Rigging - Part 3
With the environments done all I need to complete the rigging so I can start animating.
Below is the completed skeleton. The shapes around it are the controls. With these I can assign them to joints and program in some controls, so instead of selecting joints and handles directly, I can select the controls and keyframe all the movements I need for that part of the body. For example the arrows on the feet not only control the leg movement but also things like the toe bend, the ankle bend, the angle of the foot and the pivot of the toes. Overall, the controls make animations alot easier.
Next I need to apply the mesh. This process is called skinning. First I need to select the skeleton and mesh and select Smooth Skinning. The body and joints have to be exactly in line for this to work properly.
The skinning is a long process with a lot of trial and error. I had to select each joint and paint onto the mesh how much that joint would influence that part of the mesh. Below shows this process:
White areas mean the area has a Value of 1 so they move with the joint, black areas have a value of 0 so are not effected byt joint at all. The grey areas represent areas with a value that is in between 1 and 0. The higher the number, the more the skin moves with the joint. It takes of a lot of painting, checking the joint movement, then going back and refining it until the skin move realistically with the joints.
With this done, the body is fully rigged and skinned, ready for animating. Belows is an example of how the joints now move the mesh: