Saturday, 15 January 2011

Rigging: Binding the Skin & Weight Painting

When it comes to binding the Skeleton with all it's Handles to the joints, it's a fairly easy process taking about 3-5 clicks of the mouse. By first selecting the Mesh followed by the root joint and going to Skin > Bind Skin > Smooth Bind. Making sure that the "Bind to joint hierarchy" option is selected I can then choose the level of which the joints will effect the mesh. The by hitting that's the Skeleton and Mesh bound, meaning that when I use the handles to move the skeleton it should also move the mesh. After testing the joints it seems that my skeleton and handles are fairly well set up with no major adjustments needing to be done. But there are adjustments to be done. As when the right leg moves it effects the skirt on the left side too much, the method of which to fix this is called "Weight Painting".

"Weight Painting" mode turns the model black and by selecting joints shows the extend of the area on the mesh that the joint will effect. This is shown as a white gradient on the black mesh, by using the weight paint brush I can highlight or deselect the ares that I want the joint to effect. Luckily for me this step was fair low stress as my model moved fairly coherently with very little warping to the mesh. The main parts that had to be weight painted was the right leg and the skirt on the left side.

This whole process was extremely quick and easy to complete with no problems, weight painting was interesting but I admit I was nervous to start messing around with a bit too much but luckily as stated the binding worked extremely well. With this step now sorted the only things left to do on the rig are add set driven keys to the hands and feet.

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