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Old 11-14-2012, 07:05 PM   #1
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Göran Lind
Skellefteå, Sweden
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 8
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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Old 11-15-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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Lee Dunham
Character Rigger
Surrey, United Kingdom
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 179
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).
Old 11-15-2012, 02:26 PM   #3
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sascha herfort
technical artist
frankfurt, Germany
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 176
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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Old 11-15-2012, 03:37 PM   #4
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Göran Lind
Skellefteå, Sweden
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 8
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?
Old 11-15-2012, 03:39 PM   #5
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Prem Anand Earnest Dhass
Team Lead Rigging
Technicolor India
Bangalore, India
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 601
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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 vehicleRigGenerator @
Old 11-16-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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Kiel Figgins
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London, United Kingdom
Join Date: May 2004
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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
Old 11-16-2012, 06:39 PM   #7
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