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Weight Painting Topics Only

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:41 pm
by j kaulfers
I decided to start this topic because I have been working with weight painting extensively and exclusivly for the last month, 6 to 8 hours a day. There seems to be very little on the subject and I have learned a lot by observation and experimentation .

I think it is important to disscuss just how a deform works. Ok we all know it changes the mesh form but undrstanding what process is taking place is important. So ,,,think of a rod,,,with many rods radiating out, like thorns on a cactus so to speak. On the end of each rod is a knob or ball, this would be the vertex.

As you move the rod the vertexes remain at a constand distance fron the center of the rod. By changing the weights, the radiating rods bend. They either try to stay in their oringinal position (subtracting weights) or they move with the rod (add weight).

This is all relative to the bone position, for example the grid has X Y and Z positive and negative numbers, the bones have X, Y, and Z. Think of your old number line schooling and the rules for positive and negative numbers.

You may be surprised when you use ADD weight and your mesh suddenly jumps way out of position / added a positive to a negative bone position and your mesh is now protruding out the other side of your model. So be sure to recalculate all the bone axes, get them all going in the same direction.

I am going to try and post some things on the tools and how they work as well as some very interesting tricks to make your weight painting go a bit easier. Please comment and throw out the questions

Painting Modes

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:27 pm
by j kaulfers
There are different View modes in weight paint just as in Object mode, solid, texture, wire frame. You can only do certain things according to the mode you are in, not all of the brushes / tools work in all modes.

In solid mode you will not see the mesh, if you use the Blur tool you will find that every unseen vertex that the brush moves over will be applied to the vertex group assigned to the respective bone. this can result in an absolute mess because conflicts will occure between bone vertex groups.

I recomend the use of solid view strictly to see weight color clearly and view skin disposition. You can select vertex while in solid mode and you will see the vertexes for the entire mesh but determining what verticies apply to which mesh line is nearly impossible when in a deformed position

From Pose mode if you leave your bone selected click on the model, go to the Object tab or button and select weight paint you can then adjust the pose while in weight paint but only if you are in solid mode with no added display, like verticies. You can then select any bone and pose it, or even hide it in weight paint mode..

The use of CNTRL TAB will switch between weight paint and Object mode allowing you to see your model and the effects of changes. this works in any weight paint mode. So if you are in solid view then the switch to object mode it will display the object in soild , if you are in wire frame in weight paint and Cntrl Tab then object mode will display wire frame and so on.

Thats all for this post, not sure what I will address next

Views in weight Paint

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:35 pm
by j kaulfers
As I said in the previous post you have several view options, including selection to visable or as I call it "All". It works tha same as it dose in object mode.

A nice little trick with selection set to all is to hide the verticies or areas that may be creating some confusion as to what exactly you are seeing. At this time the only way I have done this is in object edit mode. There are a number of ways to do it but in short just select the part of the mesh that is obstructing your view in the weight paint mode and hide it while in ob
ject edit and go back to weight paint.

However if your view in weight paint is set to solid you will still see what you hid. My preference view is vertex and wire. While in this view anything you have hidden will not be seen in weight paint.

It is very useful because you can see the actual flow of your topology and the verticies , you can then select any number of them and with the add or subtract brush you can see your toplology move. The object is to get even spacing and smooth flowing mesh lines.