Looking for advice on weighting clothing

I hate weight painting with a passion. Maybe because I’m bad at it, because I’m always making things worse than they were before I painted. I’ve managed to get enough constraints and helper bones on a 10k vert naked cartoonish body+face that I don’t really need to, that automatic weights are doing the trick. I probably should tweak some stuff, but I don’t need to.

But when it comes to the clothes, I’m not getting good weights, either from automatic weights or from data transfer modifier weight transfers. This is kind of everywhere, but it’s most apparent where the clothes are more distant from the body: the groin, the armpits. And when using automatic weights, super apparent where there are disconnected meshes, although I guess I could weight transfer from the main meshes for those things.

Are there some other things I can try? Are there some techniques that I could experiment with to improve my data transfers or automatic weights? I know I can weight paint, but that’s a last resort for me. I don’t mind putting in lots of work for stuff like temporary meshes as intermediary weight transfers, things like that.

The best advice I could give is to learn to weight paint. You will never regret learning how to do it properly.

The second bit of advice I can offer is to create your clothing mesh from a properly weighted skin/body mesh. Obviously, there will need to be changes to make the clothing look right, but having the underlying topology for clothing and skin nearly identical, the weighing will be much easier to fix and the meshes should deform similar anyways because the weights and topology are (nearly) identical.

Third tip, use a mask modifier on the skin/body mesh to hide any skin that is covered by the clothing. It takes less time to hide poke-through then to weight paint or creating corrective shapes to fix issues.

Good luck!

Thanks. There are places where I can copy topology, but there are others where that wouldn’t really work-- different shapes to the meshes. Unfortunately, that’s especially true where the weights end up being worst.

Do you know of any good resources for weight painting? I’ve tried to find stuff in the past, but it’s all how to do it, when I know how to do it-- what I need are techniques to do it well. Every time I see a tut anywhere, they’re always weight painting a 15-bone, 500-vert model, and it seems like that’s very, very different than, say, trying to get good butt/thigh/hip/pelvis distribution for a 10k model to do the splits decently. I’ve certainly done enough weight painting, probably spent more time on it than anything else, which is kind of why I’ve ended up getting mentally blocked with it.