Lets list the reasons\questions.. and discuss why the workflow in Messiah is the way it is.
(These are my opinions.. not the opinions of Pmg)
Q1. My modeling software has Weightmaps and I want to be able to bring in the weighting work I have already done there..why can't I do that in Messiah?
A1. While it would be preferrable for many to have this option.. each app handles this differently.. Having to code for each is not doable (at this point).. with the current dev team.. Possibly opening up the SDK\API to allow a third party would be possible.. but more coding would be needed just to allow for that. (There is a plug\ script that attempted this, with limited success).. more of the why not below.. (philosophy based answer.)
Q2. Why does Messiah not have "CONVENTIONAL" weightmap creation tools natively today?
A2. As part of an overall philosophy within Messiah to create tools that were specifically made for Animation and rendering, not modeling, i think it was decided that creation of static weightmaps is more a modeling function and as such is beyond the scope of the animation software. my opinion once again..
Q3. So what .. I want them anyway.... What do I do now?
A3. Complain.. move on.. or use the tools in Messiah already.. Actually, the weight tools in Messiah are actually more powerful and re-useable on other objects.. than "CONVENTIONAL" weightmaps. (just like all tools in Messiah). You just have to think outside the box. The weightmaps can be dynamic.. in other words the falloff \ weighting can move with the tools used to create them. bringing opportunities for muscles and even SBD ..
Q4. Ok.. So how do I use them?
A4. Joe Coseman has recently release Facial Animaiton tutorials that explain the use of tools like Flex that make use of the metaweights\ MetaEffectors in great detail.. I suggest you spring for them.. (25 bucks).. you will not only learn how to use them.. but see how a master sets up several facial rigs.. more great education.. While Joe makes use of Puppet master while using MetaEffectors (weightmaps tools), it is not necessary, as the falloff of the MetaEffectors can be adjusted and even use negative weights.. ( as you will see in Joe's tutorials).
The most important statement in this whole discussion is:
"Actually, the weight tools in Messiah are actually more powerful and re-useable on other objects.. than "CONVENTIONAL" weightmaps. You just have to think outside the box."
This is at the heart of the philosophy of Messsiah.. Tools that can be re-used on other objects.. not tied directly to the object like "CONVENTIONAL" weightmaps.. and dynamic animatable tools!.. Not so with "CONVENTIONAL" weightmaps.
Id like regular old Weight maps too..maybe a tool could be created that would do both.. but the tools that are available are very robust and work!