Tips for binding\painting weights

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Old 11 November 2003   #46
paint skin weight ProBlem!! help

i having 1 problem in paint skin weight. my model is in 1 meshes.
i had bind the model (smooth bind). Setup complete.

But i dunno how to transfer the weight in the right to the laft. U guys mention about "mirror skin weight" , will this tool fix my problem, i hav tried mirror skin weight, but i donno the right way 2 use it i guess, coz i kept having undesired outcome. Can u expert out there teach me how to fix this problem, ITs KILLING ME!!

Thanku.
 
Old 11 November 2003   #47
Quote: Originally posted by magilla
hey, you're right - it works in 5.0, but I don't get the same result in 4.0!! - which is what I use at work.

--magilla


You must enable the paint weights tool first before you do it, I use it in both 4 and 5 at work, handy...

-lild
 
Old 11 November 2003   #48
three things that help.... turn on the $%@#&* layer with the bones in it, "show bones" in the panel menu and crank the joint size to maximum......


now it works - doh!


thank you

--magilla
 
Old 11 November 2003   #49
Anyone have any in-depth and thorough tutorial links laying around on weight painting methods?

EDIT: I ended up using blendshapes in combination with driven keys. I create driven keys between a blendshape and a joint. Works like a charm and I have very good control of what is happening. Super-easy to make muscle flex etc...
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Last edited by fr3drik : 11 November 2003 at 07:57 PM.
 
Old 12 December 2003   #50
Another idea for mixing smooth skinning and flexors: create sets from your model's vertices for the parts you want to have different skinning on. Ie. Torso set for smooth skinning, Left Leg set for rigid skinnig. Then select the set members, proper bones and assign one of the bindings.

In our practice, Rigid bind and Flexors work pretty well for all limbs, whereas Smooth bind is better for the shoulders, torso, neck and hip area. You can also use driven keys on the elbow/knee flexor points to finetune your deformations - pretty quick and effective way to do the skinning.


By the way, the problem with skinning to joints is that this method cannot maintain the body's volume. You get a "plastic tube" effect on most joints and the torso, which is pretty hard to fix, even with clever weighting. This is because the skinning only applies rotations to the vertices, using the joint as a pivot - whereas the skin does move all around, inside and outside, as muscles flex and slide under it. Try binding a fat character - it's belly will miracously disappear as he bends forward, and expand as he leans back...

IMHO, there are 3 main approaches to fix this problem:
- full muscle simulation, as seen on the LOTR trolls and Gollum
- joint rotation driven blendshapes, as seen on the Hulk
- joint rotation driven clusters, as seen on the Pan character (see link in a previous post)

Wrap deformers are just an extension/simplification to this as you still have to use some advanced methods on the wrap object itself.

And I haven't really managed to get proper behaviour from influence objects, and using many extra bones or muscle bones doesn't really help either, as your time spent on weight painting will only increase...
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Old 12 December 2003   #51
kmp3d-

Quote: yeah I use influence objects last when skinning. I try to get the best possible deformations with just bone placement and no weight painting. But at the moment I'm working on a character and so far all I have is bones in it and my deformations are almost perfect and I haven't painted any weights on it at all


Id love to know how youre doing this. This topic came up recently when I was discussing weight painting with a friend of mine whos an XSI user. He claims that in XSI he does virtually no weight painting, thanks to the bounding volume tools that are part of XSIs skinning tools. Im still a bit incredulous though...

You said you use influence objects last. That means that youve already added additional skinning joints to your skeleton before you bind? (Which for me would be the equivalent of adding INF objs anyway.) This isnt really clear, especially given the fact that adding extra "binding" joints is certainly necessary to get good deformations. Unless youve got some secret weapon up your sleave? But from your posts it sounded like through proper joint-placement alone you were able to circumvent the agonizing weight-painting process.

Maybe you could elaborate a little more on what exactly youre doing so I could understand this better. I also hate weight painting, but sadly have no weapon against it.

cheers-
David

PS: Hats off to the guy who mentioned the cluster "-bs" flag. Its a beauty!
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Old 12 December 2003   #52
Messiah:animate makes the same claims, but to my (inexperienced) efforts I couldn't tell the difference between default Messiah weights and default Maya weights - the only advantage is that Messiah weights update automatically if you reposition bones or change mesh.
It seems that if you don't want to paint weights there are many alternatives, but it's just as much work. The only advantage is that the reiterative process of binding/rigging a character is somewhat easier if you can avoid painting weights. I was reading some threads on Stahlberg's chars and he mentioned he never paints weights and compensates with sdk blendshapes on joint deformations.
I like the idea of rigid bind and smooth bind combinations - I didn't know you could do that on the same mesh!

--magilla
 
Old 12 December 2003   #53
I don't know if anybody posted this tip earlier, but this is a small tip that saves a lot of time weighting for multipart models.

When I skin them, I individually select only the joints that will affect the given geometry. (like the lower arm joint, wrist an all finger joints to skin a glove)

This way, you can greatly reduce the chance of having skin bind to totally inappropriate joints, and when you go to paint wieghts, you'll have a fairly small list of joints to choose from. It also will run faster.
 
Old 12 December 2003   #54
OK,

What's your favorite setup for Smooth Bind?

I run Complete Joint, Closest distance, 3 Max influence and high drop off.

I have been practising Antropus way rigging the face but my setup didn't work at all....

The default setting even worse.....
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Old 12 December 2003   #55
Quote: but to my (inexperienced) efforts I couldn't tell the difference between default Messiah weights and default Maya weights - the only advantage is that Messiah weights update automatically if you reposition bones or change mesh.


Magilla-

Having the weights update when you reposition the bones *is* a useful feature, but it still will not free you from having to paint weights to fix bad deformations or collapsing geometry. Thats just not enough. Unless, of course, youre working with many extra "skinning" joints parented into your hierarchy. This is the only way in which joints alone would be enough, but it requires much time spent in weighting.

Quote: I was reading some threads on Stahlberg's chars and he mentioned he never paints weights and compensates with sdk blendshapes on joint deformations.


I think I would almost prefer weight painting...
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Old 12 December 2003   #56
Quote: Id love to know how youre doing this. This topic came up recently when I was discussing weight painting with a friend of mine whos an XSI user. He claims that in XSI he does virtually no weight painting, thanks to the bounding volume tools that are part of XSIs skinning tools. Im still a bit incredulous though...


It works believe me...... but there is a lot of factors that play into it, that will depend on how well it works.... or doesn't. First off what is the default pose of the character, I get the best results when the character is at a somewhat relaxed pose. Arms down at a 45 degree angle, fingers spread, feet shoulder width apart. I know you can't always control what the default pose is going to be but all is not lost. Next, I guess this is obvious, always bind to a low rez control cage, that drives a higher rez mesh through wrap deform or some kind of connection. Then I start building the skeleton, you pretty much hit it on the head, I use extra skinning joints since they are nothing more than Inf Obj. Of course extra bicep and forearm joints. Build complete rib structure. And create your leg joints. At this point I usually bind and start moving the skeleton around. " Ohh that deforms really badly, but if I move those joints there, and add a few more here where its collapsing.... (unbind, add the joints, rebind) hey, thats a lot better" But it seems to me joint placement is everything, I always try to move a joints around to get the best results before I start adding joints. Usually I end up with the problem that there is not a smooth transition of weight between neighboring joints. Thats where I use a script I got off of Highend3d that will go through and smooth every joint and inf obj all at once.... good stuff. That usually smooths out the weight transistions between joints. Basically I keep unbinding make changes and then rebind and test until everything looks pretty good. Then I after I create my rig controls I use their movement to drive the movement of certain joints that are in bad deforming areas, but this is only after I'm sure joint placement won't fix it. No secret weapon here just a lot of testing, unbinding, tweaking, and then rebind. Then after that finally Influence Objects. I remember in a thread somewhere(I can't seem to find it) our mod Jason S. said that the best rigs require no weight painting. I'm not saying that my rigs are anywhere close to his level of quality, but because he said it, I knew it was possible. Now is all the trouble worth it??? If you can more easily paint the weight.... then I say paint it. But if you plan unbinding a lot I say its worth the trouble. But again I avoid weight painting like the plague. I hope this makes things a little clearer, if theres anything else you want to know just ask, I'll be glad to answer.


Quote: He claims that in XSI he does virtually no weight painting, thanks to the bounding volume tools that are part of XSIs skinning tools.


MMMM volume bounding tools.... I may have to switch XSI...
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Last edited by kmp3d : 12 December 2003 at 06:11 PM.
 
Old 12 December 2003   #57
Thanks for the reply- I might try this out.

Quote: Basically I keep unbinding make changes and then rebind and test until everything looks pretty good


Sounds like we maybe could script something together which might speed this process up...hmmm. Of course, the best would be if Alias implemented better skinning tools. Like being able to add joints even when were out of bind pose (`skinCluster -ibp` does not do this the way we would like), and something similar to XSIs bounding volumes.


David
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Old 12 December 2003   #58
yeah I can see a how a bounding volume tools would be incredible. I've never seen them in use on XSI, how exactly do you utilize them. I'd imagine (in a maya implementation) that each joint has a bounding shape of sort that can moved, scaled, and rotated to control the distribution of the joints weight. And as well as controls on the shape that can be used to control dropoff and the smoothness of the weight transition. Almost like each joint has a customizable influence object built right in. Man..... would that not be the sweetest???? If you got any ideas please share, I'm not the most experienced scripter but I'm learning. Feel free to email me or whatever.
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Old 12 December 2003   #59
im 14 (soon 15) years old and from israel, im right now working on my first full character, i began doing the rigging to the character and i m working with the Paint Skin Weights Tool.
i know how to work with the tool but i do have some questions

please answer this question:

what does Replace,Add,Smooth and Sclae means? i know how to work with them but i dont really know the definition of each one.

second question is about the Mirror Skin Wheights option. can some1 plz explain to me how does it work? do i need to choose the same Vertices on both sides???? i tried to look ad the F1 help menue but i didnt understoon, if anyone could help me it will be great. im a beginner

im a beginner- i work about 5 months on Maya 4.5 but i dont work much because i have school and i need good grades and i have activities other then Maya. but i definitely know that 3D Animation is my future, i love it, cant get enough of it and every time i can i work on it, im addicted and i have motivation and a will.

anyway i really need help and i have been watching the amazing artists on this forum.

plz i need help

if you need any pictures of the model or anything just tell me and ill show the Model

(sorry for my english)
need help
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Last edited by SpiritWalker : 12 December 2003 at 07:49 PM.
 
Old 12 December 2003   #60
nice thread : usefull
i really would like to c some screenshots of your ideas using cluster vs influence and stuff

so we can better imagine what the real diffrent pros/con are for the individual styles
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