Deforming Control Geometry – Part 2 – With Nodes!

In a previous post titled Creating a Deforming Control Geometry Setup, I walked through the process of using a combination of wrap deformers and blendshapes to create an intuitive animation interface for the mouse character Robyn.  That was the actual structure we used during the production of the Animal Facts short, but as many people have mentioned — too many deformers can cause Maya to slow down.

Another very interesting technique was mentioned to me by a few folks, and based off great information from Charles Wardlaw, Raveen Rajadorai, and a post by Harry Houghton, I’ve put together a demonstration on another way to achieve a similar effect without the use of these deformation nodes.

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In this case, we’re using a transformGeometry node to help take the shape of the deforming object and use it to drive the control.  Very cool!

Jason Schleifer
Jason Schleifer
Jason and his mad scientist eyebrows have been pushing the boundaries of CG animation and sharing his knowledge for nearly 20 years. Widely recognized as an industry leader and mentor to hundreds of animators, Schleifer, formerly of Weta Digital and Head of Character Animation at DreamWorks, now works as Head of Content and is a co-founder of Nimble Collective.


  1. Hi Jason! You’ve inspired me to give Blender a real try (sick of Autodesk never improving their animation tools or stability), and I was wondering if you think this control philosophy could be achieved in Blender? I was an intern at Pixar a few years ago, where they use this type of setup, and have longingly pined for this way of working ever since.


    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Chris!

      I believe someone was creating a method of doing this in Blender a while back.. I’ll see if I can find it!

  2. Evan Perry says:

    Hi Jason and team, I tried this method with a facial rig I am making. It works great, and I have had no issues, bugs or performance hits. A quick video of the rig in action can be found here

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