rigging props and little objects on character

Hi everyone,
I’ve got problems with rigging. I made a female character and I made an armour with nails, metal ties in her back. I’ve made an armature and I used the mesh deform modifier. My problem is that when I move the character (her torso, her spin…) The metal ties don’t follow exactly the armor’s movement (the higher the rotation is, the weirder the metal ties movement is) and some nails disappear. I tried to find tutorials about that but I didn’t find any solution. If someone knows where I could find a tutorial very precise it would be very cool to share. Or if someone is able to explain it to me, it would be great too. Recently, someone posted on this forum Judy Hopps the zootopie character. I downloaded the file to try to understand how it works but I didn’t manage to solve all my problems. This character’s rigging is perfect because all the props follow the movement in pose mode. Nothing disappears. I don’t know if I’m understandable. Sorry for my English.

It’s hard to give you answers for this without a blend or at least some screenshots of your mesh. The Mesh Deform modifier should do what you need. We can’t see how you have it set up to see if there are errors in parenting or if you have vertex groups and an armature modifier still acting on the mesh that is not deforming correctly. It may be a problem in the armature itself.

Do the nails and metal ties need to be part of the geometry of the armor or can you fake these with materials, normal and bump maps?

Another method to use if the mesh deform modifier is not working for your situation is vertex parenting. You can parent a hard surface item like a button or a badge to a deforming mesh and it will follow very well without deforming the button or badge itself.

Need more info on your situation.

Good luck!

for me sems like your model is moving using the local setting not the world setting.

Sounds like you need to do some weight painting.


Thank to you all for your answers. And thank you to try to help without much informations. I give you a dropbox link to access to the blend file. It’s my actual situation. If you are able to help me I would be very very happy. It’s a problem that I have for a long time and I think there’s something (or many things) I miss. Thank you very much for your time !!!


I do not know why you are using MESH DEFORM or what it does really but you should be using an ARMATURE modifier! Also, good god man you have Sub-D modifiers on all the meshes turned on to 2 in the viewport!!! Laaaagggggyyy. Turn those to 0 or 1 in the view port. Also, use Open Subdivision in the viewport for even faster deformations.

Do not worry about your english, it’s good enough. I hope you understand my post. So, delete the Mesh Deform Modifier and use Armature Modifier instead!

The mesh Deform Modifier is a way to bind high poly meshes to a low poly mesh. The lower poly mesh (the deform cage) has the Armature modifier. Another benefit of the Mesh deform modifier is you can have several meshes bound to the same “Deform Cage” and everything will deform the same. Useful for getting clothing to deform with the body without poke through.

Now…On to the problems and solutions.

Most of the problems are coming from the unapplied locations, rotations and scales of each mesh item. You’ll need to apply the transforms to each mesh. There are many examples of this on my youtube channel. But first, clear the parenting of all meshes and also, unbind any meshes bound with the deform modifier before applying the transforms.

  1. The deform cage should not have a subsurf modifier. It is not doing any good in this situation. The deform cage should be low poly and there is no need to smooth that mesh. This mesh has unapplied transforms. These need to be applied before parenting to the armature or binding any meshes with the mesh deform mod.

  2. All other meshes have some level of unapplied transforms. Clear the parenting from each mesh and unbind any using a mash deform modifier. ALT P, clear parent and keep transformation. Then CTRL A, Apply Location, Rotation and Scale.

  3. Your generated rig is screwed up. This is likely because you deleted half of the metarig and then copied one side to the other with symmetrize or a similar method. Delete the metarig and the generated rig. Add a new metarig and use X Axis mirror in the tool panel instead of deleting one half of the metarig. This will allow you to set bones on one side only and the other side will be mirrored.

  4. Your particle systems will be ruined because you added them to a mesh with unapplied transforms. You’ll need to redo them.

I know it’s not very good news, but that will fix the issues.

Good luck!

Thank you thedaemon for your help. I know that the armature modifier is good for general settings of the character but not for the props or détails. That’s why I wanted to try the mesh deform modifier, by the way you’re totally right with the sub-d turned to 2, but I don’t do that all the time, I will correct it. DanPro a great thank to you for taking time to answer with several points I have to correct. I hope that I understood everything, I will try it as soon as possible. So it’s apparently a problem of unapplied locations, rotations and scale. Thank you for the generated rig too, it’s a method I used for a long time, indeed I deleted half of the metarig and then copied as you said. Maybe it’s the reason why I don’t see both sides in the N panel (where we can see the bones’ controllers). If I manage to correct all of this, I will be very very happy as I said before. Many thanks for your time. I have a lot of work now !!! I’m really grateful for your help.

I tried what you suggested, DanPro and it worked, you were totally right. I had to rebuild my particular system as you said but it doesn’t matter because now I know what was missing : applying transforms !!! That was the secret. I just made a few tests but it seems to work perfectly. I’m repeating myself but I’m really grateful for yout precious help !!! A thousand thanks to you !!! Thank to take time for beginners like me. Best wishes.

I am glad you have got it worked out. Thanks DanPro for the tip. I haven’t gotten that deep into rigging yet. Still working on Constraints and custom gui.