Skin Weight Saving Tools

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Old 04 April 2013   #1
Skin Weight Saving Tools

So it's about time again to bring this topic up...just thought I'd ask around and see what everyone's using. I have been plodding through different people's tools on creative crash etc but I can't seem to get around finding one that doesn't hardcode the objects' names etc so that you're stuck having weights that only apply EXACTLY to the mesh/names/hierarchy you're using.

So if you have the exact same skeleton naming setup, and the exact same point numbers on the new mesh but a different name to the mesh then these tools are generally buggy at that point. I could spend time correcting the scripts but I'm hoping someone has found a good one at some point that they can share the link to. Thanks!

Edit: and no...I do NOT want to use the default shitty built in one from Maya 2012 .
Andres Weber | CG Generalist
434 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York City, 10013
GChat AndresMWeber

Last edited by Daemonecles : 04 April 2013 at 03:13 PM.
Old 04 April 2013   #2
Just to get the ball rolling here...

Quote: I do NOT want to use the default shitty built in one

Not sure if you mean the Import Deformer Weights tool in 2013.
I know it has lots of options like "Ignore Names" and various mapping methods. Haven't tried it in any crazy scenarios yet, but it is fast and works great as far as I have needed over the past few jobs.

Hopefully that helps a little.
Old 04 April 2013   #3
Well that seems nifty! I wish I had access to it but our studio only uses 2012 sadly...and we won't be updating any time soon. I'll look into that on my own though, but I guess my question remains otherwise though! Thanks to get the conversation started.
Andres Weber | CG Generalist
434 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York City, 10013
GChat AndresMWeber
Old 04 April 2013   #4
It is a pretty solid, little publicized addition that is a swiss-army weight saver.
Something worth looking forward to at least.

The only other publically available weigts tool I used was good ol Comet save weights. I don't remember what naming methods it used. Though I seem to remeber it being pretty flexible. But I am not positive if it even works with 2012...or does what you need.

Good luck
Old 04 April 2013   #5
Yeah I was testing that out last night but when looking into the file that it generated it seemed to hardcode quite a few things and my testing of it's versatility proved that it wasn't that flexible. But I'll keep fidgeting with it since it seems to be one of the more popular ones out there even though it has aged gracefully.
Andres Weber | CG Generalist
434 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York City, 10013
GChat AndresMWeber

Last edited by Daemonecles : 04 April 2013 at 03:13 PM.
Old 04 April 2013   #6
Sorry, but unfortunately I have to say that the Import Deformer Weights tool in 2013 is flakey.

I'm pretty sure its just the old previously unsupported bonus tool moved into the main release. I do not think the scenarios in which it failed for me were particularly crazy.

I do use it because it is fast (way faster than say Comet's or zooToolbox), but I'm using it only where the mesh has the same point count as the one it was saved from, with the same deformer names. In fact only "index" mode works for me. The other modes either freeze or crash maya, or they result in strange mappings of weights to joints.

And no dqBlendWeight support.

And when saving blendshape deformer weights, for some reason, it does not bother with the envelope, only the target weights.

For skin weights, I've found the most reliable approach is to use the native copy smooth skin weights tool. It has some limitations, but in uv mapping mode it does an excellent job of copying a skin cluster between different topologies. And to a lesser extent, but still quite good, different joint hierarchies. A weight export/import tool that could match this functionality would be very interesting.

Old 04 April 2013   #7
Ha, thats funny David that we both had such different experiences with the Export/Import deformer weights!

The speed was the main thing that sold me, as I mentioned before, I haven't used it in any crazy situations so I haven't hit the issues you mentioned. It does let you import weights even if the deformer name has been changed by toggeling "Ignore Names" least that works for me and doesn't seem to mess anything up.

Good note on the other issues you ran into, will definitely keep those in mind.

As for dqBlendWeights, I couldn't find ANY way to write those weights out, and no one had any suggestions when I posted around before. I ended up writing my own exporter/importer which I posted here. Such a strange thing that this seems to be a totally forgotten weight set that could use a little native support.
But I digress...and kinda hijacked the thread...but it is still relevant right?
Old 04 April 2013   #8
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