I started blender 3 weeks I was doing fine for the first week until I tried to animate one of the first ever characters I made then I hit a two week snag that almost turned me off completely. If you could just help get me past this one hurdle my newfound love for blender would be re ignited.
Let me start from the beginning…
I am new to modeling so my first character was designed using separate objects and because of that when i try to parent using automatic weights it wont even work I get a bone heat warning and I tried for days to fix it watching many many tutorials on fixing the issue. nothing would work.
I then figured the problem is because my character is not one mesh even though I tried ctrl +j and that did not work out because when i tired parent it just using a couple of bones I got it to parent but when i tried animating it or rotating the armature/bones in pose mode parts of my mesh were being ripped away even though ctrl =J was suppose to join them. I even undid the ctrl +J and tried to connect my character into one unified mesh by using a boolean union modifier. I even tried the bool tool but I get the same results.
I then after some research figured the key to this whole is thing working is I have to do a retopology remodel because my mesh is so messed up from the Dr. Frankenstein parts I used to create this monster that the 3d printer toolkit would not even fix it. I am not yet skilled enuff yet to do a retopo job so I downloaded instant meshes and it looked promising at first but it returned my model with holes in it so i couldnt use it.
the whole reason i figured i had to retopo my model was that i downloaded a base mesh and tried to assign automatic weights and it worked fine and if figured it worked because it was all created as one mesh not combined dr Frankenstein parts.
But what I want to know and no one has been able to fully answer my questions or find a good tutorial is how do i am manually assign weights to my characters bones/armatures.
my questions are…
How do i assign vertex groups them to the bones in my armature? My character is still one mesh
When parenting what do i select do i parent my mesh to object, bone, or d oi parent using envelope or empty weights?
From what I can grasp so far is after i create the bones for my armature…head, arms, legs etc I then manually select a group of vertex i want to assign to a specific bone? then after that I parent (not sure what option to use) then I can go back into weight painting and make sure everything was assigned properly. And then I should be able to animate my character right?
I hope i explained things in way where my question(s) can be finally answered.
one more thing does any of this involve removing doubles or fixing my normals? or is that a whole other subject?