quadruped, or spider, or centipede, or any other custom creature, it works for everything. 

How it works:

1) add animation controls to the animation layer

2) in layer, create keyframes with necessary adjustments, and run the script

3) the script will do the math, and create a new animation layer, where your adjustments will be applied in a "proportionate" way, preserving the original animation's flow, but with a new poses.

The script has a starter guide, as well as animated tooltips explaining how each feature works!

Tested in Maya:

2019.3.1, 2020.4, 2022.5, 2023.3, 2024.2, 2025 (Windows 10);

2022.5, 2023.3, 2024.2, 2025 (Mac OS Monterey 12.4, M1 laptop)

Tested on rigs:
Advanced Skeleton, mGear, HIK*, Zoo Tools, Bazutkin rig, Azri, Pickle Rig**, and others.
*HIK requires the "Run Simulation" option to be enabled, to process rotations correctly. 

**Pickle Rig is my custom rig for Maya, made in a simple, "traditional" way, using regular transforms and standard components. 
***When processing a large number of controls - use "Run Simulation" option (parallel evaluation works faster)

The script requires internet access to go through activation! Test connection:

Bug tracker:
(please read this, to be aware of the limitations of the script)

Who is the target audience of the script?

I Expect the user to have at least a junior-middle animator qualification. If you're not familiar with the difference between IK / FK, or what is a root motion, space switching, or the whole concept of animation layers - then it might be worth investigating these concepts before purchasing the tool. The full potential of the script reveals itself in the hands of a senior animator, as it optimizes routine tasks that previously could take hours and now can be done in seconds, but to fully realize it and apply in work - knowing the "old way" of doing things would help a lot.


If you faced an issue with a script, or installation, or found a bug - please contact me

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Smart Layer v0.58, Beta (Python Script for Maya)

11 ratings
I want this!