Skin Wrapping in 3ds Max - Part 3 - Adding Props

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Industry
  • Games
Subject
  • Modeling
  • 2012
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
Duration
9 min

Skin Wrapping in 3ds Max - Part 3 - Adding Props

In this tutorial, learn how to skin wrap an additional prop for a skinned character. As you will see, this method is a lot easier and faster that making the prop part of the original character.


Notes
  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2012
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2012 or higher.

Transcript

00:00:00 --> 00:00:08
If you followed through the first two movies of this series and made changes to the characters,
simply reopen the file you downloaded for the tutorial.

00:00:09 --> 00:00:15
Hide the LODs and the two characters on the right.
You will be using only the main character for this part.

00:00:16 --> 00:00:22
In the last movie, we discussed how an Art Director can have a change of heart
by changing the design of a character.

00:00:23 --> 00:00:29
In that example, you had to change the waist and shoulders of a character
to give it a more cartoonish look.

00:00:29 --> 00:00:33
This was achieved by selecting sub-objects and scaling them in or out.

00:00:34 --> 00:00:38
Although the volumes changed, the topology and edge flow didn't.

00:00:39 --> 00:00:46
In this situation the Art Director wants to add a gun belt to the character,
the character being is a soldier or a rebel of some sort.

00:00:47 --> 00:00:54
This means that making the gun belt "part" of the character will require
not only modeling it but cleaning up the resulting model.

00:00:55 --> 00:01:03
The existing character's edge flow will be seriously compromised
by the addition of a gun belt that goes diagonally from the waist to the shoulder.

00:01:04 --> 00:01:08
Instead, you can keep the gun belt as a separate prop.

00:01:08 --> 00:01:14
However, you'd still need to skin it properly so that it travels flawlessly
with the rest of the character's body.

00:01:15 --> 00:01:18
This is where Skin Wrap comes in… again…

00:01:18 --> 00:01:21
First things first: Let's model the belt.

00:01:22 --> 00:01:25
You need to model it in a way that conforms to the body.

00:01:25 --> 00:01:29
Make sure the character's mesh is selected and go to the Modify panel.

00:01:30 --> 00:01:33
Highlight Editable Poly and expand the modeling ribbon.

00:01:34 --> 00:01:39
Go to the Freeform tab. You will use the Strips tool to build the belt.

00:01:40 --> 00:01:48
Instead of building the belt on the construction grid, choose Surface
and then pick the character's body as the surface you want to conform to.

00:01:49 --> 00:01:57
If you wish, enter a small Offset value, such as 0.1 or 0.2
so that the ribbon is very slightly over the body.

00:01:58 --> 00:02:01
Expand the PolyDraw panel.

00:02:01 --> 00:02:07
Set the Min Distance to about 40. This in effect, defines the size of the strips
that will make the belt.

00:02:08 --> 00:02:14
Click on New Object to ensure the belt is a separate prop and not an element of the existing mesh.

00:02:15 --> 00:02:25
Click the Strips tool and then click and drag over the character's chest
to build part of the belt, from the left shoulder to the opposite side of the waist.

00:02:27 --> 00:02:35
Orbit around, and then hold Shift and click & drag to continue the strip to the side,
and then up the back.

00:02:35 --> 00:02:42
Keep on going using the same Orbit/Shift+click & drag technique to close in on where you started.

00:02:47 --> 00:02:55
When you get close, choose Step Build and drag from the last strip edge to the first,
and this closes the loop.

00:02:56 --> 00:03:03
If you want, use the Shift tool icon (not the keyboard key) to reposition vertices.

00:03:18 --> 00:03:24
At this point, the belt is very much an independent editable poly and can be edited as such.

00:03:25 --> 00:03:29
Add a Shell modifier to it to give it depth.

00:03:33 --> 00:03:36
Set the Outer Amount to about 0.3

00:03:40 --> 00:03:44
Convert it again to an Editable poly. Have a little fun with it.

00:03:45 --> 00:03:49
Try creating some detail for shell casings for example.

00:04:24 --> 00:04:30
If you were to manually skin this gun belt to the biped skeleton, you're in for some trouble.

00:04:30 --> 00:04:35
Try it! With the gun belt selected, add a Skin modifier.

00:04:40 --> 00:04:45
Add all the biped components (starting with the pelvis) as skin bones.

00:05:01 --> 00:05:04
Select the biped's head and exit Figure mode.

00:05:09 --> 00:05:13
Test the animation and notice the many skin problems you're encountering.

00:05:13 --> 00:05:19
Adjusting the weights at this time… you would have had to spend a good deal of time on them

00:05:21 --> 00:05:24
With Skin Wrap, it's kid's play.

00:05:24 --> 00:05:28
Set the biped in Figure Mode again to go back to the initial pose.

00:05:30 --> 00:05:36
Remove the Skin modifier from the belt and replace it with a Skin Wrap modifier.

00:05:39 --> 00:05:47
Using Face Deformation with a 0.001 Falloff, choose the Full Body character as a Control object.

00:05:50 --> 00:05:55
Set the Biped out of Figure Mode again and test the animation one more time.

00:05:58 --> 00:06:01
It is practically flawless!

00:06:10 --> 00:06:13
Set the Biped in Figure mode again and select the belt.

00:06:13 --> 00:06:21
If there are any adjustments to be made, you can always convert Skin Wrap
to a regular skin like you learned in the two previous movies.

00:06:21 --> 00:06:27
Notice however that the belt is using all of the biped's bones for skinning information,

00:06:27 --> 00:06:32
but that's only because it is a direct transfer from the character's skin data.

00:06:32 --> 00:06:39
If you want, you can access Edit Envelope mode and remove those bones
that are not affecting the belt.

00:06:39 --> 00:06:44
This will make calculation times easier as fewer bones are processed.

00:06:44 --> 00:06:50
You have to be careful though not to remove a needed envelope as undoing is not possible.

00:06:50 --> 00:06:56
As you select envelopes in the list, keep an eye in the viewport for color codes.

00:06:56 --> 00:07:03
If the belt stays a uniform dull gray, then that envelope does not affect it
and can be safely removed.

00:07:04 --> 00:07:13
When you highlight an envelope and a part of the belt turns blue, yellow or red,
that means this envelope is needed and should be left alone.

00:07:13 --> 00:07:21
Some should be pretty straight forward. Spine envelopes logically affect the belt
because of their proximity and should be left alone.

00:07:31 --> 00:07:39
Fingers, toes, hands or feet on the other hand are far away and can be safely removed
without second thought.

00:07:59 --> 00:08:05
In this particular case, you should be left in the end with only about 8 to 10 bones
affecting the belt.

00:08:06 --> 00:08:10
Remember to be very careful as removing an envelope cannot be undone.

00:08:10 --> 00:08:15
To demonstrate, choose Edit > Hold to bookmark your progress.

00:08:20 --> 00:08:25
Remove an envelope that you know is needed such as Bip001 Spine2.

00:08:26 --> 00:08:34
Press CTRL+Z to undo. Even though the envelope is back, the skinning information is gone
and cannot be retrieved.

00:08:34 --> 00:08:38
Choose Edit > Fetch to recall your bookmark.

00:08:48 --> 00:08:51
Test the animation one final time.

00:08:56 --> 00:09:03
In this 3-part series, you learned how to use Skin Wrap in a variety of ways,
to transfer skinning data from one object to another.

00:09:04 --> 00:09:07
We hope you enjoyed this set and found the techniques useful.
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Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Modeling
  • 2012
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