View Full Version : What alternative to deform keys should i use?

11 November 2008, 04:27 AM
Hi there,
I was just trying to get rid of this bit of mushy skinning on my hand model and wondering what you guys would do to fix it. I've had heaps of trouble figuring out deform keys and a few people have told me not to use them as they are a bit weird. So what should I do, I kinda like the idea of fixing it up with shape animation ans I would be able to model it into the exact shape i want but it's kinda hard modelling the shape geometry when it's not yet deformed...
Any ideas?

11 November 2008, 04:49 AM
Link deform with Orientation is great. You just have to make sure that you start with your bones set to zero neutral pose, and never change it again. From your post, it sounds like you have no idea of how it works, or that it even exists. You know about Secondary Shape mode, right? Look it up.

Another good method is to parent a null at each joint and give it a small influence within the envelope. use "Link with" to scale, translate and rotate the null to fix the joint (as the finger bends). Works great.

11 November 2008, 05:26 AM
Cool thanks man,
I would prefer to do it with shapes rather than bones. But yeah, I've never been able to wrap my head around deform keys.
I've tried working in secondary shape mode but I can't find a way to freeze changes into my shape keys, it always seems to freeze everything including the envelope?

11 November 2008, 05:55 AM
shape manager set to display with animation deformations on turns on secondary shape mode...

pose the finger/digit, open shape manager, turn on display with animation deformations, duplicate base shape, and start modeling. once you are done setup the link with, now you can rotate the joint in the viewport, open a shape manager and turn off display with animation deformations in order to fix tight spots you couldn't see before.

hope that made sense


11 November 2008, 06:53 AM
Thanks Strang, that's doing it!

11 November 2008, 05:09 PM
here's the basic workflow.

make a cluster that covers the area you want to fix. For a finger joint, I would use the whole hand. In the past, I used to do a set of shapes for each joint, but now I just use the whole finger.

Go to secondary shape mode.

Select the cluster first, the "deform keys/link deform" with orientation.

Select your bones(all three) at their default state and right click to make your shape.

Now bend every bone halfway.

Modify your joint bends with the tweak tool.

Select the cluster again.

Go to "deform keys/Save deform key".

Bend the finger bones again. Save a deform key for that pose, and so on.

If you have stuff left in your operator stack, never hit "freeze" or you'll nuke your envelope. Select the "move component" operators in the stack and delete them. They're not needed anymore if there is a shape created from it.

If you want to modify a bend, open up the shape manager and select the shape key. I prefer pushing the shape manager aside, and working in the actual viewport. At the end of modifications, once you close the shape manger window, the stack will be cleaned.

Each cluster you make will have its own set of shapes associated with it.

CGTalk Moderation
11 November 2008, 05:09 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.