3D Character Animation – Development Log 3 (Weight Painting Continued)

Weight painting the head to perfection was quite difficult, as the hair was hard to smooth off and get right, corresponding to the head’s rotation. To help me with this, I set the max rotation of the head to 50 degrees to the left which allowed me to see the maximum stretch on the hair. I managed to get the other two ‘head tails’ to work well with the head’s rotation while still staying drooped over the shoulder. However, the other two that drooped down the character’s back were still difficult to get into place. I decided to leave it for the time being and come back to it later.

I moved on to working on the leg’s weights which I managed to fix some of the issues where it would pull the skin on the character’s waist, as well as the fixing the foot’s rotation when the leg was moved. As you can see below, the foot would stay on the same plane and wouldn’t rotate with the leg movement. I corrected this on the other leg and will mirror the weights onto the other leg once I had fixed the knee movement as it was still bending weird with the leg movement.

After working on the foot/leg for a while, I got curious about how the wings will look when put through animations and whether they required weight painting or not. Firstly, I put the character in the pose it will be in when I animated the flying animation and then manipulated the joints indiviually as I’m still unsure how I want to control my wings.

Overall, the animation turned out ok and there isn’t much need for weight painting the wings as the wing’s membrane moved as I wanted it to with the bones. I will most likely be animating the wings using FK instead of IK handles along with driven keys creating more realistic wing movement. I decided to start experimenting with this

Once I had got a bit more experience using driven keys, I created a wing flap on one of the wings and as you can see on the right, it is controlled by using a slider which can be increased and decreased based on the degree you want to key the wing flap at. This made it so much easier to key when I wanted the wings to flap as I didn’t have to key each joint individually in each frame.