Painting Grae's Weights
You should now have a good grasp of what to look for when adjusting the weighting on your characters, so I will leave the Grae model more or less up to you. If you are working with the blend-shapes version of Grae, you will first need to prepare and bind the geometry to the base skeleton. Start with Grae_FaceBind_BS.mb, bind the body mesh to the skeleton and the face to just the head joint, and save the file as Grae_Bound_BS.mb.
Before you begin to work on Grae's weights, you need to alter the designation of which joints actually affect the mesh. In an earlier chapter, we added four extra joints to the wings so we could control Grae's fingers, enabling us to open and close them. We don't need these joints bound to the mesh, however.
Specifically, these are the wing finger "base" joints. They all lie on top of one another at present, and the Wing_Wrist joint is there, too. Deciding which joint to weight to could be a nightmare, so to make things easier we will remove the influence of the four main finger joints. The fingers will still work as they should because the middle joints will control the wing's main movement.
Load the file Grae_FaceRig_Jnt.mb.
Follow these steps for all of the following joints: L_Wing_Finger01_Base, L_Wing_Finger02_Base, L_Wing_Finger03_Base, L_Wing_Finger04_Base and R_Wing_Finger01_Base, R_Wing_Finger02_Base, R_Wing_Finger03_Base, and R_Wing_Finger04_Base.
The weights these joints had will be distributed to the surrounding joints.
After removing the influences, go ahead and work on Grae's weights. Here are a few tips to help you out:
When you're done, save his file as Grae_Skinned.mb. You can see the results of Grae's weighting in Figure 14.48.
Figure 14.48. Grae, fully weighted