My question stems from my experience with character deformations in Poser. (Don’t hate. It was a good first step to learning 3d.)
With joints in Poser, you have multiple spherical or weight maps for each type of rotation. For example, a leg would have a twist (z rotation), bend (x rotation) and side_side (y rotation) dial. Each rotation would have a separate weight (or spherical) map to help the deformation in that direction. This was nice because a leg deforms much differently when you move it to the side vs. moving it forward.
In Blender, it seams that I can only have one weight map per object and therefore only one map to control multiple rotations. While I can get decent results with weight painting, I am looking for more precision. My main area of concern is for body parts that have multiple axis of rotation such as the thighs and upper arms.
If multiple weight maps are not possible, what is the prefered method for precise deformations? Is it the use of shapekeys? For example, would I be better off making a x-positive shapekey and driving that value with the x rotaion of the thigh bone. (Basically, I would be doing clean up for what the weight map is not deforming correctly.) Then repeating the process for x negative positions and side (y axis) rotations? The only problem I see with this method is having some shapekeys not playing together well. I would need a way to manually reduce the value of each shapekey as well as having it automated.
How do the “pros” do it?
Thanks for the help! I know it’s a huge subject.