Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Advanced weighting tools, part of 3ds Max: Character Rigging.
3DSMax has a number of advanced tools for controlling weighting so let's take a look at some of those. I still have the animation on my character. So let's take a look at the weighting here. So I'm going to select my mesh and makes sure I have edit envelopes on. And you can also turn this on as a sub-object here. And let's scroll down to weight properties. So if I select one for a text here on the hip, you'll see the effect of that one bone on that one vertex.
But typically, you want to visualize this a little bit better. And so there's a number of ways to do this. The first one is the weight table. So if I select this, it gives me a list of every single vertex in the mesh and every single bone in the deformation. And which bone is affecting which vertex. Now, this is a little too much information, but we can narrow this down by doing selected vertices, or by selected bones, so you could see what bone is affecting my vertices or which vertices that I've selected are affected by which bone.
So, this is a great way, you can just literally type in a number. So, if I type in and say, .7 here, it will go ahead and change that number. So, you can see that here. A probably a more easy to use is the weight tool window. And let's go ahead and open that up. And what this does is it tells you, which vertices are affected by which bone. So, the left thigh affects this vertices .298%, the spine only affects it by .2. And what I can do is I can actually take weights here, and actually scale or set specific weights.
So if I wanted to, I could scale that weight up or down, in this case, by 95%. I could set that weight to .5 or whatever number I want to dial in. Or I can use all of these presets. So if I wanted this one to be exactly to be .1, I could do that and then adjusts the other ones accordingly. But actually I want this one to be zero, I don't want that spine to control this one at all, so I'm going to go ahead and set that one to zero. And we can also use this to select groups of vertices. So, I can shift select vertices if I want, or I can do entire loops. So, if I want to affect an entire part of the character, I can do that as well. So, let's say I don't want this part of the character affected by the thigh at all. So, all I have to do is select my left and right thigh here, and just zero those out. I can also shrink and grow. So, if I wanted to select, for example, this loop here, I could grow that and again, dial in the weights that I want.
So, if I didn't want the spine affecting this, I don't need that, I can again take out the thigh and just make this completely on the hip. Now this may not be exactly the type of deformation we want, so for example here, we're getting a little too much, so I can certainly select some of these here, and change the weights. And again, just to see how this works. So if I select all of these, and let's say I'm going to affect them by the left thigh by .1, you can see how, as I change that, that kind of steps in a little bit.
And again, we can use this to really control our weighting. So if I want to, I can select these. Maybe I want these not to be so affected by the thigh, a little bit more by the hip. So I can certainly, for example, reduce the effect of these by the hip or how much they're affected by the thigh. So for example, if I want a little bit more weight here, I can certainly make it more affected by any one of these. So as you can see, this weight tool is a very handy way to affect the weighting of your character.
You just, again, are basically working through the character vertex at a time and making sure that the deformations are right. Now, there is another tool and that's the paint weights tool. So, if you select that, it brings up a brush. And if we hit this little dot here, it brings up the controls for the brush, and this allows you to actually paint weights a little bit more effectively. So, those are some more advanced tools for affecting the weight of your character. So go through your character and get one side of our character's skin and deforming the way that you want
- Setting up layers
- Drawing and positioning bones in the skeleton
- Rigging foot controls
- Creating hip and spine controls
- Setting up IK and FK skeleton controls
- Wiring the IK/FK switch
- Rigging hands
- Skinning characters
- Setting up single- and multiple-axis face controls