Skinning a Character in 3ds Max - Part 11 - Skin Wrap Modifier

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  • Rendering
  • 2013
  • Lighting and Rendering
  • 3ds Max
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6 min

Skinning a Character in 3ds Max - Part 11 - Skin Wrap Modifier

In this tutorial, you finalize the body skin by first mirroring the data to the character's right side, and then by transposing all skin data from the symmetrical proxy body, to the original body. You will use the Skin Wrap Modifier to that effect.


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


00:00:02 --> 00:00:07
You're done with the hard work on the body, but there are still a few things to iron out.

00:00:08 --> 00:00:15
First, you've mostly worked on one side of the body from the waste up, so you want to mirror all the skin data to the other side.

00:00:15 --> 00:00:21
This of course, is done by entering Mirror Mode, and then using the appropriate mirror tool.

00:00:21 --> 00:00:30
In this case, you want to use the Paste Blue to Green Verts option to transfer vertex data from the character's left side to its right side.

00:00:30 --> 00:00:32
Exit Mirror mode when done.

00:00:32 --> 00:00:41
If you want, exit Edit Envelopes mode altogether and rotate a few bones on the character's right side to ensure all is ok.

00:00:49 --> 00:00:56
Actually, now that you're mostly done with the body's skinning, it would be a good idea to reset the animation length.

00:00:57 --> 00:01:05
Set it back to what you started with, frames 0 to 2600 to view the full extent of the animation.

00:01:09 --> 00:01:13
If there are any last minute adjustments, go ahead and do them now.

00:01:13 --> 00:01:22
For example, there are a couple of vertices near the center of mass that seem to have more pull to one side, whereas they should be centered.

00:01:25 --> 00:01:28
Select them individually,

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and use the Weight Tool dialog to adjust the values.

00:01:36 --> 00:01:45
As explained in an earlier section, select the middle bone (right thigh) and set it to 1 or 100%.

00:01:45 --> 00:01:51
Select the last bone (left thigh) and set it to 0.5 or 50%

00:01:52 --> 00:02:00
Now select the first bone, the pelvis bone and give it back its original value, which in this case was about 0.8 or 80%.

00:02:01 --> 00:02:07
Repeat the procedure with any center vertices that may have drifted to one side or the other.

00:02:08 --> 00:02:13
Finally, remember that all the work that you've done was done on the "proxy" character,

00:02:13 --> 00:02:17
the one you have made symmetrical to make your work a bit easier.

00:02:18 --> 00:02:24
Now, you need to transfer all that work to the original mesh, the one with the shirt sticking out.

00:02:26 --> 00:02:30
Unhide the original zombie_mesh object.

00:02:33 --> 00:02:39
If you wish, change the wirecolor on one or the other mesh to differentiate them.

00:02:44 --> 00:02:50
Select the original zombie_mesh object, and apply a Skin Wrap modifier to it.

00:02:53 --> 00:03:01
Set the deformation engine to Face Deformation and the falloff to its smallest possible value of 0.001.

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Click the Add button and then click the proxy mesh in the viewport.

00:03:06 --> 00:03:10
After a few seconds, the data is transposed from one object to the other.

00:03:11 --> 00:03:13
Click Add again to cancel that mode.

00:03:14 --> 00:03:16
Now select the proxy mesh and hide it.

00:03:17 --> 00:03:24
You could actually delete it at this time but better keep it hidden for now until you are sure you don't need it as a backup.

00:03:26 --> 00:03:35
Scrub your animation. For the most part, it should be perfect in every way as the only differences ought to be around the right side of the waist.

00:03:36 --> 00:03:40
For that area, you may need a bit of fine-tuning.

00:03:49 --> 00:03:53
Click the Convert to Skin button so may have control over the skinning of the mesh.

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This creates a new Skin Modifier on top of the stack and disables the Skin Wrap modifier underneath.

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In fact, select the Skin Wrap modifier and delete it.

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Go back up to the Skin level and enter Edit Envelopes mode.

00:04:09 --> 00:04:15
The new Skin modifier takes into account all the bones used on the proxy and the vertex weights are transferred.

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However, you need to tell it again you want to work in Vertex mode, that you need not display the envelopes,

00:04:31 --> 00:04:36
and that the Bone Affect Limit is restricted to four bones.

00:04:39 --> 00:04:48
Once this is done, you can now select individual vertices on the shirt's exposed part and weight them accordingly.

00:05:16 --> 00:05:18
The skinning of the body is now complete.

00:05:19 --> 00:05:25
You still need to skin the head but before you get to that, I'd like to cover a little tip that could prove extremely useful.

00:05:26 --> 00:05:31
You may have noticed in the Advanced Parameters rollout two Save and Load buttons.

00:05:32 --> 00:05:36
These enable you to save envelope data and reload it at a later time.

00:05:37 --> 00:05:43
While useful, this method is mostly adaptable to save and load envelopes globally, for the whole character.

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The tip you will learn about in the next movie shows you how to save VERTEX skin data, and only on areas that you choose.
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  • 3ds Max
  • Rendering
  • 2013
  • Lighting and Rendering
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