Rigging limbs that can move around a main surface as a single mesh

(curkas) #1

How would someone go about rigging limbs on a character that have complete freedom to rotate/move around the main surface of a mesh without distortions, as if it were one mesh, like you can find in this amazing rig here, done in Maya?

They way they explained it in this video is ‘smudging’ the meshes together. That’s exactly what I’m after in blender but the only solution I can think of is to use a boolean modifier. The problem with the boolean modifier is that the geometry and shading become distorted when you move the limbs around. Additionally it seems very resource intensive - and not so flexible.

Any thoughts?

(cgCody) #2

That rig is awesome! So expressive! :slight_smile:

From what I can tell, it looks like they’re using a shrinkwrap modifier.
On the limb, you’d create a flange where it meets the body. Assign the flange a vertex group. Shrinkwrap the vertex group to the body. Then add a sub surf on top of the shrinkwrap to smooth the transition.

EDIT: Looks like that’s exactly how it was done.

Something like this:

That’ll get you half way home. You’d still probably have to do some corrective smoothing and additional work on the rig to prevent unexpected distortions.

(3dioot) #3

I was just trying to figure this stuff out this evening, eventhough this thread is a month old I am certain this will benefit someone. cgCody pretty much nailed the first part of the solution but to make it appear seamless there is an awesome trick with a datatransfer modifier. You essentially copy the normal shading of the basemesh to a selection (vertex group) of your limb mesh! I just tried it and it works flawlessly! Here is the tutorial that I learned it from:


I must admit I had no idea how this effect was achieved before reading about the data transfer modifier. Its awesome and very fast. :slight_smile:

(curkas) #4

Thank you both for your responses - they were really helpful in getting me started today.