How do I assign vertex groups to individual bones and what parenting option do I choose?

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?

One more question. If part of a mesh is properly weight painted is there any reason why the mesh would skew and distort in a weird way during rotation in pose mode?

also one i figure out how to assign individual vertex groups to bones in the armature wont just the slected vertex mov along with the attached bone. Dont i have to get some of the other connected bones to follow or be partially influenced?

Give yourself some rest :slight_smile: If no one answer i will be “free” Thursday, i will help :wink:

I just finally figured out how to assign vertex groups to certain areas of my mesh. I have it all set up properly. Now i am just dying to figure out what i do next do i parent the vertex groups to each bone or i do i parent empty groups?

For newbie better option to get into rigging is begin from simple object. Rigging even simple character is quiet difficult thing for begginer. Start from something simple. Take default cube subdivide it give it form of let’s say - hand , create armature with two bones, place them properly inside of your mesh, then parent mesh to armature with automatic weights (but befor don’t forget to apply scale, rotation and location - ctrl+a). Then go to weight paint mode and use brushes to adjust weights of vertex groups to get result you satisfied. Weight painting tools are those which helps you get proper deformations of your mesh. After you satisfied with result go to more complicated stuctures - try to create and weight paint some simple character using your knowleges from previous task and so on. There are plenty of usefull tutorials for begginers on youtube how to rig simple characters. Good luck.

I finally figured out how to assign vertex groups. I have my characters vertex groups head, neck, torso etc created as groups. now how do i assign them to the armature?

Just name bone same name as your vertex group - if you have vertex group ‘spine’ just call corresponding bone “spine”, repeat for the remaining vertex groups and bones. To work your mesh must have armature modifier with your armature assigned in modifier.

i renamed the bones but I still have BONE, Bone.001, Bone.002 Do I delete those?

Upload your blend so i will look at it. :slight_smile:

I figured it I finally got it to work by assigned vertex group with empty weights. Now my problem is I have a piece of clothing I want to add but cant figure out how.

Ok but i didn’t have automatic weighting set up i created vertex groups using empty groups. will data transfer still work the way i have it set up

transfer wieghts didnt do anything.

I finally got it to work. but now i can’t figure out how to attach a piece of clothing so it moves with the rest of my character. Here is my file if you wanna take a crack at it. Would love to know how to do it if you can get it to work.