I was trying to transfer UVs and it was a complete failure until I found this on Gabnation's blog, I'm copying it exactly as it appears in that blog. Thanks gabnation's blog for that helpful post.
I think this is a common problem in 3D production, but somehow or another, I couldn’t find a proper solution after hours of Googling. You’ve rigged your character, attached facial blendshapes, and now you need to transfer new UV maps to your current character. Maya’s transfer mesh attributes seems like an easy solution, but wait! You can’t delete the node after the operation, and neither can you delete the geometry that you transferred the UVs from. What do you do?
TheCrone has the answer. Taken from his blog:
Every object has a “shape orig” node which represents what an object was before it was deformed. We can apply a UV transfer to this no problem which will also transfer up the stack to your rigged object.
I access it like this:
1. Select your rigged object, in the hypergraph hit options/display/ hidden nodes & shape nodes
2. You’ll see a hidden node which is your Orig node, or what your object was before rigging.
3. In the orig node’s attribute editor under object display, uncheck ‘intermediate object’
4. Your Orig node is now accessible.
5. Apply your UV transfer attributes to it – then delete it’s history.
There you go – you’ve applied your transfer to your object via it’s history object. Maya sees it that you performed this operation before rigging. Now why Autodesk hasn’t made a tool for this….who knows.
Thank you so very much my clever friend. You are a lifesaver. Considering how difficult this information was to come by, I’m doing my part in disseminating it. Here’s to helping future victims of merciless Maya.