Beginer-How do I make an armature deform a skin?

I’m using Blender 2.62 and I was going through the “Gus gingerbread man” tutorial in the manual. However I could not get past the part where you give “Gus” a skeleton and animate him. I could create bones for him and position the new armature inside him, but when I switched to pose mode and moved his armature around, his skin remained unchanged. Is there a way to make a skin deform according to the movements of a specific armature?

Select the mesh, shift-select the armature, ctrl+P, select “with automatic weight” = the standard way of doing things. This may suffice for what you are doing, but you may have to clean up the weight painting to get your model to deform properly.

Here is the way I do it, but it’s a little more work. Do all of the above, but when you hit ctrl+P, select “with empty groups”. This will create vertex groups based on the armature bone names. Then go into weight paint mode, select each vertex group one at a time (in the object data panel), and paint in your weights for each group. I can’t explain how to weight paint here, as it would be too involved, but you can look up weight-painting tutorials for that.

I hope this helps a little.