I’m glad to release this new addon. I know some similar work is being done for Blender 2.8, but since it won’t be released before months, I gave it a go.
Skin Selection is a Blender addon to select the bones controllers based on the meshes surface.
It allows to hide all the controllers and operate directly on the mesh surface, clearing out the viewport.
Hope it will be useful to you!
To support the work, this addon is not free, but still very affordable.
1)Create the vertex groups:
-Under the Vertex Groups Creation label, add up to three bone controllers.
-Click Create VGroup. A corresponding vertex group is added. The group are easily recognizable with the “fs:” prefix for “face selection” vertex groups.
-Assign the faces/vertices for this vertex group.
-Optionally if the group is from the right or left side, click Mirror Selected VGroup to mirror it on the other side.
-Optionally change the display parameter: color, alpha…
-Only the meshes will be displayed.
4)Click an area on the mesh to select the associated controller.
Left click to select the first mapped controller, hold Shift for the second, and Alt for the third.
5)Press escape key or the Stop button to go back to the normal mode.
-Selection can be wrong in ortho mode, switch to perspective mode! (numpad key 5)
-Multiple bones selection is not yet implemented.
-Bones controllers names must end with a two characters side, eg: “hand.l” or “hand_L” for left, “hand.r” or “hand_R” for right side. This allows skin selection to work with mirror modifiers.
-If multiple bones are included in the group, they must be from the same side.
-When switching to edit mode, the skin selection will stop.