cgskin uses with skin modifier


I purchased cgskin late last week hoping that it would add the ability to replicate how skin should stretch over various joints throughout the body.

How would I go about using cgskin on a poly model that already has a skin modifier applied to an underlying bones’ system?

An example that I’m thinking of would be the hand along with it’s finger joints where the skin stretches whenever the bones are rotated.

Would I pin the vertices located before and after the regions of where the joints are and adjust the U and V tension settings via RGB maps ? Also, should I NOT initialize the bones that are also driving my model’s skin modifier but create nodes (to drive cgskin) which are linked to these bones ? I think this may be the reason why I experienced my model’s vertices spiking all over the place while I was testing the plugin with a skin modifier applied along with cgskin.

Any thoughts on how one might do this would be helpful.

by the way:
I am very impressed with cgcharacter’s line of plugins for 3dsmax. I purchased the turbosquid toolkit1 a couple of years ago (which had ACT1.6 PRO included) and that plugin has expanded my creative work three-fold. Hopefully cgskin will do the same.


You could make a snapshot of your mesh at bind pose and just add your already skinned mesh as your driving object, then pinn all the vertices so they follow the Skinned mesh exactly and unpinn where you want the skin to stretch.


Please review and comment where necessary, I’ve taken some time to think through the steps. I thank anyone (in advance) that can answer with direction.

Eight short steps to take:

  1. Snapshot the skinned poly model as mesh copy (so that the copy’s stack will be colapsed)2) Convert the mesh copy into editable poly.So I now have two exact copies of my model, which I’ll name:[indent]skinned_copy (has the skin modifier weighted to my rigged skeleton)

cgskin_copy (has no modifiers at this moment)

[/indent]3) Apply cgskin modifier to “cgskin_copy”

  1. Initialize cgskin selecting “skinned_copy”
  2. Within the cgskin modifier, pin down all the vertices by selecting them all.
  3. Still within the cgskin modifier, unpin those vertices where I want to control the tension and set the parameters accordingly within cgskin.
  4. Set “skinned_copy” to non-renderable and hide it.
  5. Animate the controls that move the rigged skeleton that control “skinnned_copy” and cgskin will move the vertices within “cgskin_copy” (similar to how Skin Wrap modifier works).

Is it better to convert “cgskin_copy” into a cgskin object rather than adding cgskin to the copy’s modifier stack ? I know it will work faster if the model is converted to cgskin (as the manual reads) but if I do convert the editable poly into a cgskin object, will this conversion loose my texture coordinates and element selections set within the editable poly ? I guess I can specify them ‘again’ by adding a Poly Select modifer.


Yep thats exactly what I was thinking, and if needed other driving objects can be added later to further refine and control your tension areas (thats if they dont have the desired result straight away or after tension tweeking).

When you convert an object into cgSkin it will keep its UV coordinates but unfortunately it wont keep any sub object selection sets


I can imagine the benefits of having all my character’s base objects being cgskin rather than editable poly. Then I could build up on top of cgskin with an Editable Poly modifier and beyond that - skies the limit.

hypothetical modifier stack:
3) …others such as Morpher
2) editable poly

  1. cgskin (base)

Question: will morph modifier work on a cgskin base object (as in the above example) if my morph targets are copies of the cgskin ? Is it better to place an Edibale Poly modifer before Morpher in this case ?

It would be neat if one was able to name/save/recall their pinned vertices from a cgskin object rather than via a second modifier.

The UVs are retained but I guess the only limitation to using cgskin as a base object (as opposed to cgskin as an added modifier) would be the use of a vertex paint function for defining the tension settings on a model (the vertex paint modifer would end up after the cgskin and not prior in the above scenario).

Comments ?


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