Rigging Short Arms with Fat Body


I’m trying to rig my character here: Character Photo

He has short little arms/legs and a fat body. As you can imagine - there is a lot of awkward deforming with automatic weights. I’ve been doing custom weight painting - but still struggling to get great results.

Do you have any tips, methods, or examples of similar rigs? I’ve been watching rigging tutorials on CG Cookie and Youtube, but this character is a bit uncommon in terms of his proportions.

Thanks for any help

I wouldn’t expect good results from automatic weights on that. You could try it with some helper bones, like a pair of hidden “shoulder” bones that just extended the body weights, I guess.

Shouldn’t be hard to manually weight paint though. I’d probably just do some linear gradients on the arms (no need for elbows, right?) and head-thingie, maybe a radial gradient from bottom view for each foot.

This is also a model that would be good deformed with alternate techniques. It’s practically made for soft-body (from a non-rendering, simplified copy.) Give it a few goal verts to animate and see what happens. Warp modifiers would probably give as good results as any weight painting, with a little more flexibility and a little more easily. Assuming you’re rendering in Blender.

I suppose you could always try envelope weights. I never get good results from those, but I’m never making anything like this.

Thank you for taking the rime to respond. I thought about trying shape keys with it, but that just seems like it’d get really messy really quick.

Are you aware of any good soft body tutorials? Most the ones I see aren’t for characters

you can try rigging a mesh deform cage to the character.

No, and there aren’t any advanced soft body tutorials that I’ve seen. You kind of have to learn by playing.

Here’s a demo I made really quick for you, in case you’re interested: http://pasteall.org/blend/index.php?id=51932 . Hit play (you need time for physics to work), then start posing the armature in real time.

Note a few things:

  1. I’m surface deforming a rendering mesh from a low poly non-rendering mesh which has different topology (which would be bad topology for rendering, but is good topology for physics);

  2. Rather than putting goal weight on any “surface” verts, I’m instead putting it on verts that act like marionette strings, which push and pull on the surface indirectly;

  3. On the physics settings, I’ve turned up default goal weight, added some bending (which for whatever reason goes from 0-10, not 0-1 like you’d expect), and checked stiff quads, but other than that I’m basically at defaults.

Thank you - I’ll check this out once I get home this evening