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Deceptacon

A little help with 3DS Max skinning

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I've been using 3DS Max for several years, and I've always used Physique for my skinning. I'm starting to work on models for a video game I'm working on now, so I figure that I have to use the Skin modifier rather than the Physique modifier (correct me if I'm wrong, it's part of my issue aswell). I'm not very good at using Skin at all. Am I right in assuming I can't use morph angles in a realtime engine? The engine for the game isn't complete, so I'm unsure what an average engine actually supports in realtime. Without using morph angles though, I have real trouble getting a high poly character (15,000 tris) to deform nicely, even around the relatively simple parts like the knees, and the waist/thigh section is a mess. Any confirmation or otherwise of any of my ponits would be great, and any help on skinning a hi-poly mesh with the Skin modifier would be great. Thanks for any help!

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Original post by Deceptacon
I've been using 3DS Max for several years, and I've always used Physique for my skinning. I'm starting to work on models for a video game I'm working on now, so I figure that I have to use the Skin modifier rather than the Physique modifier (correct me if I'm wrong, it's part of my issue aswell). I'm not very good at using Skin at all. Am I right in assuming I can't use morph angles in a realtime engine? The engine for the game isn't complete, so I'm unsure what an average engine actually supports in realtime. Without using morph angles though, I have real trouble getting a high poly character (15,000 tris) to deform nicely, even around the relatively simple parts like the knees, and the waist/thigh section is a mess. Any confirmation or otherwise of any of my ponits would be great, and any help on skinning a hi-poly mesh with the Skin modifier would be great. Thanks for any help!

first answer me this, why are you trying to animate a 15,000 tri model for a game?
also, i never actually used Physique myself, so i am not sure what you needed to do with that, but it sounds like you're not adjusting your envelopes right.

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First off, the model is for a game I'm only just starting to build, so I'm planning a few years until completion, so I want the main character to be high detail (next-gen console type quality). But for the purposes mentioned here, it's also a learning exercise, because hi detail models are harder to skin, and I can't "fudge" them over like I can on lo-detail ones. With physique, it does a lot of fancy stuff like creating a spline through the bones and defomring vertices off that rather than the bones themselves, so you get much better results with a lot less effort. But I can't use any of that in realtime. The fact is that I'm not as skilled in doing vertex weights as I'd like (like you said). But everything I do makes it really thin out at the joint (and I can't think of any solution around the top of the leg that works). How good can you get it without using morph angles? I'm just wondering at this stage if I'm just not good enough, or whether I'm trying to get results that aren't possible with such a hi-poly mesh.

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Original post by Deceptacon


First off, the model is for a game I'm only just starting to build, so I'm planning a few years until completion, so I want the main character to be high detail (next-gen console type quality). But for the purposes mentioned here, it's also a learning exercise, because hi detail models are harder to skin, and I can't "fudge" them over like I can on lo-detail ones. With physique, it does a lot of fancy stuff like creating a spline through the bones and defomring vertices off that rather than the bones themselves, so you get much better results with a lot less effort. But I can't use any of that in realtime. The fact is that I'm not as skilled in doing vertex weights as I'd like (like you said). But everything I do makes it really thin out at the joint (and I can't think of any solution around the top of the leg that works). How good can you get it without using morph angles? I'm just wondering at this stage if I'm just not good enough, or whether I'm trying to get results that aren't possible with such a hi-poly mesh.

try this, i do this when i am rigging a human, but keep in mind that i am also no expert in rigging yet.
after you have him skinned and all bones applied, bend the guys leg, now go into the skin modifier and adjust the envelope for that bones while its bent, this will give you a realtime look at how it will deform when being bent, therefore making it a lot easier.
if you want more indepth advice, checkout some tutorials. or aim me at metalgearsolido8 later on today (its a lot easier to explain things person to person).

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Thanks for your patience. There's a job I want to go for, and it's very rare for a job like this to be anywhere near me, and it requires that I know skinning, so I'm trying to learn it quickly. I'm downloading several video tutorials right now, and they're good, but they don't cover more complex areas. I already had him posed and with knee bent (all like you said). DO you rely on morph angles, or can it all be done well be just envelopes/vertex weights alone?

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Its just a matter of painting weights properly and using the Weighting tools when you go high poly. On low poly meshes, you can just use the input box, but on higher poly meshes, you're going to have to do alot of painting. Just adjust your envelopes in the rough shape, then paint, paint, paint, with your character in all sorts of crazy poses.
Generally though, binding is tedious but not impossible on any mesh. My thought is that the geometry is a bit off when lining up with the joints, so its popping and rotating incorrectly when the bone rotates.

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Original post by Professor420
Its just a matter of painting weights properly and using the Weighting tools when you go high poly. On low poly meshes, you can just use the input box, but on higher poly meshes, you're going to have to do alot of painting. Just adjust your envelopes in the rough shape, then paint, paint, paint, with your character in all sorts of crazy poses.
Generally though, binding is tedious but not impossible on any mesh. My thought is that the geometry is a bit off when lining up with the joints, so its popping and rotating incorrectly when the bone rotates.


That's the kind of stuff I want to hear. Just needed some re-assurance that I wasn't wasting my time trying. I'm getting better results after a bit of work now (still not happy with it). Much harder than using Physique. My knee seems to flatten more when bent straight down, whereas in Physique it follows basically a perfect arc of a circle around the kneecap. I'll probably post some screenshots when I've got it to a decent stage for some visual critiqueing.

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Original post by Deceptacon
Quote:
Original post by Professor420
Its just a matter of painting weights properly and using the Weighting tools when you go high poly. On low poly meshes, you can just use the input box, but on higher poly meshes, you're going to have to do alot of painting. Just adjust your envelopes in the rough shape, then paint, paint, paint, with your character in all sorts of crazy poses.
Generally though, binding is tedious but not impossible on any mesh. My thought is that the geometry is a bit off when lining up with the joints, so its popping and rotating incorrectly when the bone rotates.


That's the kind of stuff I want to hear. Just needed some re-assurance that I wasn't wasting my time trying. I'm getting better results after a bit of work now (still not happy with it). Much harder than using Physique. My knee seems to flatten more when bent straight down, whereas in Physique it follows basically a perfect arc of a circle around the kneecap. I'll probably post some screenshots when I've got it to a decent stage for some visual critiqueing.

just be glad you don't have to rig a model for a game engine that only allows 100% wieghting...

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Original post by Jarrod1937
just be glad you don't have to rig a model for a game engine that only allows 100% wieghting...


Yeah, I don't think you can get away with that on models with more than about 100 polys :p
Anyway, I'm still trying to get this looking good.........

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Original post by Deceptacon
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Original post by Jarrod1937
just be glad you don't have to rig a model for a game engine that only allows 100% wieghting...


Yeah, I don't think you can get away with that on models with more than about 100 polys :p
Anyway, I'm still trying to get this looking good.........

well, i'll have to try, either that or complain to my programmer that is not going fly.
i just joined the project and his engine is kind fo outdated (no ps, vertex lighting, no normal mapping...etc) yet he wants good graphics... which is kind of hard to do with those limitations.

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