Rigging a character

Hey all.

I am in the process of attempting to rig this guy:

and i am in pain. :x i searched high and low for a good tut on this, and can’t find one. my main problem is the weight painting. please tell me there is a better way to adjust weights w/o having to type in the value in the “weight” field. :x and how come if you don’t get the vertex RIGHT ON, it paints all the other vertecies around it? no matter how small the brush is?!

is it worth subdividing my character for better deformation? he is about 3k polys right now. i wanted to keep it low poly b/c i thought it would be easier for animation :x … am i wrong?

please help!

mainly: can someone direct me to a good tutorial on this?

forget about the tut thing. obviously i didnt search hard enough :expressionless:

but about the weight painting, questions still apply. :-? also, what is the hotkey for weight paint mode?


AFAI, there is no complete tutorial on weigh painting.

However, here’s some quick info.

First, weight painting is controlled in two different window.
In the Edit Buttons window, you select the Vertex Group you want to paint for, and the Target Weight you want to paint (It is NOT the weight you’ll be painting. More on that later).

In the Vertex Painting window, the Opacity and Size values and Soft and Are toggle also affects Weight Painting.

What I meant by Target Weight: This is the weight value that will be reached if you paint all the way through on an area. The steps it takes to reach this is defined by the Oppacity value (There’s no direct calculation between the number of steps. None that I figured out anyway).

If a mesh appears like it doesn’t want to be painted, press the Make button next to VertCol in the Edit Buttons window. Paint some weight a bit, and then press the Delete button.

I hope that shed some light.


Here’s something you might try: set the weight to 1, in the paint buttons tab set the opacity to a low number like .05 that way you can gradually paint the weight with more control. You shouldn’t need to subdivide your mesh to get good deformations. When you are painting your weights is your skeleton in its Rest Position? Weight paint DOES NOT work correctly when your skeleton is not it Rest Position! Hope this helps.


wow. thanks for the quick replies guys.

TorQ: yes, my skeleton was in rest position… what pos should it be in? just a natural relaxed position? (arms slightly bent, etc)?

I beg to differ. This is one of the situation where Weight Painting is essential. That is, doing small adjustment to weights when the joints are flexed.
I haven’t had much problem with weight painting in flexed positions, so maybe you can show us a file where this problem appears? Might be a good idea to post it to the bug tracker too.


I agree! Weight painting while the character is posed is VERY important but after multiple attempts have found that it does not work the same as a character in rest position. I would like to help get this issue resolved but am wondering how I would do so as I feel a demonstration would be the clearest way to show the problem… I may do a video capture of the problem tonight Any other suggestions?


A video capture and a blend file would be most appreciate. :slight_smile:


making some progress, finally. can anyone give some tips on how to reduce those annoying impossible bends and stuff? i have noticed that they seem to be dependant on how you create the armature, and thus, which position you modelled your character. what is the best position for a character to be modeled in? i remodeled mine slightly, bent his elbows a bit, and knees. should the arms be straight out or slightly down? and should the legs be straight down, or slightly spread?


Joints half-bend is always a sure bet AFAIK.


How to model your character for animation tends to depend on what you’re going to use it for. Half bent is a good generic rule, but if they’re going to be doing nothing more energetic than walking most of the joints will never get that bent in the first place.

First figure out what movements your character is going to be making, and how frequently (if they spend most of the time with their hands by their sides then model them that way - that’s the way people will see them most and therefore that’s the pose that really has to look right.) if you know what movements they are likely to make, most of the time, then model them at the mid point of those movements rather than half-bent.

If you don’t know what they’re going to be doing, half-bent is as good a rule of thumb as any.

Of course, the easiest pose to position bones in is with arms and legs at 90 degrees and straight…

Some days you just can’t win


NateTG Wrote:

can anyone give some tips on how to reduce those annoying impossible bends and stuff?

You are using SubSurf modeling right? 3K polygons per skeleton? That sounds about right.

I always use subsurf, I dont think blender is very friendly to High polygon meshes attached to an armature, your posing will be sluggish.

I think the best rule is to use as low poly count as possible with the best results using the right subsurf settings.

I tried modelling a semi closed fist. Results werent good when the hand opens fully.

My golden rule. Avoid triangle meshes around the joints.

I feel your pain man… The shoulders are REALLY tough for me. Most of the things that I know have already been said, im afraid…

sorry I can’t be of help :frowning: