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Painting Weights and Skinning: A Straightforward Approach

By Kiel Figgins
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Date Added: 10th April 2013
Software used:
Maya

Density at Key Areas for Corrective Blend Shapes and Volume Preservation

A common issue when dealing with high bend areas, like the elbow/knee/shoulder/hip, is that no matter how it's constructed or weighted, a corrective blend shape or additional helper joints will eventually be needed to create a more pleasing result.

Using the knee as prime example, you can see the difference in these two legs (Fig.04).

1699_tid_fig04_knee_model_Anat.jpg
Fig.04 - Density in high blend areas

The leg built for even spans does not have much density to work with to sculpt out a corrective shape for a bent knee (harder edge, 90 degree point and defined knee cap). Whereas the more anatomical leg was created with deformation in mind, leaving enough spans in the mesh to allow a corrective shape.

Finger and Knuckles

Depending on the medium, finger layout can change drastically. From trying to save edge loops for games (Fig.05).

1699_tid_fig05_finger_Layout_Games.jpg
Fig. 05 - Low res game edge flow


A more stylized and cartoony feature (Fig.06).

1699_tid_fig06_hippy_hand_layout.jpg
Fig. 06 - Stylized/cartoony edge flow: http://www.hippydrome.com/ModelingHand.html

To a full on anatomical study (Fig.07).

1699_tid_fig07_finger_Layout_Anat.jpg
Fig. 07 - Anatomical edge flow: https://vimeo.com/19554640





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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 305403, pid: 0) Joshua R. Dodson on Sun, 26 October 2014 8:20pm
Thank you this has helped to improve my understanding of Weight painting. In my own personal work I have found that the combination of Basic skin cluster, maya muscle and corrective blend shapes yield highly satisfactory results. It's always a great idea to have a low poly version of your model for animation and simulation testing aside from the full resolution detail model.
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