Binding (Assign Armature)
Skinning is the process of creating an association between a Mesh (the Skin) and a Rig. More specifically in the Skinning process we define associations for each bone of the Rig’s Skeleton to each vertex of a mesh. In practice, for a polygonal mesh character, each bone is associated only with a subset of the character’s vertices.[break] Portions of the character’s skin can be influenced by 2 or more bones, where each vertex of the affected area gets an influence factor to each associated Bone. This factor is also called Vertex Weight. Thus the influence of each bone on a specific Vertex is defined by its Vertex Weight.
The process of Skinning includes:
- Binding the Character to the rig in a specific Pose (basically establishing an association between the Rig and the Mesh)
- Weighting the Mesh to the Armature bones (create the Vertex Weights)
For your convenience we have added a Bind to Armature button within the Skinning Tools Panel in the Tool shelf. This button and its associated properties only appear when you have selected at least one Mesh and one Avastar Armature as described above.
The Weight Option allows to select from where the initial weight maps will be generated. The 5 check marks below the Weight Option provide more basic fine adjustment (see below for details).
Note: You can not expect that this function automatically creates optimal results! Hence you must be prepared that in most cases the resulting weight maps have to be fine adjusted manually. Please look at the Create an Attachment tutorial on this website.
The Panel Options
This Property defines from where the Bound meshes will get their initial weights. We provide 4 Weight sources here:
Avastar: The weight maps are copied from the Avastar System character. Provided the system character meshes are available in the current Armature.
Hint: The automatic weight assignment sometimes runs into an issue where it can not find solutions for one or more vertices. This is typically due to intersecting and/or unconnected mesh parts in your object.
This option will only create missing weight maps. Weight maps which already exist in the Mesh will not be touched and kept as they are.[break] Hint: The Empty option should be rarely used. In almost every case you will be better with the next option.
This option is almost identical with the Empty option, only you will not be cluttered with empty weight Maps. Since weight maps are created on the fly during your weighting activities, in almost every case this option is the best to use when you intend to create your own weight maps.
Note: Directly after a mesh was bound to an Armature, you will find this section replaced by a weight Generator section from where you can regenerate your weights completely or partially at any time. For more details see in the skinning help section.
With Eye Bones
Interpolate (only available with Weight:Meshes)
Alter to Rest Pose (no longer recommended)
What is Alter mesh to Rest Pose ?
This video is about what the Alter to Restpose feature actually does for you[break]
Below you find some explanation.
In principle this option does the equivalent of the following procedure:
- The current pose (“mesh pose”) is made the armature’s default pose.
- The mesh is parented to the new default pose
- The pose is set to the actual T-Pose (and the mesh gets bent into T-Pose)
- The mesh is frozen (pose applied and mesh unbound from the armature)
- The armature’s default pose is set back to T-Pose
- The mesh is parented to T-Pose.
- When now the armature is posed into the original “mesh pose” then the mesh looks exactly like it looked when it was not yet parented.
- When your mesh fits well to the Avastar mesh, then you probably want to initialize your weight maps by setting the Weight option to “Meshes”.
- Only when you have to pose the Avastar in order to get a good alignment to your mesh, then you will also want to enable “Alter Mesh to Rest Pose”.
When the option “Alter mesh to Rest Pose” is enabled then your mesh will be altered on vertex level. The mesh will actually be bended into the Avatar Rest Pose (which is the T-Pose). Such that when the current pose gets applied later then the current shape of the mesh is almost exactly preserved.