Questions from a beginner

I’m trying to make a unity game, as so far so good, I’ve done a few things that work. Now I’m trying to actually add animation for running/jumping to my character. So I start with a simple test model and I tried two approaches:

  1. Rigify - it works ok…except for arms (using the default metarig, with facial stuff removed). For some reason the mesh/character does not react to me moving the green parts of the rig (upper arm, forearm, upper leg, lower leg), only the hand/foot. Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong?

  2. Custom skelton. I tried making a custom skeleton (with IK for legs and symetrize) and that also works except…when actually rigging, all the weights are terrible beyond belief. Automatic weight options loves to map head vertices to feet, left to right leg and all kinds of BS, leading to tons of weight painting attempt to fix it.
    I’ve seen people use it with instant good mapping. My model is simple, low-poly, but things have a tendency to go fubar. Are there some setting/some trick I’m missing?

Without examining the model, it’s difficult to asses. But be sure to apply the scale of your character before you add an armature. Automatic weight method isn’t perfect and it might be better to do the weight painting yourself using the “with empty groups” option.

You’re probably seeing IK/FK controls. Reaction to the hand is IK (inverse kinematics): the bones go where they need to be to reach the hand control. But sometimes, you want it to be FK (forward kinematics): the bones rotate how you tell them to. There’s a switch to change which mode the Rigify armature is in. When it’s in IK mode, FK controls don’t do anything, and vice versa.

Autoweights aren’t always great, but with the levels of weirdness you’re describing, I’d suspect that you have some mesh problems. In your overlay dropdown, enable the display of face normals and make sure they’re all facing the right way (outwards.) As a beginner, use “select non manifold” operation frequently to look for mesh problems-- anything that operation selects is a problem that you need to fix.

No kidding. With automatic weights does weird things, like assigning all kinds of vertices that are no where near close. This is supposed to be a THUMB weight

And I keep fixing it over and over, but it’s like whenver I fix a weight on one bones, others get messed up.

I gave up on rigify. Despite applying all transform on the model, thy practically never import properly into Unity (inverted normals, missing bones)

I’m seething. It turns out auto-normalize was messing me up constantly.

But all the Blender tutorials I followed showed auto-weight giving great results, but for me it’s absolutely attrocious, despite simple models.

Weight painting is torture.