Mesh smooth skinned to IK spline making sharp bends rather than smooth dittos

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  11 November 2012
Mesh smooth skinned to IK spline making sharp bends rather than smooth dittos


We're having our first animation course in school and so I was trying to set up a spine thing for my project's main character. I set up a helix with some joints bound to an IK spline, however, no matter how many joints I use the helix makes sharp bends between the joints rather than a smooth curve.

I did skin the joints to the helix using the Smooth Skin tool and I have been experimenting with increasing the skin weights - and to reiterate, I have tried with many as well as with few joints.

Don't really have any idea what to try, I'm completely new to rigging and would be very grateful for any help.

Thanks for your time!
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  11 November 2012
try painting the skinWeights. The problem is how much the vertices on the mesh are influenced by its nearest joint. You'll want to smooth out those influences more across the surrounding joints also.
although for a smoother curve transition you may need even more joints (perhaps double or triple due to the high vert count and intricacy).
  11 November 2012
Are you using linear or DQ skinning?
DQ skinning might help a little here.
But even then you'll have to tweak the weights to take advantage of it, like ldunham1 said.

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File Type: png maya_dq_skinning.png (11.6 KB, 24 views)
Working with 3dsmax 2012 & maya 2014 on Win 7 64bit
  11 November 2012
Thank you for your replies.

I've tried painting the skin weights but the helix is quite high poly and it was really tedious to paint every poly around it with the paint skin weights tool, I was thinking there has to be some other way to just increase the influence of them gradually but I didn't find anything that worked.

I would just like the skin weight for every joint to be increased - I assume - so is there any more convenient way to do this than manually painting polys?
  11 November 2012
For this kind of thing you have to do indirect skinning.
Apply a ffd/wireDeformer to the geometry and skin the ffd/wire deformerCurve.
Download Vehicle Rig
  11 November 2012
you can also try making a low poly, 6 sided cylindar that holds the volume of your helix. Skin and paint the weights on the cylindar and transfer those weights to the helix.
Senior Animator / Framestore - London - @KielFiggins - Animation Store
  11 November 2012
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