froTools : a maya toolset for working faster

This time I will present you a simple mel script that I’m working on. It’s my current toolbox, I have made this script for working faster in Maya when I’m doing some modeling. My first attempt was to only make a retopo tool but after some tests I finally found it will be more useful to add some basic Maya tools and some other which improve my workflow.
All of this new tools are not fully made by me, most of them where found on Creative Crash but alone. I have simply mixed them. You can see the full credits at the end of this post.

Presentation : Polygon tools

Make :
Make is like the make polygon tool of maya, with this tool you can create new polygons. The difference is that now you can make how many vertex you want, the tool will convert this polygon into quad and triangle at the end. If you want to have a polygon full of quad, try to add vertices two by two.

Append :
The classic maya append tool which allow you to make a polygon based on an edge (or more).

ExtVtx :
“Extrude Vertex”, this tool will allow you to extrude a vertex but by a specific way. This extrude will automatically create a quad. A quick way to work with is to select the vertex, use the ExtVtx and then use the middle mouse button to automatically move the vertex under your mouse cursor (this function automatically select the vertex you have just created).
WARING : this tool is a bit heavy, after a quick time you will feel some slow responses from Maya, I suggest you to delete the history of your current object regulary.

TgWeld :
The “Target Weld” tool is used to snap and merge a vertex to is nearest neighborhood. Very useful when used with the ExtVtx.

Merge :
The classic Maya merge tool which simply “merge” your current selection. This tool call a window for choosing the power of this function. This tool works well with edges and vertices.

Bevel :
The classic Maya bevel tool, this tool will call a window for setting up the properties of the bevel that you will apply.

Edg Loop :
The classic Maya “insert edge loop” tool.

Split :
The classic Maya “split polygon” tool.

DelHis :
The classic “Delete History” of Maya, but this one automatically switch your current selection into the object mode. This way will save one click which become very useful when you use the ExtVtx (which require a lot of delete history).

Freeze :
The classic “Freeze Transformations” of Maya.

ToTri :
The classic Triangulate tool of Maya.

ToQuad :
The classic modified Quadrangulate tool of Maya, this one convert you current mesh into triangle and then into quad, this way improve the quality of the quandrangulation.

Del Edg/Vtx
The classic delete Edges/Vertex tool of Maya for cleaning an object.

EdgeCut :
This tool will separate at least two edges for making a hole.

Connect :
Like the connect tool of 3DS Max (but much more simple) this tool will add only one edge. This tool work only with quads and will add automatically a new edge in the corners to preserve the quads.

Mirror X/Y/Z :
These 3 buttons will make an instance of your current selection on the opposite side of the an axe which will allow you to work in symmetry.

Presentation : Selection

Object mode :
Switch the selection to the Object mode.

Transform :
Switch to the Transform component tool.

Vert/Edge/Face/Multi :
Switch between the vertex, edge, face selection mode or the multi selection mode.

UvBorder / WeldUV / CutUV / UVWin :
UvBorder will enable or disable the highlight of the uv border of your mesh.
Weld and Cut UV will merge or cut the current selected edges in the UV.
UvWin will simply open the UV Editor Window.

Invert :
Invert will simply invert your current selection.

These two button will increase or decrease the size of your selection.

Align X/Y/Z :
These 3 buttons will align the current selected vertices on an Axe (locally).

Combine :
The classic Combine object tool of Maya.

Separe Face :
Separate the current selected faces of an object into a new object.

Separate Obj :
This tool will separate each objects based on the selected faces.
WARING : Not working, it will be fixed in the next version.

Tweak select :
Enable the tweak select mode which allow you to move a selection based on the camera (or a constraint object) without needing to select it before. Click&Move !
The slider just at its right is a setting which allow you increase or decrease the current size displayed for the vertex.

Dsbl Backface :
Disable the backface selection, this option will allow you to not select the face/point behind an object. Be carefull, this is the built-in maya option but this is not always very well working, sometime you need to re-enable the backface otherwise you will not be able at all to select something.

SnapMerge Vtx :

Presentation : Other Tools

AvgNorm :
The classic “Average Normal” tool of Maya.

InvNorm :
The classic “Invert Normal” tool of Maya.

EditNor :
Switch to the “Edit Normal” tool.

TglNor :
“Toggle Normal” : Display/Hide the normal per face on the selected object.

OriPivot :
This button will move the pivot point of the selected object to the 0 position of the scene (World 0,0,0).

CtrPivot :
This button will center the pivot point in the center of the selected object.

HideUI :
This button will hide/unhide most of Maya Interface.

TglGrid :
this button will hide/unhide the grid.

HideObj :
This button will hide the selected object.

UnHidObj :
This button will unhide the selected object.

UnhideAll :
This button will unhide all the objects.

Outliner :
This button will open the Outliner window.

Presentation : Export

Static FBX :

Skel FBX :

Anim FBX :

GoZ (zBrush) :
The classic GoZ command for sending the selected object to zBrush.

This button will open a new window which will allow you to export/replace an object in the obj format.

Presentation : Setup

/!\ Be Carefull /!\
Setup hokeys :
This button will change some of your Maya keyboard shortcut for working faster.
-CTRL+D : Is now used to extrude/duplicate an object. This function is based on you selection, in object mode you simply duplicate, in Edge/Face you extrude, in vertex you call the EtxVtx function.
-SHIFT+D : This command will call the TgWeld function (Target, snap and weld a selected vertex)

this button will call the script created by leocov for doing easier retopology in maya.
More info here : Leocov’s lcRetopo script
-This script is not included-

Download and Install

froTools : froTools 2.3
lcRetopo : Leocov’s lcRetopo script

For installing this script you need to put the content of the folder “froRetopo” inside your maya folder. (Ex : “My Documents\maya\2011-x64\”)
How to launch ? Call the command “froRetopo2” in the mel command line, or make a shelf button which call the command “froRetopo2”


This script is based on a lot of scripts, I would like to thanks the following authors which have made most these tools :

-Christer Bjørklund – www.christerb.comConnect Tool
-Christer Bjørklund – www.christerb.comExtrude Vertex tool
-landis – www.LandisFields.comMake polygon tool
-Volker Heisterberg ( – Target weld vertex tool
-Naughty ( – Target weld vertex tool
-Brian Keffer – Creative crash ProfileVertex align tool
-Bean – Creative crash ProfilexsiDuplicate tool
-Andrew Osiow – http://andrewsw3dbrain.comHideUI based on xTools
-Leocov – snap tools
-unsmoothed – Creative crash ProfileOBJ Exporter