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Painting skin weights

From: Character Rigging in Maya

Video: Painting skin weights

The next tool we are going to look at his called Paint Skin Weights and this uses Maya's painting interface to allow you to adjust the weighting of your character's skin. Now if you're familiar with paint effects, the sculpt tools, or Maya's Painting tools you should catch on to this fairly quickly. But let's take a look at this interface. The way that you get into it is to select our mesh, go Skin > Edit Smooth Skin > Paint Skin Weights tool. Let's go ahead and select the options for this tool.

Painting skin weights

The next tool we are going to look at his called Paint Skin Weights and this uses Maya's painting interface to allow you to adjust the weighting of your character's skin. Now if you're familiar with paint effects, the sculpt tools, or Maya's Painting tools you should catch on to this fairly quickly. But let's take a look at this interface. The way that you get into it is to select our mesh, go Skin > Edit Smooth Skin > Paint Skin Weights tool. Let's go ahead and select the options for this tool.

We really need the options available. And when you do that, this interface comes up. Now we are on a fairly tight screen. So I am going to have to scroll up and down here. Along the top we have the type of brush that we have, and notice how my cursor has changed to a brush interface. This is the exact same interface we have with any of the Artisan tools. So we have the type of brush, we have the Radius of the brush, so we can make that bigger or smaller, or if you hold down the B key on the keyboard you can scale that interactively.

And then, what do we want to paint, Skin Weight. And then down here we have which bone or which joint is affecting the skin weights. So, for example, if I look here you'll see that the left hip is what we are looking at. We are painting the weights for that particular joint. Go down to the knee, we can see we are painting the weights for that, the foot, and so on. So each one of these shows a highlight of how it affects its given area. So you can see that hip joint is affecting that much of the geometry.

Now below this, we have several different modes. Do we want to Paint, do we want Select, or do we want Paint Select? Typically, we will keep this on Paint. And then when we paint, what are we painting? Are we replacing with this value here? Are we adding this value to the existing or are we smoothing or scaling? Okay, so we could smooth to kind of smooth out the deformations if you've got something that's kind of sticking out. Typically, we will start with Replace and we will get to that in just a second.

And then finally, we have Gradient, which is, how do you want to take a look at this in the viewport? If you click this on you can see a color ramp where red is the most affected, green, blue are the least affected. And this might be a better visual cue for you. If you don't want to use this, you can certainly go back to black and white. It's really up to you. I am going to keep this on color, because it's more vivid and it's a better show. So let's go ahead and start painting some weights.

Now one of the things we need to understand is, how is this character deforming? And this is one of big reasons why we did this animation. So right there you can see that I've got a really nasty little situation there, and that's the vertices underneath the pelvis are being affected by that leg bone as it moves off to the side, and that's not a situation that we want. We actually want to attach these vertices to this middle joint here. So we are going to select Spine Root and we are going to paint all of these underneath here to be affected by that.

We want to keep those particular vertices centered. So I am going to keep that on Replace. I am going to keep the value at 1. So now I want to make sure that I paint these. You can actually see how when you click on these, if I keep this at 1, they basically just turn to red. So I can now affect these vertices underneath the body and now when he moves the leg out, we still have a little bit of a problem here.

So we can actually erase them from the hip. So I'm going to create a Replace operation. I'm going to change my value to 0, keep the hip selected, and go through and zero that out. So again I am painting that so that it goes out. In fact, one of the easiest ways to do that is to take a look at it, and you can see how it's already starting to come into place there. As you paint it, you can paint it with that character in animation.

This is one of the main reasons why we are animating this, is so that we can actually see how this works. So if I go up to the top here, I don't want these to be affected by that either. So you can see how I can paint those out and get those back to more of a normal state while it's almost in motion. Now this something we couldn't do if we haven't animated this. So that's the basics of the interface. So we have a number of other things that we can do. We can, for example, replace, we can add, we can smooth.

I think smoothing is actually very handy little tool here. So if I have this leg out to the right, I can increase the size of my brush. Again, I am holding down the B key, and I can just smooth that out and you can see how it kind of gets that dent out of the way there. The key here is to basically take your skeleton and start going through every joint and painting as best you can, the deformations of each joint.

Now this is really just one of those processes that's just going to take time and attention. It is a rather precise process and you only have to go through half the model, because we can mirror stuff from left to right. So just focus on one side of the model, get it exactly the way you want, and then we can move on to the next step.

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This video is part of

Image for Character Rigging in Maya
Character Rigging in Maya

63 video lessons · 8413 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 1m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
  2. 8m 21s
    1. Understanding the basic rig
      2m 53s
    2. Rigging theory
      2m 15s
    3. Organizing with layers
      1m 44s
    4. Naming conventions
      1m 29s
  3. 37m 11s
    1. Using the Joint tool
      7m 4s
    2. Modifying joint attributes
      6m 47s
    3. Creating the lower-body skeleton
      6m 45s
    4. Creating the spine skeleton
      5m 57s
    5. Creating the arms
      3m 38s
    6. Creating hand skeletons
      4m 41s
    7. Mirroring joint chains
      2m 19s
  4. 22m 0s
    1. Working with inverse kinematics (IK)
      5m 56s
    2. Understanding IK solvers
      6m 33s
    3. Blending between inverse and forward kinematics (FK)
      4m 52s
    4. Using spline IK
      4m 39s
  5. 21m 3s
    1. Point constraints
      7m 56s
    2. Aim constraints
      5m 10s
    3. Orient constraints
      4m 38s
    4. Pole vector constraints
      3m 19s
  6. 37m 6s
    1. Setting up IK
      4m 15s
    2. Setting up foot controls
      5m 59s
    3. Keeping rigs organized
      2m 51s
    4. Hiding unused attributes
      3m 37s
    5. Creating a hip control
      3m 55s
    6. Controlling knee direction
      3m 2s
    7. Creating spine controls
      4m 37s
    8. Controlling forward kinematics on the arms
      6m 20s
    9. Creating a master node
      2m 30s
  7. 28m 11s
    1. Working with set-driven keys
      4m 38s
    2. Creating custom attributes
      3m 54s
    3. Wiring joints to custom attributes
      8m 2s
    4. Creating an FK/IK switch
      4m 35s
    5. Setting up elbow controls
      2m 5s
    6. Hiding and showing controls
      4m 57s
  8. 24m 46s
    1. Creating simple eyes
      6m 58s
    2. Rigging non-spherical eyes
      7m 49s
    3. Attaching eyes to the skeleton
      3m 18s
    4. Applying blend shapes
      6m 41s
  9. 42m 31s
    1. Binding skin using Smooth Bind
      3m 28s
    2. Testing skin using animation
      4m 36s
    3. Pruning small weights
      3m 53s
    4. Painting skin weights
      5m 47s
    5. Editing skin weights in the Component Editor
      6m 1s
    6. Mirroring skin weights
      2m 2s
    7. Using Interactive Skin Bind
      3m 36s
    8. Refining skin on the upper body
      2m 3s
    9. Using skeletons to create a jaw
      3m 22s
    10. Refining jaw weighting
      7m 43s
  10. 47m 20s
    1. Setting up a control panel
      2m 27s
    2. Limiting controller motion
      6m 15s
    3. Rigging basic facial controls using set-driven keys
      2m 31s
    4. Rigging the jaw using set-driven keys
      4m 22s
    5. Rigging pupil controls
      3m 29s
    6. Controlling eye direction
      3m 21s
    7. Controlling eyelids with expressions
      5m 44s
    8. Using expressions to rig mouth controls
      8m 1s
    9. Creating a smile/frown control using expressions
      8m 56s
    10. Finishing up the facial rig
      2m 14s
  11. 6m 42s
    1. Cleaning up the rig
      2m 25s
    2. Testing the rig
      4m 17s
  12. 25s
    1. Goodbye
      25s

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