Skinning a Character in 3ds Max - Part 4 - Skin Mirror Tools

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Industry
  • Games
  • Design Visualization
Subject
  • Animation
  • Character
  • 2013
  • Character Animation
  • Workflow
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Advanced
Duration
5 min

Skinning a Character in 3ds Max - Part 4 - Skin Mirror Tools

In this tutorial, you experiment with Skin Mirror Tools. For the Mirror tool to work well, the mesh has to be symmetrical, so you'll be using a proxy mesh to work the skinning and then transfer that data to the original character mesh using Skin Wrap.


Notes
  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2013
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2013 or higher.
Transcript
00:00:02 --> 00:00:08
In the last movie, you adjusted the skinning on the left leg, under the hip area.

00:00:08 --> 00:00:15
In order not to waste time, it would make sense if you could transfer that skin information from the left leg to the right leg.

00:00:16 --> 00:00:22
Skin Mirror tools allow you to do that but they work best when the character is symmetrical.

00:00:23 --> 00:00:31
The legs and upper body are symmetrical but the hips and belly areas are not, due to the shirt sticking out of the pants.

00:00:31 --> 00:00:37
A useful approach in such a case is to use a temporary symmetrical mesh to work the skinning.

00:00:37 --> 00:00:44
Not only would it simplify Skin Mirror functions, but it would also make vertex loop and ring selections easier.

00:00:44 --> 00:00:50
At this point, the geometry is such that a loop selection would not go around the belt area for example.

00:00:51 --> 00:00:58
Once the proxy mesh is skinned properly, you can transfer back skin data using the Skin Wrap modifier.

00:00:59 --> 00:01:04
Make sure the zombie mesh is selected and that you're not in any type of sub-object mode.

00:01:05 --> 00:01:10
Make a copy of the object and name it "zombie_proxy".

00:01:13 --> 00:01:17
Press H and select the original 'zombie_mesh" object from the list.

00:01:18 --> 00:01:22
Remove the Skin modifier from the stack and hide the mesh.

00:01:24 --> 00:01:29
Select the proxy mesh again and go down the stack to the Editable Poly level.

00:01:30 --> 00:01:34
Add a Symmetry modifier between Editable Poly and Skin.

00:01:35 --> 00:01:37
The mesh is now symmetrical.

00:01:38 --> 00:01:41
Set the Symmetry Threshold to 0.

00:01:41 --> 00:01:49
The character is perfectly symmetrical and centered to the World, so all middle vertices separating left and right side will weld properly.

00:01:50 --> 00:01:57
Right-click the Symmetry modifier and choose Collapse To. Click Yes to dismiss the warning.

00:01:57 --> 00:02:02
Now that the character is symmetrical, you can use Skin Mirror tools.

00:02:02 --> 00:02:10
At this point, it is clear that the right leg needs work as you test it out between frames 360 and 440.

00:02:12 --> 00:02:16
Go back to frame 0 and enter Edit Envelopes mode.

00:02:17 --> 00:02:24
Select a leg bone and then its opposite, and notice that their affect on neighboring vertices are different.

00:02:29 --> 00:02:35
Enable Mirror Mode. The vertices on the mesh become color-coded although they may be a little hard to see.

00:02:36 --> 00:02:44
Blue vertices represent the model's left side, green vertices its right side, and red vertices are sitting on the Mirror plane.

00:02:44 --> 00:02:48
By default, the Mirror plane goes through the object's pivot point.

00:02:48 --> 00:02:56
This is again an indication of how important the initial setup of the mesh was as seen at the very beginning of this tutorial.

00:02:56 --> 00:02:59
There are five mirror tool icons to consider.

00:02:59 --> 00:03:03
The second and third icons relate to mirroring envelope data.

00:03:04 --> 00:03:08
Since you're not working with envelopes, you don't need to worry about those.

00:03:08 --> 00:03:13
The first icon enables you to mirror paste a selection of vertices.

00:03:13 --> 00:03:18
With this, you can select one or more vertices that you have already adjusted,

00:03:18 --> 00:03:23
and use the Mirror Paste tool to transfer that data to the other side.

00:03:27 --> 00:03:33
The last two icons enable you to mirror/paste all vertex data from one side to another.

00:03:33 --> 00:03:40
In this case, click the Paste Blue to Green Verts to transfer all skinning data from left to right.

00:03:41 --> 00:03:43
Exit Mirror mode.

00:03:44 --> 00:03:50
Notice how the problems you had earlier between frames 360 and 440 are now gone.

00:03:52 --> 00:03:56
Enable Envelope mode again and go to frame 0.

00:03:56 --> 00:04:04
Select a few opposite bones and notice how the vertex color codes now seem identical on the left and right sides.

00:04:08 --> 00:04:11
Exit Edit Envelopes one more time and save your file.

00:04:12 --> 00:04:15
In the next movie, you adjust the Hips area.
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Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • Character
  • 2013
  • Character Animation
  • Workflow
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