Daryl Obert presents a look into how one would go about aligning and attach objects to a deforming mesh in Maya. There are a few ways that you can approach this, one of course is the Maya closestPointOnMesh node which will return the closest point to a mesh given by the inputMesh attribute.

Daryl shows how to get the same result with another, albeit more cumbersome setup, once by using Maya’s Particle system, and then offers a better way though Maya’s XGen, and even using Maya’s nHair system’s follicle node.