Weighting: how to properly bake Weight-Effektors into joint-weights


#1

cI am currently working into R10 Mocca 3.
Wanting to make a soft transition for weights in the corner of my test-learning-characters mouth (and finding it not easy to achieve this with painting & smoothing weights without a proper “smooth weights” function outside of paint) I had the idea to try out the Weighteffektors for this.
worked like a charm, in the beginning.
I added 2 Effektors, linked one to Jaw and one to headJoint and placed them so, that I got a nice soft transition in the mouth corners.

Now I want to bake the effectors into the joint weights, and here it starts getting frustrating: seleting the joint, choosing the weight-tool an pressing bake effektors seems to bake the effector to the joint but not adding into the already painted weights on the joints, but erasing the weights and only leaving the effectors weights on the joints-- and even that in a weird way, as i need to apply Normalize to get rid of a very disturbing distortion–
below is a picture-documentation to show what its about.
Greetings,
Olli


#2

OK— the Weighteffector mystery–part 2
I narrowed down the problem by simplifying it (a cylinder, 3 joints, one effector).

As you can see in the atatched example-scene, its the same game as on the real character-- baking the effector does eliminate any weight pre-existing on the joint that is being baked—
so obviously, the manual says : weighteffector-bakingig ideal to finetune weighting— uh— but how?
Is there a trick I cannot find (the manual is really very discreet about the features & proper use of the Effector) when baking?
Is there a way to fill up the weight-gap left (like there was in Vreel weightlifter)?

Or is this a bug?

The baking of the weights is necessary when one wants to export to another App via FBX.

Olli


#3

another question that crossed my mind: is there a way to combine weights of 2 or more joints into the weightsof a single joint? (strategy idea: make an extra-child helperjoint for the weight effector, bake it and combine it into the weights of the head/jaw joint, then delete the helperjoint)?


#4

Hi Olli,

I don’t know if this is the correct workflow because I still have not seen the tutorial DVD that comes with R 10 as they still have not been shiped in England. However here is workflow that works for me.

1 Using your cylinder example to keep things simple, bind your cilinder to your three joints and then pose it (much like a bend knee or elbow)

2 Now select in the object manager the two joints that have weights (you don’t want the end joint because it doesn’t need any) and go to the Weight tool in the Attributr manager and change some settings.

3 Have the mode to Smooth and set the strength to something very small like 2% or 3% and make sure that Autonormalize is on.

If you paint now at the back of the knee you can see that the creeae you usually find there smoothes out nicely. I suppose because you are smoothing between the two selected joints you getting a version of smooth that works well.

I hope that this might help.

There are many mysteries concerning the weight tool for me still and I hope that the tutorial DVD will shed some light on some


#5

Thanks for the input, Jannis.

What you suggest is a correct workflow if you want to paint-smooth the weights (and i have been using that some) and I know it works (and I could , of course, live with it–but–)
What I am wondering about is about those weighteffectors baking-- (the reason with the smoothing of the mouth is just an excuse to try out the effectors— in this special case, paint-smoothing is actually tedious as I would not want the inner mouth-cavity to enherit the smoothness-- nevertheless, paint smoothing is of course always possible).

Its just that I want to know how to work with the effectors, as effectors are a potentially very powerful tool to modify weightings and to add special, re-usable wobbly effects to a rig.
Thats why I keep exploring that field-- its not really about smoothing the mouth-fold-- :slight_smile:

Add to that that effectors are animatable, and there are sooo many potential uses–
But the baking of the effectors seems a bit odd to me–

Just as you, I know there is a lot of the weighting tools that I need to get to know.
I have just started exploring the tools on a real (actually a not-too-complex-testcartoon) character
And there are quite a few functions (i.e: combine weights, subtract weights) I still don#t know how to achieve this with the weight-tool, or if something usable for that hidden in the skin tag or so.
I also have no clue how to work with the auto-weight function and get a predictable result–

btw, I also found an excuse to try out the shrinkwrap deformer: totally cool.What possibilities–wow.
Also, the morph deformer is a godsent when splitting symmetrical morphs into 2 asymetrical matching morph-targets-- fast, interactive, cool.
Sooo many new tools and possibilities-- I wish the detailed tutorial documentation were in my hands already.

Olli


#6

sadly baking effectors currently will always overwrite the previous weight. The manual is a little misleading there it seems. Typically so far when using weight effectors I’ve been sticking to spheres, the most ideal shape would be a capsule but we don’t have that shape yet :confused: I generally dont’ bake them down but use them to add on weight and keep them, for baking them down it would only be useful currently if you used them first and then painted on from that. But its not necessary. I’d be careful with effectors right now just because many of the shapes are not ideal for bending areas like an arm or leg, cylinder and cube both have had angle falloffs which aren’t ideal for such a situation.


#7

Thanks for clearing it up.
Though I dont really understand why they did not programm the baking in a way, that it is usable.
The way it is now, it merely is a replacement for “support-bones” type constructions where you add additional “bones”(= weight-effectors) to enhance deformation in certain areas.
A concept especially known from Messiah/Lightwave.

I can live with that, but it limits the potential of the effectors.

Now-- where can I combine weights into a single weight (dont I fear now that such a feature does not exist?)

Olli


#8

they ares til different than support bones in that they can move, so their influence can affect different points. Really handy for softer deformations in muscular areas and such.

As for combining weights, I’m not sure how you mean?


#9

say, you have a weight on jaw joint, and one on jawsupportjoint and want to combine both weights on jawjoint, so you can delete jawsupport-----

the counterpart would be to subtract the weight from another—
olli


#10

It might not be as direct as you hoped for but it works. Meaning you can do your workaround with the helper bone and effector.

in this special case, paint-smoothing is actually tedious as I would not want the inner mouth-cavity to enherit the smoothness

To avoid this first select the points you want to weight in the point mode. Next Select the the bone -not the mesh- and start weighting with the weight tool set to ‘selected only’.

Cheers,

bunk


#11

Hi, Bunk–
Thanks for the advice.Especially the point selection in Paint mode. I overlookes that-- duh.

As for the “to selection-from selection”-- this would mean an percentual increase-decrease for all the selected points-- thats a different (but of course nice) function.
Or am I missing something?

What i would like is to add up the weights of joint a to joint b. (like if point 3 of weight a is 20% and point 4 is 10% and the weights of joint b are 40% and 60% I end up with 60% and 70% for the combines weights.

The only way I see this possible is by manually adding up the weights and entering them on a per-point basis-- not really the way to go unless the weights affect only a couple of points, or you want to spend the whole day adding up numbers----
Is it possible to access and manipulate the weights via Expresso, btw?

Olli


#12

Are there any other joints affecting said point? Lock any joints weighted to this point that you don’t wish to affect. then erase the weights on joint a and all the weight will transfer to joint b.

If you don’t lock any other joints first, the weight will be equally spread out between them.

locking is done in the joints tab of the weight tool select the joint in the list and then press the lock button


#13

Darn, so much easier then I thought. :slight_smile:

Thanks Kai!

bunk


#14

hmm— this should actually work— provided there are no weight over 100 total-- I dont know how the weighteffector is calculated when being baked-- But after normaization it should be fine, I guess.
I will try it out when i have time again–
sounds like a way that could work.
Thanks for the input, Kai.

Olli


#15

well ideally it would be even easier using the weights manager but not in its current state. :rolleyes:


#16

so would I be right in assuming what you are trying to do is add in a temp joint with no weight, apply the effector to that, bake it down and then transfer those weights to the other joints so you can delete the temp joint?


#17

Yup, thats the plan :wink:

All in all the masterplan is to explore the new toolset .
Olli


#18

This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.