Skinning a Character in 3ds Max Part 8 - Arms

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3 min

Skinning a Character in 3ds Max Part 8 - Arms

In this tutorial, you adjust the skinning of the arms. After dealing with the complexity of the shoulder joint, the arms should feel a lot easier to handle.


  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2013
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2013 or higher.


00:00:02 --> 00:00:08
After dealing with the complexity of the shoulder joint, you should have an easier time with the rest of the arm.

00:00:09 --> 00:00:15
Set the animation length between frames 1040 and 1240 to focus on the arm animation.

00:00:16 --> 00:00:22
The middle joint, the elbow, can only rotate in one direction, much like the knee.

00:00:22 --> 00:00:29
However, because of the arm's roll bones, there is also a bit of a twist to take into account.

00:00:29 --> 00:00:34
As always, start by blocking off vertices to follow their closest bones.

00:00:35 --> 00:00:42
You have already done a bit of work on the shoulder joint, so you can concentrate on the rest of the arm, down to the wrist.

00:00:43 --> 00:00:46
This may be easier to do from the top view.

00:00:46 --> 00:00:49
The elbow area requires a bit of attention.

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Start by selecting these vertices,

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and assign them to follow the shoulder bone 100%.

00:01:04 --> 00:01:15
Next, select loops or rings, using Shift+2 or Shift+3 to select and assign vertices to the forearm bone and the forearm roll bones.

00:01:16 --> 00:01:23
The selection of roll bones is often difficult in the viewport, so select them from the bone list in the skin modifier.

00:01:32 --> 00:01:37
As you scrub the animation, take into account the vertices you need to blend.

00:01:37 --> 00:01:40
There are some that need blending when the arm twists.

00:01:41 --> 00:01:45
There are those that need special attention as the elbow rotates.

00:01:45 --> 00:01:48
By this time, you know what you need to do.

00:01:49 --> 00:01:56
You select one or more vertices, select a bone to follow and adjust the weighting.

00:01:56 --> 00:02:02
Near the shoulder, some vertices need a bit of blending with the shoulder roll bone.

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Keep on selecting loops or rings and adjust the weights accordingly.

00:02:13 --> 00:02:15
The elbow needs a bit more work.

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Take a look at it from the top between frames 1120 and 1140.

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Select these elbow vertices that are currently assigned to the shoulder.

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Select the forearm bone and gently blend the weighting.

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Do not overdo it yet as you will need different values between the front and back vertices.

00:02:44 --> 00:02:48
Remove or add vertices and adjust the weighting.

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Move to the next loop.

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Blend in the weighting as you did a second ago.

00:03:34 --> 00:03:39
You will almost certainly need to work on individual vertices to make it look right.

00:03:39 --> 00:03:43
Keep on working and blending vertices by going back and forth between them.

00:03:44 --> 00:03:50
Look at the scene from different angles and scrub the animation to study the deformation.

00:03:58 --> 00:04:03
When the elbow is done, you can blend the weighting of the forearm vertices.

00:04:05 --> 00:04:07
These should be pretty easy to adjust.

00:04:07 --> 00:04:14
Start by working them one loop at a time, then adjust the individual vertices if need be.

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When you're done, exit Envelope Mode and save your file.

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In the next movie, you will work on the hand and wrist.
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  • 3ds Max
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  • 2013
  • Character Animation
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