Skinning a Character in 3ds Max - Part 6 - Torso

Login to Follow
  • Games
  • Design Visualization
  • Animation
  • Character
  • 2013
  • Character Animation
  • Workflow
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Advanced
4 min

Skinning a Character in 3ds Max - Part 6 - Torso

In this tutorial, you adjust the skinning of the torso and abdomen areas.


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


00:00:03 --> 00:00:10
To work on the torso, change the animation length to focus on the timing between frames 640 and 880.

00:00:11 --> 00:00:18
Actually, if the Layer toolbar is still visible, you may as well hide it. You can always recall it later.

00:00:18 --> 00:00:22
With the mesh selected, make sure you are in Edit Envelopes mode.

00:00:23 --> 00:00:25
Press L to go to the left view.

00:00:25 --> 00:00:29
You've already blocked out the belly area in the last tutorial.

00:00:29 --> 00:00:31
You still need to adjust the chest area.

00:00:32 --> 00:00:38
Using the lasso tool, select the vertices around the chest bone all the way up and including the collar.

00:00:39 --> 00:00:45
This obviously includes the arms, hands and fingers that you need to filter out.

00:00:45 --> 00:00:48
Press F to switch to the front view.

00:00:49 --> 00:00:54
Use the Alt key to deselect the arms. Don't worry about being too thorough around the shoulders.

00:00:55 --> 00:00:58
This is an area you'll need to give special attention to later.

00:00:58 --> 00:01:03
In fact, even if the selection is a bit off between left and right, that shouldn't be much of a problem.

00:01:04 --> 00:01:07
That can be fixed later with Skin Mirror tools.

00:01:07 --> 00:01:16
With the chest vertices selected, select the chest bone (Spine3) and assign it a 100% influence over the selected vertices.

00:01:16 --> 00:01:21
Now that the torso vertices are blocked out to follow the closest bones, you can fine-tune the solution.

00:01:22 --> 00:01:29
Because you have a perfectly symmetrical model, at least around the belly area, you can select loops easily.

00:01:29 --> 00:01:32
Start with the loop on the upper part of the belt.

00:01:33 --> 00:01:38
Select two adjoining vertices and press the Shift+2 hotkey you defined earlier.

00:01:38 --> 00:01:43
This loop at this time is fully reacting to the spine base (Spine1).

00:01:43 --> 00:01:47
It should be slightly affected by the hip bone as well.

00:01:47 --> 00:01:55
With the loop selected, select the hip (or pelvis) bone and press Shift+1 to activate the vertex weight script.

00:01:55 --> 00:02:02
As you adjust the upper loop of the belt, you realize that the bottom two loops also need to be adjusted.

00:02:06 --> 00:02:14
Here, you can select two close-by vertices and use the Shift+3 hotkey to select the ring of vertices around the waist.

00:02:15 --> 00:02:22
All the selected vertices are currently assigned to the hip bone but they need to slightly react to the spine base as well.

00:02:22 --> 00:02:27
Select the spine base (Spine1) and use the script to balance the weight.

00:02:28 --> 00:02:33
You only need a slight adjustment, so don't go overboard with this.

00:02:35 --> 00:02:38
Go up to the next problem loop.

00:02:38 --> 00:02:44
Select the hip bone and weight the vertices until you get something visually acceptable.

00:02:46 --> 00:02:48
Keep on going up, loop by loop.

00:02:49 --> 00:02:54
Make sure you select the appropriate bone you want to use for weighting the selected vertices.

00:02:56 --> 00:03:02
Use the weighting script, again using the Shift+1 hotkey, to make the necessary adjustments.

00:03:22 --> 00:03:26
Analyze your solution by scrubbing the animation.

00:03:30 --> 00:03:33
Go back and adjust vertices as you see fit.

00:03:34 --> 00:03:38
There might be a couple of occurrences where the vertices "crash" into one another.

00:03:38 --> 00:03:43
You can see an example around frame 818 in the lower back area.

00:03:43 --> 00:03:47
You can adjust individual vertices around that area if you feel you must.

00:03:48 --> 00:03:54
Keep in mind that this is a very extreme pose and you may not come to it in normal body behavior.

00:03:54 --> 00:03:59
Chances are that the back won't rotate further than is shown at frame 810.

00:04:00 --> 00:04:03
Keep on fine-tuning the solution until you are satisfied.

00:04:04 --> 00:04:08
Exit Edit Envelopes mode when done and save your file.

00:04:08 --> 00:04:12
In the next movie, you work on the shoulder joints.
Posted By
  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • Character
  • 2013
  • Character Animation
  • Workflow
To post a comment please login or register