Saturday, January 5, 2013

Maya Artisan Tool: The red X of death

This was bothering me for a really really long time and other people seemed to have this issue as well. So here is a fix for this. Kudos to Michael Paixao who identified the issue.

The problem:
When painting skinweights in maya you  sometimes get a big red X and you cant select influences nor paint them. Additionally you get an error that looks something like this

// Error: file: C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2012/scripts/others/skinClusterInflMenu.mel line 568: No object matches name: Hips.liw //

Why is this happening?
Maya has an internal attribute called "liw" that indicates if influences are locked or not. When exporting the mesh it is exporting this attribute as a custom attribute but on import it doesnt recognize it as its own and trys to create it again. But because the name is already taken it will just give you an error.

How can I fix it?
Make sure that all skinclusters are deleted and execute this script. It is deleting this attribute so that maya can recreate it when you create the skincluster again.

If everything works you should get a warning that you have to restart maya. Save the scene and restart it. This should make it work again.


To prevent this issue from happening again, please make soure you have the latest FBX plugins.
Thanks Brad Clark


  1. These liw attributes are created by an old FBX plugin import. Make sure that you have updated your MAYA FBX plugin to avoid creating more files.

  2. Had an issue with this now before i remembered you posted about it, and i found out that you can fix this without loosing all your skin data, the problem is that the attribute has the wrong name, whereas when it's wrong the attribute long name is 'lockInfluenceWeights' and the short name is the same, so doing a quick search and replace in the .ma file for '-sn "lockInfluenceWeights"' and replacing that with '-sn "liw"' fixes this problem.

    1. can you plz explain this in detaile i really need this ,want to save my skin data

  3. I have the same trouble.
    the python is a nice plan to Solve this!!

  4. Works! You're the man!

  5. This works perfact!! you are the best. thankyou

  6. This worked Thanks. I replaced the liw.

  7. I have the same trouble. but now i can fix it :D. thank for your post