Combine, Separate Polys Without History Group Nodes In Maya With Smart Mesh Tools

The Outliner is a cluttered mess of empty group nodes. It’s going to take you forever to clean it up!

Dennis Porter has come up with his own workflow that will allow you to combine, separate, extract and duplicate without leaving behind empty group nodes.

Combine, Separate, Extract, & Duplicate without history group nodes

Smart Mesh Tools has a panel with buttons for combining, separate and duplicate. The commands also come equipped with some special features such as automatically centering an object’s pivot point or better name handling.

Smart Mesh Tools features:

  • Clean construction history – No more leftover groups when combining, separating, extracting, or duplicating faces
  • Specific naming conventions – No more mysterious “polySurface” objects
  • Quick hotkey implementation

Smart Combine:
Combined objects will:

  • be renamed SmartCombine_#
  • automatically center their pivots instead of defaulting to Origin
  • try to land inside its starting group (if any), or whichever group contained the most objects involved with the operation
  • not cause instanced objects to disappear
  • never share the same short name, even if nested inside groups
  • take on the name of the group, if an entire group is being combined (so a group named Gun with 25 objects will result in one mesh automatically named Gun)

Smart Extract:
Extracted objects will:

  • retain original object’s name with _Ext appended as a suffix
  • retain original object’s pivot point instead of defaulting to Origin
  • not generate a polyChipOff node on its originating mesh, but instead a deleteComponent node
  • will have a clear construction history and will not be linked with its originating mesh (deleting history on the extracted element will not delete history on the original mesh)
  • stay as one object even if selecting multiple non-contiguous elements (regular Extract would result in each element as a separate object)

Smart Duplicate Face:
Duplicated faces will:

  • retain original object’s name with _Dup appended as a suffix
  • retain original object’s pivot point instead of defaulting to Origin
  • not affect construction history whatsoever on the original mesh!  This means you can duplicate faces on rigged meshes or other objects with complex history you want to retain.
  • not affect instanced objects
  • stay inside their groups
Combine, Separate Polys Without History Group Nodes In Maya With Smart Mesh Tools
Combine, Separate Polys Without History Group Nodes In Maya With Smart Mesh Tools