MAX:Connecting a rigged mesh to another mesh

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  01 January 2011
MAX:Connecting a rigged mesh to another mesh

Look at this: I made a hand (just a hand-no body) and I rigged it. It was very difficult to do, for it is a very complex hand, but now it is finally done, and the rig works amazing.

Now I've decided that I would like to use that hand on a character, and that would be so nice if I could "attach" the hand to the rest of the body in a way that looks like the character is a seamless complete mesh and also not having to re-rig my hand. Most of all I concern on not having to do the skinning again...that was really tiring.
Is it any way to achieve this in MAX? Any ideas?
  01 January 2011
As far as I know with my modest experience you will need to link the hand rig to the body/arm rig and then join the hand mesh to the body/arm mesh and re-skin. You could probably join the skin without losing the skinning with a simple edit poly on top of your skin modifier on the hand but the resulting rig would (I think) be very slow and ineffecient and you would probably end up doing it again anyway.

If you are happy with the hand rig (which we cant see in your post) I would personally save out some renderings for your reel and then move on the full rig.

Sorry if that's not what you want to hear but I know how long these things can take and I'm sure you don't want to spend forever forcing it to work.

Also I'm no authority in this area so somebody else may be able to offer an actual solution.

Spencer Carpenter
Freelance 3D Artist
  01 January 2011
I was suspecting that... Oh, boy, I will have to re-skin!
Hey, the Edit Poly-on-top idea is a nice one! I think it will not be good for this time, for this is a very complex geometry monster hand, and I agree about it being slow... but I think it is a good idea I can use in the future with another model... Thanks!

Now, I was thinking that people who animate facial expressions (with, let's say, morphing) could face this very problem if they are animating a character consisting on a complete, seamless mesh like, for example, a naked woman... Would its morphing targets would have to be the whole mesh just to animate her face?
This is a similar problem, whose solution might somehow suit my needs as well.
But still I do not get it...
  01 January 2011
Use SkinWrap after you've placed the hand in the spot. Make a copy of all the meshes you want to join, attach them to a singly object, weld where you need to weld. Then, place "Skin Wrap" on top of it. Pick all pieces of the skinned/rigged meshes you want to transfer the skin. Click, convert to skin and it's done. You will have to play with Skinwrap parameters to get the result you need. 'F1' is your friend in that regard.

Happy verts, bones and buckets!
  01 January 2011
How didn't I have that idea? elT, you rule! Thank you so much. I have raised your reputation for this!

I am going to try it right away. The only thing that is left for me is to figure out how I must set the Skinwrap parameters so that the weights of the new Skin modifier match the previous one. Might not be that hard. Actually, I imagine it will be easy.

One more thing is left... what if I also have Skin Morph on my original mesh? Maybe the answer for it is just to copy the modifier from mesh to mesh, perhaps tuning a Mesh Select up... Hmm, I do not know yet. I have to make my experiments first. I will come again later!
  01 January 2011
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