Importing baked animation clips into maya without overriding current constraints?

Hello! So, let me start of by saying I am not super experienced with animation and rigging, specially in maya.

I currently have a control rig constraining the main character rig on my maya scene, and have to import preview baked animations (created from the same controls/rig) onto this scene. First trying to do this process manually before going into python, but importing an fbx file with one of these baked animations either doesn’t work, because the attributes on the rig are being controlled by the control rig, or, if I set preferences to override when importing, I loose my controls.

So is there a way to do this so I can toggle between my controls and the keyed baked animation, without loosing the attribute connections when importing? I’ve read on maya documention about pairBlend for animations with these requirements, but maya doesn’t seem to generate this node when importing an fbx animation. Am I looking at the problem wrong maybe and theres a better way of doing this?

Thank you in advance! I’ve been using the website for a while now, but never had the need to create an account before!

I assume the task is to import a baked /mocapped fbx and pass to an animator for further keyframing. We do this often.

By default, If node names match between FBX and your rig, Maya will replace the rig node with the imported FBX node - it replaces your constrained joints with the non constrained fbx joints.

you can import FBX with a namespace to prevent replacing, giving you 2 skeletons: one Rigged, but not animated, and one animated but not rigged.

Then you need to build a map (like a python dictionary) of which FBX joint should drive which rig control object. Then you parent constrain the FBX joints to drive the CTRL objects, and bake the result.

Sometimes there will be offsets between the joint and the CTRL transforms to deal with
Sometimes the rig CTRLs IKFK switching needs to be properly set.
Sometimes there will be a CTRL that has no associated joint which still needs to be positioned in relation to the FBX import.

You gave me some ideas thanks! The task is actually to make a small system to preview animations with different clothing assets, in order to check for skinning errors, and some other workflow steps.
Currently, since I wasn’t sure on how to deal with the controls, there is a file with a simple skeleton with no controls that automatically moves over the current asset to that scene and you can preview the animations over there.

For now it seems simpler to do it this way instead of dealing with a complex python mapping dict, and the pitfalls you’ve mentioned