Auto weight paints in wrong areas, model distortion when painting, and brush not working right

Hi I’m new to weight painting and losing my mind.

All the tutorials I watch say to do auto weights, but on my model auto weight painting put a bunch of weights in the wrong spots. This I wouldn’t think would be a huge issue, but the model distorts a lot when I try to manually remove the weights in the area I didn’t want to put it in. The mesh ends up distorting so bad I cant paint on it anymore. Is there another option? Can I have it not auto paint weights? It would be a lot easier to have a blank slate where I paint the weights myself and the program doesn’t try to guess what I want. I managed to completely remove the incorrect weights off of some parts of the body and that seems to fix the distortion, but other areas the distortion is so bad I cant fix it.

Also, why is the brush not working half the time I click to paint? The more distorted an area is the less likely it is to paint on that area, with smooth areas working the most consistently, although sometimes even then it will not paint. I have to click and move the mouse around like crazy to make any progress in certain areas.

Auto weights don’t work well on certain types of meshes. If you link a file, we’d probably be able to tell you whether that was happening or not. Typical problems like the ones you’re describing come from backwards normals and disconnected bits of mesh.

Yes, it’s totally okay to do manual weight painting. If you’ve already autoweighted it and want to get rid of the weights, then you can delete all vertex groups from the mesh, then reparent with “empty groups” instead of “automatic weights”. You can delete all vertex groups from the dropdown to the right of the list of vertex groups:

It’s hard to say why your brush isn’t painting without seeing you doing it, but I would suspect that you have Front Face Falloff enabled in your tool settings, preventing you from painting on vertices when they’re aimed perpendicular to your view.