Weights are added to a rig model to stop areas of the rig deforming areas of the model that it shouldn’t. For example is the leg moved the head can also move if the model isn’t weighted correctly.
I discovered the concept of weights through my research on Lynda. When running the animation of the high poly model on Maya, it became obvious that areas of the model were being deformed and this shouldn’t be happening. Searching for a way to solve this found a video on Lynda explaining how to add weights to a model, helping to reduce unnecessary deforming, to create a higher quality animation.
Below is a video showing me using the Lynda tutorials to add skin weights to my model.
There were 2 ways to add the weights, one was simpler with less precision and the other add more precision but took more skill to use. I used a combination of both methods depending on the level of accuracy and precision needed for certain areas of the model.
- Adding weights has definitely helped to solve the deformities that I could see during the animation, as body parts only affected by the movements of the joints they are close to and nothing else. Useful in creating a more realistic animation. In real life we don’t deform randomly, if our leg moves are head doesn’t grow in size and so shouldn’t the models. Helps to create a higher quality more refined animation that I am proud of. However I think this would have been more useful to do this before animating as then I would have a model that is already weighted, as now I will need to re-weight another model if I create more animations. This is due to how I’ve been copying animations from the low poly model to the high poly model. However this doesn’t take too long and it is something I feel i can easily do for other animations and other character models.