Legacy Reference

Painting Skin Vertex Weights

You can use DCC tools such as Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max to paint skin vertex weights on your character model. Although the controls differ from one application to another, the concepts are similar. You can copy, mirror, scale, blend, and assign numeric values to selected vertex weights.

Copying smooth skin weight information between characters can save a lot of time if your project involves setting up several similar characters. Just focus your painting efforts on one character, then copy those weights to the other characters.

If you plan on copying skin weights between characters, ensure that the skeletons on each character have the same structure and pose. If the orientation of the joints is not similar, the copying can lack precision, forcing you to touch up the results.

When mirroring weights from one side of the character to the other, make sure the character and rig are aligned and symmetrical along the X-, Y-, and Z-axes as applicable. Rotate and scale joints as needed to make the skeletons better match.

For information on how to perform specific tasks, see the documentation for your DCC tool.

Painting Weights in Maya

To paint weight intensity values on the current smooth skin, use the Paint Skin Weights tool in Maya. To set individual skin point weights to specific values, use the Component Editor.

Reflection is disabled by default for the Paint Skin Weights tool. To reflect skin weights, use the Mirror Skin Weights tool. To use this tool, choose Skin, Edit Smooth Skin, Mirror Skin Weights in Maya.

To paint character vertex weights in Maya

  1. In Maya, choose Skin, Paint Skin Weights Tool.

  2. Assign vertex weights as needed for your character rig.

Painting Weights in 3ds Max

Autodesk 3ds Max includes various tools for skin vertex painting, as follows:

  • Skin envelopes

  • Weight table

  • VertexPaint

To paint character vertex weights in 3ds Max

  1. In 3ds Max, choose Modifiers, Mesh Editing, Vertex Paint.

  2. For VertexPaint, assign vertex weights as needed for your character rig.