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Guide template import crashes on empty controlBuffer

Hello, I’m encountering an error when importing a guide template. I’m currently using v4.0.9.

There are a few controls for which I purposely deleted their shape nodes. When I select all controls and extract the shapes, these controls are included under controllers_org as empty transforms, which is what I want, and they are included in the exported guide template. However, when the guide template is imported, Shifter throws the following error:

pymel.core.general.MayaNodeError: Maya Node does not exist (or is not unique)::

It appears Shifter skips creating a controlBuffer from the template that has no shapes, but then still looks for the controlBuffer transform in order to parent it under controllers_org. Could this behavior be corrected to create the controlBuffer transform whether or not it has shapes?


I haven’t tried to import Guide templates and I should probably make a pipeline to do that but specifically regarding the empty shapes. That is exactly what I am doing for controls I haven’t quite understood the use for.

The idea was suggested by more experienced MGear users like Chris Lesage last year.


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Oh one thing I am a bit unclear about what you are saying.

How are you importing the guides templates?

Through the File > Open menu in the Shifter Guide Manager and importing a .sgt file?


I can recreate this. I’m not sure if it’s a known bug or not. It seems to happen in 4.1.2 as well. EDIT: and as far back as 3.7.11 it is still happening. Tested in Maya 2020 and 2022 so far.

When you import, do you end up with some duplicate controlBuffer nodes leftover in your top level? These 3 controls are the ones I tested deleted the shapes on before exporting a test template.


Yes, that is the intended behaviour, as far as I know. Empty transforms should work fine. I’ll try and see if I can pinpoint what version introduced this bug, or if it’s always been this way, and gone unnoticed.


@Moustache_Animation I’m importing via the mGear menu > Shifter > Import Guide Template

@chrislesage If there are any controlBuffers listed after the empty transforms in the controllers_org group on export, they appear in the top level when the import crashes.

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