Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Motion Capture, Part 3: Learning to Weight Paint

Weight painting the model turned out to be the most tedious and pain staking part of this model. I had absolutely no experience weight painting models before and could, honestly, still do with more practise.

Several problems seem to arise throughout the weight painting process, most of which I had no idea how to fix or seemed to fix themselves. On rare occasions, the skeleton detached from the mesh, resetting the weights when they were bound together again. Sometimes, influence on joints could not be selected until after Maya and/or the computer were restarted. Also, when paint the actual weights, I was unable to remove, only add, influence until after Maya and/or the computer was restarted. All in all, this lead to a very long and, metaphorically, painful weighting experience.

In addition, I had difficulty removing the influence some joints had over unrelated verts using the brush tool and relied on the component editor to manually remove unnecessary influences. The component editor saved the day when I was starting to get fed up with the whole process.

It looks complex but it's very helpful.

After a very long and arduous learning experience with the weight painting process, the model was finally weighted and ready to go.

Changing the value in the tool settings is handy for adding and removing influence on joints.

I imported the weighted model into Motion Builder, ready for testing the animation.