Weight Painting Hell

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  10 October 2012
Weight Painting Hell

I'm about to break my skull into a brick wall.

I decided to make this thread as I've searched through Google, Autodesk Documentation and Youtube and nothing really clears up why this is such a painful experience.

I have a character that is split up into several meshes. Hands, Wrists, Forearms, Upperarms, Torso, Head, Hips, Legs, Feet. It is a game character and is split up into several parts so that I can disable meshes when clothing is being worn, the rig has several clothing items including boots, shoes, pants, jacket, hoody, head gear and much more...

I am using HumanIK Characterization for the rigging and that has been working just fine for me so far, the problem is with the weight painting.

Not only has Maya been crashing every 5-10 minutes using the weight painting brush but it seems to absolutely hate me when I'm using the replace operation. It displaces weights in all the wrong places. I know and have read that replace is not a good idea to use so I went about only using add.

Even when using add there is a lot of tearing happening where the meshes connect

To the left you can see the torso paint and the right the neck paint, it doesnt tear on the left side but tears on the right side, even though theyre identical. Bugged out? Its just one of a million such examples of how things doesnt behave as it should.

Whenever I paint something and then look on color ramp I get wonky results such as this:

If I'm using the add brush instead of replace there doesnt seem to be a clear way to remove weights, with replace I just use ctrl-click but with add I use ctrl-z, which usually results in the software crashing.

It cant be the UV's they're not overlapping and the normals are facing the right way, here is a shot of the character in the game engine, since he's wearing pants I have logic in place to remove his leg geometry so that less poly's are drawn.

These are the settings I use for smooth binding the skin to the bones:

For the record I'm not a professional rigger or weight painter and I suppose the purpose of this post is moreso me asking if anyone can point me in the right direction of a workflow that will allow me to get this weight painting done without having to fix things that have already been painted or not to run into these painful problems of the meshes not connecting properly.

Any advice on this matter will be greatly appreciated as I have already lost 2 precious weeks of game development time because of this rig >_<

Have I gone about this the wrong way?

Thank you very much in advance!
Attached Images
File Type: png char1.PNG (89.5 KB, 88 views)
File Type: png neck.PNG (73.4 KB, 91 views)
  10 October 2012
As far as i can guess,

the crashing happens because:
1.Painting weights on rigged skeletons (the humanIk, of course, seems to break a lot).
2.The software was not installed properly.

the tearing happens because:
1.The joints influence are locked so the weights has no place to go. Check the 'lock' icon on the paint skin weight UI on each joint.

They say only use 'Add' operation cuz it's the most stable operation, NO!, that's not true! As long as you lock the influence from going anywhere but your desired joint, ALL OPERATIONS WORK FINE!

And for the edges between each peiece you can copy weight values from vertex to vertex and they gonna stick together like one mesh.

hope this helps, excuse my English.
  10 October 2012
How do you copy skin weights for individual vertices across different objects?
  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by Spudnikle: How do you copy skin weights for individual vertices across different objects?

I got a script that does the job. I modify some code from TDMatt's article here.
  10 October 2012
Like nuternativ said, all features work fine. It's important to note that each vertice has a value influence of 1, which can be split upon multiple joints.

And as far as your mirror bug, I'd recommend setting your mirror weights option to one to one.
  10 October 2012
In addition to the advice above, whenever I set up a character that has multiple meshes, I always merge it into 1 mesh and wield the verts together. This means I can paint over seams without any problems and never get the problems you are experiencing. Once you have the merged mesh all working you can transfer the weights onto your separated version with the "Copy Skin Weights" tool. You can use this to transfer weights between any object, they don't need to be the same. In your example you could merge the body together and paint the weights, then transfer those same weights to the pants, shirt etc. They might need some touch up, but it beats starting from scratch on each item of clothing.
Richard Cheek
Personal project : The Goblin Abyss
  10 October 2012
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