Adding Influence to skinned mess issue

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  03 March 2013
Adding Influence to skinned mess issue

I must me missing something, a step or something major.

Every time I want to add the influence of a CV curve to a skinned mesh the area that influences the mesh deviates from it's original position the more I add weight to the mesh.

This happens only when I have switched on "useComponents" in the skin cluster in the channel editor. With it switched off the mesh remains normal and I can move the curve as a whole with the proper influence on the mesh. But I want to move just the verts of the curve and I can't do that without the "useComponents" swiched on.

What am I doing wrong? What do I do? I'm open to any and all suggestions.

Thanks in advance,

  03 March 2013
I have run into this before with influence objects.
The solution I came up with was to use the weighted blending skinning method instead of Dual Quaternion. You can't use DQ skinning in the areas affected by the influence object so just paint the blendweights to black in those areas. Or at least that is what I ended up doing in my case.
Hopefully that helps.
  03 March 2013
It works

That did it. I detached the skin> re-smooth binded with "weighted blend" as the skinning Method and now everything is responding properly.

Thanks for the prompt response and help Ben!

Saved my "skin"
  03 March 2013
Not sure if I was clear, about the effect of weighted blending.
Just in case, or for future reference, you need to paint weights where you want the higher quality DQ skinning method to be used. In the Paint Skin Weights tool there is a Weight Type selector that you can toggle between "Skin Weights" and "DQ Blend Weights". By default the DQ Blend Weight is all at 0 so the skin is essential a Linear Skin. I usually flood everything to 1 and then paint out the areas affected by my influence objects.
You probably already knew that, but just an FYI.
Annoyingly I could never find a way to write out the DQ blend I ended up writing a tool. I posted the gist of the code here...couldn't post the whole thing. If anyone finds a way to export/import those weights with vanilla Maya that would be great.
Anyway, glad you are skinned!
Here is the thread with the DQ import/Export Python proc:

Last edited by animatedfox : 03 March 2013 at 09:29 PM.
  04 April 2013
You've given me allot more insight that I could have imagined.

I never really noticed the tab to toggle between "Skin Weight" and "DQ Blend Weight" under the Weight type tab. I thought it was there as a reminder or a switch as it were between the different skinning type options as available under Inputs in the channel editor. Now, realizing from what you are telling me I am guessing it is a further sub-group of the initial skinning type for further control as to painting weights? (I'm deducing this based on mini tests I'm doing to better understand what you're showing me starting from your 1st response.)

I presume there are different advantages and disadvantages to the three Skinning methods provided in Maya but I've never really found in my experience anything compelling to set official reasons as to which skinning method is better aside from with DQ the Capsules for the Interactive Skin Bind Tool is available and saves allot of time when it comes to general paint weights coverage of a mesh.

With this additional layer of control I am compelled to ask what are the major differences in the Skinning types and what advantages/ disadvantages arise that determine which skinning type is best for what type of rig someone is making?

In this way I can have an educated and informed approach toward rigging whatever is laid before me instead of my usual swings in the dark.

I must say that learning all this new stuff is really cool. Allot of new stuff actually. Thanks for the script! I learned some MEL but never dived into Python. Exciting stuff!

Thanks again for all your help.

Oh and "Vanilla Maya" ? I searched it and got roots and Mexican grocery products lol. I was told by a friend it's a early version of Maya?
  04 April 2013
Well I hope I didn't overwhelm you with info.
The difference between a Linear Skin and a Dual Quaternion can be subtle in a lot of areas, but DQ skins tend to deform better and maintain volume in bending and twisting areas. Back when it was added in Maya 2011 there were a bunch of videos around comparing...but now I a can't find any.
I always bind as much of my character as possible with DQ skin. If I need to use an influence object, then I use the weighted blend method.

Vanilla Maya is my silly way of referring to any version of Maya without any 3rd party plugins or scripts. People often say you can or can't do something with Maya, but sometimes a script or plugin can technically let you do something in Maya. But, if you don't have access to that script or plugin then you are out of luck.
Hope that clears things up a little.
  04 April 2013
No you didn't overwhelm me with info. Any insight or different perspective can improve one's view and help them get a better understanding. I just wanted to know if I was missing anything vital regarding approach that I was unaware of. Sometimes the little things make all the difference.

Thanks again for everything man.
  04 April 2013
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