Skin > Edit Smooth Skin > Copy Skin Weights


This tool copies the skin weights of the selected source skin to the selected destination skin. For information on how to copy smooth skin weights, see Copy smooth skin weights. See also Copying smooth skin weights.


For best results when copying smooth skin weights, note the following:

  • When copying skin weights using spatial comparisons the source and destination skins should be positioned in the same positions in your scene. For example, the skinned meshes you are copying weights to and from should be located at the same X, Y, Z coordinate positions. In addition, your source and destination skins should look similar in size and proportion. For example, copying the smooth skin weights from one medium sized biped model to another produces much better results than copying smooth skin weights from a small biped model to a large biped model.
  • When copying skin weights on characters that are spatially separated or have widely varying scales and proportions, you should use the UV space association option.

Skin > Edit Smooth Skin > Copy Skin Weights >

Surface Association

Determines how the source and destination surface components of the skinned objects correlate to each other.

Closest point on surface

Finds the closest points between the source and target surfaces and smoothly interpolates the skin weights at those points. This is the default setting.

Ray cast

Uses a raycasting algorithm to determine sample points between the two surface meshes. This was the default smooth association in pre-8.5 versions of Maya.

Closest component

Finds the closest vertex component (polygons) or control vertex (NURBS) at each sampling point and uses its skin weight value without interpolation. This was the default non-smooth association in pre-8.5 versions of Maya.

UV space

Uses the UV texture coordinates for the sampling of skin weights. Use this setting when the skinned characters vary widely in scale or proportion. When multiple UV sets exist, the currently active UV sets are associated.

Influence Association

Determines how the components that influence the skinned objects (that is, skeleton joints, influence objects, and so on) correlate between the source and destination objects.

The Influence Association occurs in a maximum of three iterations in order to determine the best correlation. You set the Influence Association type for each iteration from a drop-down list beside each level. Set the Influence Association type based on your knowledge of the two skinned objects. As each iteration is completed, the next iteration continues using its specified Influence Association type on any remaining joints. If you are confident that only one or two iterations are required, you can set the remaining Influence Association levels to None and they will not be done.

Closest joint

Associates the joints that are in closest proximity to one another. This is the default setting for the first Influence Association.

Closest bone

Associates the joints based on the bones that connect the skeleton’s joints together. This setting is useful when the source skeleton contains joints that are not present on the target (for example, a twist joint).

One to one

Associates the joints in situations when the skinned objects have identical skeleton hierarchies.


Associates the joints based on their pre-defined joint label. Joint label attributes can be set and edited in the Attribute Editor.


Associates the joints based on their name.


Specifies that no comparison will occur for that level of Influence Association.

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