Heat weighting in Maya 2013

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  01 January 2013
Heat weighting in Maya 2013

So I'm finally getting a chance to use the new heat weighting option in Maya 2013, and I'm getting some really bad results.
If anyone can confirm this, let me know.


Last edited by refract : 01 January 2013 at 09:19 AM.
  01 January 2013
I have used the heat mapping and have seen different results depending on bone placement. But in general nothing horrible. Normal editing as expected for this kind of thing that I have used in other packages. What are you getting?
  01 January 2013
I'm getting results pretty much the same as Maya's default skin weighting.
This is selecting all meshes, (jacket, inner shirt), and all bones and using the new heat weight for my selected bones.

The pm_heatweight script was able to skin up to 95 percent of the mesh or more with great results.
  01 January 2013
Oh, OK. In that case I can't confirm the same problem. At least from my experience.

Mine are coming out fairly well. I don't have to do any more editing (actually a little less) than what I get with other similar tools. But as a general rule I don't try and bind multiple layers. That always has issues. But if that plugin did it, wonderful. That works better than Blender which uses the same algorithm as his plug and is pretty good. In Blender I always had to paint on things even more than Maya's new heat mapping. And layers, forget it. So who knows what magic that guy had going. Too bad he dropped it.

Unfortunately I don't have any other experiences to compare to other than XSI which is worse.

Last edited by cineartist : 01 January 2013 at 06:08 AM.
  01 January 2013
Maybe I am imagining it...but I think gloabal object scale has a big effect on how successful the heatmap skinning is.

I had vastly different results depending on the scale of the character.
I had one huge character, over 100 default Maya units long and the heatmap worked better than the default skinning after tweaking the falloff settings a bit. But then I had awful results using the same settings on a much smaller charater which was around 10 default Maya units long. I tried tweaking the settings to get similar results...but gave up after a while...since I LOVE painting skin weights!
  01 January 2013
I've used 2013's heat weighting a fair bit. Most characters are in real world scale (eg a human roughly 180 to 200 units, where units are cm's). I've had reasonable results.

There were some things I noticed that seemed to give poor results.

Sparse joint placement with joints far away from skin.
Meshes with big holes (eg upper torso, with opening where the legs would have been attached).

  01 January 2013
Interesting. I am using real world scale as well. And getting good results.
  01 January 2013
Yeah, that is what I was saying, my larger/realworld scale skinning was good. But then when I had to go super small...still real world...but small...it didn't have anywhere near the same results. I donno though, maybe I had some other setting out of whack.
  01 January 2013
We are in real world scale. cm default with characters as normal height. pm_heatweight never had this problem.
I'd just like to know what Maya got wrong on its implementation of it. For some reason, I knew this would be an issue.
  01 January 2013
All I can say is that the guy that wrote that plug definitely had something going on. Because it is not normal at all. I have never seen a tool be as good as that, and through layers as well. Maybe you can try and contact him to pick his brain on exactly how he did that. Maybe if the code is available someone can pick it up from where he left off and bring it up to speed with 2013 and beyond. Sounds like it was a great tool.
  01 January 2013
Its based on an open source Siggraph paper. Ported to Blender.
  01 January 2013
Interesting yeah. I did catch that that was what it was based on. As I mentioned above. I don't have more to add other than contact him and see what other voodoo he had going, because I have used it, and Blender ain't all that. It will fail with layers guaranteed.
  01 January 2013
Hey djx,.. Thanks, as you are the one who suggested pm_heatweight years ago on a forum.... which I found quite useful for a long time,.. much appreciated.
So we are still in Maya2012sap at work and we are migrating to 2013.5
I'm not seeing the same results for some reason as the stand alone version. And I'm just using ab_autorig from supercrumbly.com

I'll try it on a few local rigs here and see if it does the same.
  01 January 2013
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