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Skin Modifier - Envelope issues
show user profile  mr_pablo
I have some bones and a mesh with the Skin modifier applied.

For some reason, a couple of bones have their envelop lying at 90 degs, rather then along the actual bone.

How do I fix this and make the envelop run the length of the bone, as it does typically?



Software Developer / Photographer
read 304 times
8/21/2014 6:33:27 PM (last edit: 8/21/2014 6:33:27 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
upon adding a new bone, the envelope is created along the longest geometric axis of the bone. The actual bone objects are a bit of a special case though, as long as they are in bone mode and have not been geometrically altered, the envelope is created along their local x axis. This can sometimes bug out with the constraint system which causes them to report the wrong actual orientation to skin.

Either way.. it doesn't matter, the envelopes themselves have no effect on how the vertices transform, they just affect vertex weights. You can move them in place by hand if you want to use them as a starting point but usually I just ignore them all together since envelopes don't make for good skinning results.

read 295 times
8/21/2014 11:56:09 PM (last edit: 8/21/2014 11:56:09 PM)
show user profile  mr_pablo
What would you suggest I use for "skinning" my model to the bones?

I've never really done any bone animation so I'm open to suggestions.

My current model is a quadruped (I wanted to use the Biped, but not sure how to convert him to 4 legs) and I'm using 3DSM 2013 if that helps :)



Software Developer / Photographer
read 287 times
8/22/2014 11:09:14 AM (last edit: 8/22/2014 11:09:14 AM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
heres the process:

select all vertices and abs weigh them to one bone, the pelvis is a good one
then pick a leg and weigh all the vertices belonging to that leg to the thigh bone
then create an animation moving the limb so you can see whats happening
then vertex paint the rough version of the weights in the leg joint
then individually adjust vertices to refine (hotkeying weight +- is godsend here)
then go to the knee and weight all the vertices from the knee onwards to the shin bone
...
repeat until all the joints are skinned (on one side of course, mirror tool is great)


lengthy process but theres really no shortcut if you want it to look adequate(in max's anitquated rigging/skinning system anyways). If you want it to look good you also need to either rig and skin support bones (because a single bone per ball joint only gets you some ~30 degrees of believable motion) or use skin morph, or both.

Also don't use biped, in the end its more annoying then helpful. Either make the bones and rig it yourself or use CAT. Self made rig gets you more precise control and better automation but takes longer to set up. CAT does most of the rigging for you which is quick but can turn out to be rather shitty, depending on character and there isn't much you can do about it except for FK (in which case why have rigs at all). The main reason i put up with CAT is because of its handy animation system where you can easily save/load animations, combine them, etc. without accidentally messing up the character file.


read 279 times
8/22/2014 3:00:34 PM (last edit: 8/22/2014 3:03:22 PM)
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