Rig instance mesh question

Hi Guys,

I seem to have run into a wall here - I’m sure there’s a straight forward solution to this , but I’m quite new to blender so I don’t know the best way to solve it.

I have a creature, 8 legs, each leg has 12 segments. They’re all referencing one leg. I need to do some sculptural changes to the leg, and would like to transfer it to the 8 copies in the rig.

I tried mesh instances, works fine until I try to skin them, then they’re all inheriting the same vert groups and are skinned to only one leg in the rig. I tried shape keys as well, but that didn’t seem like the best way since after joining the shape keys modifying the original leg doesn’t have any impact.

Does anyone with experience in these sort of things have any pointers? I’m gonna need to re-sculpt the leg quite a few times and present it in a few key poses since the client is still figuring out what works and what doesn’t.



If they’re identical meshes, and you just want to have separate vertex groups, I can think of 3 solutions:

  1. linked copies, get appropriate vertex weights via vertex weight mix modifiers or a data transfer from something;

  2. linked copies, each gets its own deform armature (so identical named bones), which is controlled by a master armature;

  3. unlinked copies, surface deform modifier for each targeting the master copy, then object-level scaled/rotated into position, then it gets the armature modifier.

wow… OK, didn’t think of any of these. :smiley:

It’d be so useful to have some production oriented tutorials for blender, it requires a somewhat different mindset than maya.

Option 2 seems like the option I could replicate (need to read up on the data transfer modifier, only used it for normal transfer so far, and surface deform was very inconsistent so far for me)

Thank you for your help, appreciate it!

Surface deform’s okay for linking identical meshes, but that’s probably the most irritating solution anyways, because you have to preserve topo. (For when you’re having trouble with it, a nuke-power, focused corrective smooth usually works, but you shouldn’t have any problems binding identical meshes to each other.)

I never got the hang of that, just by description meshdeform seems like something to use in cases with identical topology, and surface deform for something with different topology - in practice though meshdeform is the one I use in cases when surface deform refuses to bind.

Blender really needs UV based mesh binding, I’d spend a lot on a solid wrap/meshbind deformer.