Weight Painting: Is it really this bad?

Right now, I’m trying to rig a very simple humanoid model. I have a basic skeleton inside it, which is working fine (on its own) and I have the armature parent properly set up. I’ve gotten to weight painting, and everything suddenly looks terrible. (see below)

After making minor modifications to the bone weights, the leg now turns into a lumpy mess when I make small movements with it, and the entire body compresses when I move the hip. I just can’t figure out why the painting system is so… lumpy.

Is there a way to paint smoothly? I always use the blur brush, but it doesn’t seem like it’s helping, it ends up creating a pretty random looking blur, rather than smooth borders.


Did you try the bone heat option first? This can get you a general weight map that roughly matches your character. Then it is just fine tuning to handle stressed out poses.

Deleted, my internet was being weird, and I had to refresh

Thanks for that. I just used Spacebar to search, and found the option “Weight from bones: (w)” it works incredibly well, no more tearing at all.

It also looks like you are using a fairly dense mesh, which can complicate weight painting issues. Always try to keep your deforming meshes as lean as possible in terms of mesh density.

So, should I have left the high-res as a subsurf modifier and use the bones to deform the cage instead?

That generally makes for easier weight painting and smoother deformation, as it’s less complicated to distribute the weights evenly, or to paint detailed areas when needed, if you’re dealing with many fewer vertices. You can use a fairly lo-rez cage, render-time subsurf, and tangent-space normal mapping for fine sculpted detail, and get very good results.

Regions of high deformation like shoulders, elbows, knees, and thigh/hip joints can be troublesome even with relatively low mesh density, but with very dense meshes they become nearly impossible to paint successfully, at least in my experience.

If you must use a high-density mesh, consider using the Mesh Deform modifier for some purposes, as that’s a solution that provides decent deformation control but uses a lower-density control cage.

Also it is not required that you even use painting. You can set your bones to Envelopes and get a good basic deformation. Not saying it is the best way to go, but it is an option to be aware of that may work well for you in certain circumstances.

and there is some times some bones that influence the mesh that are not so obvious.
Like the feet influencing shoulder. it s a good idea to move alla bones at least one to check for weird influence before to start the job.
Bone heat is great as starting point