Whether you are a rigger, modeler, animator, or a character effects artist, you need to know about deformers. Autodesk Maya offers several that can be used in a multitude of ways to enhance your work. Below I'm going to give a quick run down of the main ones everyone should know about. I urge you to open up Maya and play around with them. Get inspired and let your creative playfulness go wild!
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Basic definition: Start with 2 geometries of the same typology. When you apply the deformer, it makes second geometry morph into the same shape as the first. You can edit the amount of influence in a component level.