View Full Version : Help with a rig/skin weights

11-18-2009, 12:46 AM
Earlier this month I posted asking about some problems I was having with rigging this character and I have gotten nowhere. I am an amateur trying to rig and bind a character, I have watched hours of tutorials and tried many tips from other users and I have gotten nowhere. I have made a rig for the character with all the controls I want but BINDING the character to the rig has been frankly, hell. I really need someone to have a look at the rig for me and maybe do some of the weighting. I hope you all understand I am very frustrated and need some help from the pros. If I ever use this character in an animation I will of course give full credit to whomever helps me out with binding this character.

Thanks and I hope you understand.
If you want to help me, I'll send you a download link to the project file.


11-18-2009, 02:42 PM
I can at just a glance see what I would term as 4 problems with the joint structure that would cause you a lot of problems with weighting.

Root is in the Wrong Place. In the attached image you will see an X through the un-needed joint. There is really no reason for this joint to exist, it sould serve No purpose or usefulness.
Change the Clavicle parent to lower on the spine. This create the illusion of a ribcage. While also preventing you from having your rig look like it broke its collarbone. It also saves you on bone counts and reduces fustration in weighting.
Clavicle should be moved out slightly at the moment it looks to be too close to the spine. This is of course one of those things that is often debated about, the best way to do a clavicle joint placement. I stand by the precieved point of rotation. Which is about halfway between the shoulder and the spine.
You dont need this many spine joints unless your preforming for cirque. If you remove most of those joints and you will have an esier time weighting the model.
You should first and foremost understand why you are putting joints where you are. I see a lot of joints that are not doing you any good in that model. Unless you are using IK for the fingers you don't need to have joints all the way to the tips of the fingers.

To illustrate what I am talking about with the clavicle rotation. If you take your index finger and put it on your collar bone. Then rotate your shoulder you will see that the closer you are to your spine the less your finger moves, if at all when your shoulder moves. And when you move your finger closer to your shoulder the more it moves. Your point of rotation is that spot where your finger starts to move . Which is about halfway between the two.

11-18-2009, 05:19 PM
Thanks for your help I am trying to follow your instructions, heres a download link to the project file could you please have a look at it and maybe fix some of the things you were talking about?

Download Link (http://www.mediafire.com/?zqzhzdjozty)

Thanks you so much! :)

11-18-2009, 06:34 PM
the verision that you posted up on the file server is almost there.
Just a couple of notes.

Clean your geometry. This will cause you a ton of problems.
Make your head seperate Geometry if you're going to use that many Blendshapes.
Skin before you rig. This is just a pipeline effeciency. The reason being is that you may need to make changes in your joint structure that will destroy your rig. Once the skinning is most of the way done then Rig.
I would not recommend using IK Rotate Plane solvers for the Clavicle and Neck. Since your starting off, do simple FK controls for these and the spine.
having separate controllers for IK movement and Hand/Wrist rotation will irritate some animators who will expect the wrist controller to do both.
The reason behind asking you to start with FK controllers is so that you learn methods first. It will also re-enforce your basic rigging skills.

once I removed the following joints back3 back4 and reparented left and rgith clavicles to back2 I was able to do a bind skin smooth bind with the following settings :

max infulences 3 dropoff 6.0 and it was almost there for workable skinning. I however will not do the skining for you, that's something that you need to learn to do.

11-18-2009, 07:01 PM
Thank you so much for taking a look at the rig. I will sound like a big noob but what exactly is skinning?

Once I have fixed the rig and bind it, am I only binding the rig to the body and not the head? If so, after I facial rig the character how do make it so that when my global controls move the body they also move the head, if you know what I mean.

11-18-2009, 07:47 PM
Also can you post an image of what you did to the rig, Im not quite sure what you mean about the clavicle joints.

11-18-2009, 07:55 PM
There is no reason to feel "Noobish" as you are new to all of this. Please don't feel like there are questions you can't ask.

Skinning is the act of binding the skin to the skeleton. in example selecting the root joint then using the skin> bind skin > smooth bind > option box.

You would bind the head but do it separately. The reason to keep the head separate from the rest of the body is to reduce the overhead memory usage and file size when using blendshapes.

you can group all of your controls under a null or with the CTRL+G command then use your Insert key on the keyboard to adjust the pivot location of the group to the head joint, press the Insert Key again, then parent the Group to the Head Joint. That will all your controls to follow along with your head. This is what is known as a Halo Control Rig. Termed because it sits on the characters head like a angel's halo would.

11-18-2009, 08:51 PM

here is a slightly reworked Rig showing the Unified controllers for the wrist, FK controls for the Clavicle and spine. The same principal can be followed for the Head. I intentionally used generic controllers and moved the wrist controllers a bit further away than needed so that the idea is there, but would be obivous if used without redoing it. I also did not skin the mesh either.

This is only done as an example. I also noticed while going through it that you used a lot of blended weights on controls that are not entirely nesscessary. You can, but I would wait till your second or thrid rig before going down this route. Also you can use Bone controls for the Eyes in place of Blend Shapes.

Take a look at Jason Osipa's book stop staring.

One final note, Please refain from using blank spaces in naming, Maya cna bug out on the blanks. Even if its just the file name. Use underscores if you need to have a space between words or use the Maya convention of lower and uppperCase. =)

11-18-2009, 11:17 PM
That looks great I really like the way the controls are setup, its alot simpler. I really cant thank you enough for all your help I really understand this alot better and Im much more comfortable with the rig. Now I am going to try and do what you did to the character so I understand it better, I will show you the final rig once I do the weighting. Thanks again!

11-19-2009, 03:07 AM
I will sugest that you do the same thing I have suggested to others, start keeping a binder/notebook to write down all the things you like and don't like about certain setups. Rigging is mostly about problems solving. Understand the problems and how to solve them. A given problem might have 3 or 4 different solutions, but understanding which solution is the best for a given situtation is a much more valuable skill.

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11-19-2009, 03:07 AM
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