FAQ

Installation

Is there a list of what's changed in a new release?

I always try to outline new things when announcing release in news. There's always a changelog.txt (latest online copy here) which is installed together with ngSkinTools files.

Common issues

After installing new plugin version, Maya complains that "Invalid plugin version detected"

For some reason, maya is finding the older ngSkinTools.mll file in the plugin path, and UI is warning you that there will probably be other problems to follow.

Open Maya plugin editor, see where it's locating ngSkinTools.mll file (or .so, if on Linux), and delete it from there. Just in case, reinstall plugin (so you're sure that only newest ngSkinTools.mll file is used).

Maya 2015 crashes when saving a .ma file

Fixed in the #902 release

I click ngSkinTools shelf button, but nothing happens

Fixed recently, please update.

I installed ngSkinTools, but there is no new shelf

See next question.

I have some other weird problem with the ngSkinTools shelf

From time to time, users are reporting strange problems with the shelf, and I was not able to track it down yet. Try creating a button on another shelf using this Python code, this should open ngSkinTools main window:

from ngSkinTools.ui.mainwindow import MainWindow
MainWindow.open()

My mesh looks black after using paint weights

Weights are not displayed when using paint tool

Some problems with utility node that displays skin weights. Try deleting it, it will be inserted next time it's needed. Find a node called "ngSkinLayerDisplay" in mesh history and remove it, or use this Python snippet:

from maya import cmds
cmds.delete(cmds.ls(type='ngSkinLayerDisplay'))

My mirror is acting weird

Is your rig properly aligned with the symmetry plane? Most of the time this means that the center of your rig should be on the X=0 (unless you use different symmetry axis). NgSkinTools don't like it when the rig is off.

Did you review how left/right joints discover each other?

Is your rig actually symmetrical? Try separating non-symmetrical parts into separate layers and don't mirror them.

Features

A better tutorial is needed

Please add more tutorials

A known issue. It's really hard to sit down and write stuff, I'm not that kind of person, but hey, I'm compiling this FAQ, so that's something. NgSkinTools tutorials are on my "new years resolutions" list for year 2015.

I still don't get layers. can you please explain them in other words?

I've written a comparison to Photoshop layers as a response to a user question. Can you see if that makes sense to you as well?

Are NURBS Curves/Surfaces supported?

No, polygon meshes is the only type of shape supported.

How can I lock an influence?

Influence locking feature (in paint weights mode) does not exist in ngSkinTools on purpose. With layers you already have much better control over what influences and vertex weights will be changed by a paint stroke; influence locking feature would just be unnecessary complexity.

Instead of thinking of joints you don't want to affect (which often is, "all of the joints except selected few"), you create a fresh layer and include only those influences you want to adjust.

Pipeline

Is ngSkinTools compatible with game engines?

Internally, ngSkinTools is just a tool to set weights into standard skinCluster. You should be able to export just fine. There's also an option to set max weights per joint.

I'm ready to give the rig to the animators. Do they need ngSkinTools to be able to use the scene?

Not necessarily. There is a menu item Edit | Delete Custom Nodes which will remove any ngSkinTools special nodes from the scene. This will delete your layers! Only use on a copy of your working file, if you intent to continue working on the skinning.

I need to do the same, but in my script.

Using python:

from ngSkinTools.layerUtils import LayerUtils
LayerUtils.deleteCustomNodes()

.. Or just delete nodes of type ngSkinLayerData and ngSkinLayerDisplay in your own prefered way.

Other

I heard ngSkinTools is open source project. Where's the source?

It was open source, for a short while. Due to multiple reasons it's not anymore.

What are the upcomming features? When?

I emailed requesting a feature, is it in the plan?

Please check the pivotal tracker to understand what's planned in the near future, and what's being work on.