Hyperdrive for Autodesk Maya is a posed-based caching plugin, heavily inspired by the PBCS developed at Disney Animation Studios. The pose-based approach has several advantages compared to classic time-based vertex caches, as the caches are interchangeable between scenes and independent of changes in the timeline. The plugin’s main component are two Maya nodes that takes care of detecting poses based on animated rig controller values and storing the deformed character geometry in a memory cache. On the next pose hit, it will automatically retrieve the cached mesh and pass it downstream, while deactivating evaluation for all performance-heavy nodes. This results in vastly improved playback speeds, while still allowing the addition of in-shot deformers and simulations on top of the cache.
I developed a working prototype and as part of my diploma R&D project at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Since Maya 2019 drastically improved playback speeds with it’s new caching solution and I’m limiting on what I can achieve with the current Maya API, I currently have no plans on continuing development on this plugin.
More details on the development process in my blog post about Hyperdrive.