Skinning shoulder so arm can reach overhead


I’m wondering if there’s some secret to rigging a character so it can be skinned properly for when the arms reach overhead. I’m specifically referring to the situation where the character’s arms are hanging by his side, and then they swing straight forward, and keep rotating up until they’re overhead. This scenario twists the shoulder mesh to pieces, and I have yet to find a rigging/skinning tutorial that deals with this situation. Am I missing something?


it’s been my experience, if your using the Skin modifier in Max, you will always run into this to some degree. (skinny or thin models are easier)

i create my models with the characters between T-pose and straight down …at 45 degrees if will

this give me the best results because most of the time that’s where the arms are naturally.

if you have to do a move with the full range your talking about… then i would personally suggest morph targets to correct abnormalities.

of course it’s clear why big post houses and studios don’t skin this way. they wrap the skin to the muscles which are connected to bones. thus avoiding deformations


You can imitate that to some degree by using bones for muscles.

Also make sure to animate the movement correctly (e. g. which parts are actual arm rotation and which parts are done by the shoulder girdle).


You can use SkinMorph to build corrective Morphs. DeltaMush and TensionMorph can help smoothing the result and and preserving the volume.If you have BonesPro you can also place deformers below the skin.