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Weight painting a skirt - folding issues


begalund

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For anyone that has been following my ongoing exploration into the new (to me) realm of modifying armor, you know that I'm nothing if not stubborn.  But I'm also willing to ask for help whenever I run into issues I can't figure out.  

 

I've been working on a mash-up armor set for several weeks now, and I'm finally getting something that's fairly close to what I want. I'm still missing a few pieces (shoes, leggings, bracers, weapon), and a couple of the pieces have minor errors I need to fix (tiny clipping errors on the reverse side for example).

 

But one part of my modification is still vexing me - the miniskirt I've chosen to use as basis has developed an odd folding issue directly between both legs in front.  I know it is related to how it is weighted / attached to the skeleton, but since I have no idea how the physics works (this being my first armor modding exercise) I don't know how to fix the problem.

 

I attempted to lower the weight values - but ended up either moving the fold, or getting a ballooning effect, or making it worse instead of better.  Obviously I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm hoping that someone with more knowledge than I can at least take a look and tweak the weight paintings so the skirt behaves in front.  It's obvious as hell when the character is jumping or crouching.

 

The mesh was modified for the dreamgirl unp body - for no particular reason other than the corset top I found happened to slide over it fairly nicely, and the overall shape will match the follower NPC I'm hoping to eventually craft out of this.

 

Any help or assistance that anyone can lend is greatly appreciated - as always.

 

 

bodyf_0.nif

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Hi, can you post a screenshot so we know what we're suppose to look for?

 

I took a look at the nif. Without knowing what you're looking at, I see the skirt is floating above the leg and clips into the buckle. I guess this was a skin tight skirt fitted onto a slimmer body. The front blue area needs weighting. The center line skirt vertices need equal weighting from both thighs.

post-8195-0-70089800-1401607160_thumb.jpg

 

Max 2012. Specifically go to 7:35 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXWPHuk_ZQY

The entire video series is good to learn about skinning.

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Hi, can you post a screenshot so we know what we're suppose to look for?

 

I took a look at the nif. Without knowing what you're looking at, I see the skirt is floating above the leg and clips into the buckle. I guess this was a skin tight skirt fitted onto a slimmer body. The front blue area needs weighting. The center line skirt vertices need equal weighting from both thighs.

attachicon.gifskirtweights.JPG

 

Max 2012. Specifically go to 7:35 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXWPHuk_ZQY

The entire video series is good to learn about skinning.

 

I attempted to grab a screenshot that captured the specific folding issue I mentioned, but unfortunately it's best seen when the toon is in motion.  I've never added a pose mod to my list, since I can normally find clipping issues easily enough just by having the toon dance, fight or walk around in the usual fashion.  

 

But, the easiest way to describe it is that when viewed from below, the front of the skirt looks like this:

           ___

______\    /_____

 

Almost as though the left side of the skirt was being tugged by the right thigh slightly and vice versa.  But I didn't see any of that in the weight painting.

 

I'll check the video link once I have some time today.  I've been watching nightasy's series, and they've been very helpful, although it is amazing how often I've had to diverge from how he has done things because the mesh I'm "borrowing" from was built differently.  (and nightasy doesn't cover hair modding at all, which is a totally different beast, let me tell you)

 

 

I have blender installed as well - so I could load the nif up there (although it's pretty large at this point) and attempt the suggestion given by dillpickle - although I seem to recall seeing (as they suggested) that there is a 3ds method for that.  I'm just not up to that part of the learning process yet.

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If you are using Blender, delete all the weights from the skirt, import the dress from http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/42380/? and use bone weight copy to copy the weighting from Petrovich's perfectly weighted dress to your skirt, if you're using 3DMax, there's probably a similar method.

 

Okay!  Dillpickle, I have to thank you for the mesh to look for, and the thought on what to do.  I have the solution for all those people wanting to do this in 3ds max.  It takes multiple steps, but it works perfectly.

 

Here is what to do:

 

Step 1.  Have your file all loaded up in 3ds (skeleton, base body, and the mesh that needs the weights corrected)

Step 2.  Import the correctly weighted mesh - in this case I imported dress01_0 from the mod linked above (found in /data/meshes/clothes/dg)

Step 3.  The new mesh will come with its own base body - I hid this body (select it, right click, "hide selected")

Step 4.  Select your original badly weighted mesh and delete everything but the mesh itself (no BDismemberSkinMod, no Smooth, no Shell, no other modifiers)

Step 5.  Now go to the newly imported mesh and highlight the skin modifier.  Right click and copy.

Step 6.  Back on your original mesh, right click and paste.

 

Now this by itself normally doesn't work.  Either your mesh will screw up (change shape, change size, no longer fit correctly, or something) - either in 3ds or in skyrim.  But don't worry, we're not done.  

 

Step 7.  Now we need to add some skin utilities.  This is detailed under the following image:

 

 Tutorial.png 

 

 

Step 8.  What we'll be doing is taking the copied skin modifier and grabbing the weight information from it, since it has now been applied to our mesh's vertices.  So select the upper button - the one marked "Extract Skin Data to Mesh".  What this will do is create a new object that will be a copy of your mesh but with all the bone weight information embedded inside it.  It will be named SkinData_"your mesh" (where "your mesh" is whatever your mesh's name was).

 

Step 9.  Select your original mesh and delete the copied skin from it.  This should return your mesh to its original nicely unaltered state.  You can also delete the correctly weighted mesh since you don't need it any more (so in my case I removed dress01_0 and its associated body from my scene) since it will help eliminate clutter.  

 

At this point all you should have left is the following:

a skeleton, a base body, your original mesh (with no modifiers applied), and SkinData_original mesh (which has all the correct weights embedded inside).

 

Step 10.  Select your original mesh and apply a skin wrap and convert to skin as normal (see nightasy's video #7 for details if needed).  

 

Step 11.  Deselect everything, then select the SkinData_original mesh.  Hold ctrl and select your original mesh.  Go back to the Utilities tab and select the lower button "Import Skin Data From Mesh"

 

Step 12.  A new window will pop up (this window only appears if you have two objects selected and both objects have skin modifiers - or one of the objects is a "SkinData" object).  This window allows you to copy bone weights from one mesh directly to another.  Normally it will do vertex or face interpolation - but since we're copying between two meshes with identical vertex mapping, no interpolation is needed, all we'll be doing is moving the weights.  And the weights came from another mesh with direct wrapping.  Simply match the bones on the left side (the receiving mesh) to the bones on the right side (the giving mesh).  You will likely have to remove some bones on the left side (highlight and click remove).  Then match up all the bones on the left with all the bones on the right, click the left arrow button, then click "ok".

 

You are done!  All the weights from the properly weighted mesh (the dress in my case) have now been applied to your mesh (my skirt in this case).  I went a couple of steps further and didn't bother copying the obvious bones that wouldn't apply (arm bones, upper spine, clavicles) since they wouldn't have any effect on a skirt.  I've since tested it in game and it works perfectly.  Even with a full dance routine.

 

I found the extra help I needed at the following site:  http://docs.autodesk.com/3DSMAX/15/ENU/3ds-Max-Help/index.html?url=files/GUID-CDA1A8A6-2C22-42FD-A966-D2EEFE4C4E3F.htm,topicNumber=d30e267936

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