Replacing a character base mesh/transferring weights


Hey folks,

I am trying to save myself some time and a headache here, and I wonder if anyone can help!?

I have an FBX character exported from Daz Studio, that I have already set up with textures, a People In Motion rig/tag, and also added additional clothing I made in Cinema 4D, which I have also weighted to the base joints rig. Now, I have had to add lip sync to the original Daz studio version of the character, and have re-exported the identical model rig with the LipSync animation baked into the mesh.

I can copy textures across with no issue, and I can easily add any additional morphs I might need from this or other FBX exports of the identical mesh. But, what I’d like to be able to do, is exchange this animated version of the same mesh, for the existing one thats already prepped in C4D, and transfer the weighting of the additional clothing to this animated mesh, rather than having to go through the whole process of setting up the new import again.

Is there a way to copy/replace given that these meshes and rigs are identical?



if the point order are the same, you can export the weights of the source mesh. then import it into the target mesh.

The export weights are in the weights manager.


Thanks for this, it’s good to know it can be done!

Could you outline the process a little more? - for instance I am trying to copy the additional clothing item to the new animated mesh rig. Since that clothing item is weighted to the original mesh, how and what exactly do I save/load to have this item weight to the new rigs joints?


By any chance, can you provide a sample file? A stripped version will do. It’s kinda hard for me to explain.
Again, it is only possible if the point orders are the same.


I’ll see what I can do! - thank you :slight_smile:


I’ve just made the simplest example I could think of the main issue I have, as in reality, this issue pertains to a complex heavy file, that it would take me more time to strip down and prepare than I can justify at this moment! :slight_smile:

So, as you can see here, I am simply trying to move an item of clothing from one mesh/rig, to another identical mesh/rig, without having to re-paint weights again.

Like many other things, I’m sure the solution is probably simple, but it’s evading me at the moment, so any help, would be great!

Example File


Hi Kromekat.

Sorry took me a while to respond.
Here is the illustration video:

What I have done is the following:

  1. In overview, rather than the cloth itself transferred, i have the based mesh replaced.
  2. For illustration, I just duplicate the meshes.
  3. Delete all the skin of the target mesh.
  4. For illustration, I modified the target mesh. So that we can know for sure that the mesh is transferred.
  5. Click the source mesh, hit replace with command then click on the target mesh.
  6. Then there you have the new mesh with the clothing.

Again, this only works with the point order. To this date, this is my greatest hurdle for C4D: point order manipulation. In Maya, there are scripts available to modify the point order.

P.S. The method might be different on the method I said before: load and save weights. But it still works the same way, hopefully.

Let me know if you have questions.


it worked here with the following workflow:

  • Align coordinates of both characters and cloth
  • Duplicate the cloth mesh
  • Delete Weight tag on new cloth mesh
  • Project joint weights with VAMP from old cloth mesh to new
  • Problem now is the weights are now there but are bind to the joints of old mesh
  • Drag joints from new mesh into the new cloth mesh weight tag
  • Old and new joints are now there in cloth mesh weight tag
  • Go to Weight Manager and select old joints and press copy in manager
  • Select new joints in Weight manager and press paste

This is confusing but it works independently from point order since the weights are projected

Edit: in screenshot I moved Character 2 back over for visibility reasons


Thanks Guys,

bentraje, unfortunately that process doesn’t seem to help me with my issue, unless I am missing something?

ceen - thank you for your method. I was able to replicate the process, and have a success with my example file, but i couldn’t get it to work for the actual character/clothing models, which I am most puzzled about.

I found with your list of processes, I could achieve the same result with both the first VAMP process, and without, since the clothing object and its weight map was an exact duplicate of the first, going through the source/target transfer seemed redundant, as I was simply recreating a weight map that was already there? - either way, the transfer of weights using the weight manager, copy/replace worked fine in the example.

When doing it with the example file, the joints of the old mesh, were replaced with those of the new ones perfectly, whereas in my actual character files, both sets remained in the weight manager, despite having run the copy and replace commands, and the weight was not transferred to the new cloth mesh. I tried numerous times, and even tried changing the mode from Absolute to Remap, in case there were any invisible discrepancies in the rigs, but to no avail.

It looks like it should be an easy process, and with the example file, you have already proved it can be technically done, I just wish I knew exactly it won’t work in the actual character rigs!

Thanks for your help guys, I will persevere, and see if I can get to the bottom of the issue later, but in the meantime, with my deadline getting closer, I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and re-weight the clothing item again!


I’m still using R13 so I don’t know if they fixed this in later versions.
But if you change the weight values, the weight manager doesn’t always update properly. And you have to click on something in the manager to force it to update.
I typically toggle the green check mark on the skin tag to force the weights to update.



Let me see if I understand you properly. It’s basically the exact same rig and character and clothing. Just that you have a bake in lipsync on your new character. And so you want to take the clothes you added to the previous iteration and put it on this new lip sync one yeah?

So assuming the rigs are named the same(joint names).

-Get yourself my CV-Weights Scripts from Cineversity(It’s a shameless plug but the Import/Export of weights is way better than the native one). Get them all installed.
-Open the old rig with the clothing in a new file(So no lipsync rig in this file)
-Select your mesh. Run the CV-Export Weights Custom for your clothing.
-Now, copy your Clothing mesh, delete any weight tags but maybe keep any skin deformers, and paste it into your new rig file.
-Select your mesh and Run CV-Import Weights Custom and choose the weights file you exported.

Because the joints are all named the exact same, and all that jazz, it should find all the joints and create a weight tag for you.

The benefit of those Import/Export weight scripts vs the native commands is that it will handle the building of the weight tag and adding joints to the tag for you. The native one expects you to have a weight tag with all the necessary joints set up, which is not how anyone wants to work.

Hope this is clear.



Many thanks for for your reply! - sounds perfect, i’ll try it out later today.

thank you :slight_smile: