Need help on this character rigg 3ds max/Zbrush

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  05 May 2011
Smile Need help on this character rigg 3ds max/Zbrush

HI There,

I need help/advice on how to go about rigging and skinning this character which I did with Zbrush, I only started to learn 3ds max a few months ago and haven't yet attempted to rig a character where the parts of the character aren't attached the main parts of the mesh, and haven't done any rigging with Zbrush as I only learned this software a few days ago.

Here the lower arm has a ball attached at the end that would create the motion which is detached from the upper arm.

The boots are also detached from the leg.

In between the leg there is a 3ds max spring

As you can see the main body, although (the rest is one mesh) there a lot of layers, and I was trying to rig my last character (Chiyoko on my portfolio page) is actually quite tough to skin as the layers would create nasty creases when bending the arm upwards for instance...also as the boots weren't attached it meant they would skid away from the legs, which I haven't been able to resolve yet.

In this character, there are also a lot of wires as well which are connected between the upper and lower parts of the body

When I rigged the Panda (also on my portfolio page) this was really easy because the entire mesh including the shorts and boots were all attached).

The program I used for skinning last couple times in 3ds max is Bones Pro, am open to ideas how to rig with either Zbrush or 3ds max..

Your help is really valuable as I hope to see this new guy in action

So how do you advise going about it?

  05 May 2011
I forgot to add that the guns on the arms are also detached from the arms it self and aren't linked to any internal skeletons or geometry as inside the body is actually hollow.

  05 May 2011
Originally Posted by digiartman: I forgot to add that the guns on the arms are also detached from the arms it self and aren't linked to any internal skeletons or geometry as inside the body is actually hollow.


Note that you are going to have retopo that character before rigging it, this way to high poly and should only be used to generate displace, normal and AO maps.

Have a look at CAT in max as that is an easy solution for you to start rigging with.
Paul Neale
  05 May 2011
Hi Paul,

Thanks for your reply, you're spot on, as a first time Zbrush user I am experiencing this teething problem...and really trying to avoid having to redo the mesh....the CPU is taking a hard beating...even after decimation (total 13 million polys - before decimation 133 million) so I decided only to use this character as a concept not an animation...

The only way I found to go about is to export each subtool as individual OBJs one by one and looking to apply the materials in several passes using each separate OBJs, then finally do the compositing in Phosotshop later on....I really want to find a way to finish this project....even if its a big puzzle to solve...

I'll try to see if the CPU can handle the CAT, other wise I might just use the transpose tool to change the position of the hands slightly and make it look like as if it is flying to sale the final image...

I do have a query if you're able to reply, what is the best way to skin a characters where they have for instance the shoes separate from the body mesh, and polys of the feet from the original mesh have been deleted?

I tried to use Bones Pro last time but when I move the legs up and down motion, the feet don't follow neatly, they kind of skid it because the poly of the feet are erased, or is because normally shoes/shirts/gloves are not suppose to be modeled as separate meshes?

I followed the "copy bones" as well as skin the bones as separate bones, but both didn't produce really nice results, when I bend the arms upwards, unfortunately the extruded white lines at the shoulders produce really bad bending as well, so I had to leave the final image as per below, which is a great shame.

This is the image in question
  05 May 2011
You are going to have to do a retopo as there is no way that you will be skinning a 13 million poly model in Max.

As for skin, just instance the son modifier.
Paul Neale
  05 May 2011
Hey Paul,

thanks for your advice, I know you're right, am just a MOFO determined to get this sound like a much more experienced person, am having these insane teething problems as its only my 4th month in 3d and only have the gnomon workshops and youtube to help out..and now at least know to think twice before modeling in Zbrush...anyways, will rigg an other character once am done pulling my hair out from the render times its taking to apply the materials on this one

on this note am leaving the post with this friendly image, and will upload the (I hope finished) finished one at a later date.

  05 May 2011
Well, I managed to rig/skin the top part of the model by deleting the lower part of the body using Bones Pro, was a bit of a challenge to get the wires and all the layers on the face to follow the main mesh, but managed to get it done at the end.

here is one of the two passes, the other pass can be viewed in my portfolio.

  05 May 2011
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