Multiple objects rigging in blender

Hi there.

I am going slightly crazy trying to rig a character. The character itself rigs fine to the rigify rig and it works great. Now i have a jacket made out of several meshes (pockets, buttons etc) and I want to rig the entire thing to a few of the bones. I can parent it to bones but that is too robotic. I want it skinned.

I have tried to Control + J to make one object out of all the meshes. But once I rig the jacket. The other objects don’t weight with.

I tried to parent each object to the rig. Since they all get different weights it looks terrible.

I tried to Parent the objects to the jacket and then rig the jacket. Doesn’t work. Jacket rigs fine but the objects are not affected.

Please help.

you could try a cage-deformation. Its labeled as a “mesh deform” in the modifiers menu, its basically a simple way to have objects weighted depending on where they are rather than the verttex grouping values…
here’s some info on the mesh deform modifier
and more info
and a brief tutorial

this is very useful for clothing, as the deform mesh will be able to effect any mesh with the modifier assigned and baked, and because it uses the positioning of the deformer mesh its very fast to make new meshes without having to weightpaint them a LOT…
In fact makehuman (for those who’ve used it) already exports a cage just right for a mesh deformation.

mesh deform used with an armature can be more accurate and faster than a regular weight painted armature… Its just good practice to use these… although personally I haven’t used them more than a few times (every time was to allow me to make interchangeable clothing for my characters without having to weight paint them.)

You may have to use a combination of different influences to get the result you want. You say “the jacket rigs fine.” That’s a good start.

For pockets: if at all possible, make these integral to the jacket, part of the same mesh object, but if that can’t be done successfully, try duping some faces off the existing jacket, Separating them, and then remodeling them into pockets. The duped faces retain the vertex weights from the jacket, so they should match it closely when the jacket moves. To prevent jacket and pocket from intersecting, you can use a Shrinkwrap modifier on the pocket with the jacket as its target. By careful adjustment of parameters and probable use of a vertex group & its weights, you should be able to keep the pocket “outside” the jacket surface.

For buttons: Model them as separate objects and use vertex parenting to “attach” them to the jacket. Use the 3-vertex option to improve the buttons’ stability as the jacket moves about. This may require creating a special set of vertices on the jacket for the purpose.