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I need Help Skinning a character please :)

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    I need Help Skinning a character please :)

    Hello everybody,

    I've been working on my FPS game project for a while now and I'm almost done with the basics, however now I'm trying to skin my character in maya and I've been doing so for the past three weeks and I just can't seem to get it right, Mind you I'm not an expert skinner and this is actually my first time doing it so if you guys have some free time on your hands can you help me out here?

    Here's an FBX file of my model...

    Thanks in advance, and Happy New Year

    This should be in the looking for talent forum, not this one.

    And unless you give more info, I don't see anyone doing this for you. Are you planning on using animations included in UDK or custom ones that you create? Both options could require different naming conventions for bones. Will you need sockets for weapons? Where would those go? What doesn't need to be deformed on the model and what does? There's a BUNCH of things someone would need to know about the model and its usage before skinning it to a rig. Without that knowledge, if someone does it and it turns out to not have the features you would need, that's a lot of wasted work.

    There's tons of rigging tutorials out there. I suggest you look into some on youtube or anywhere else and try your hand at rigging it to avoid the headaches of possible incompatibility with your project.


      There's some work that needs to be done before you can skin this character.

      You need to optimize the model quite a bit. This seems like a subdivided version of a model and just has loads of wasted polygons on there for an in game model. Also after that make sure to have good UV's. I did not check existing UV's but you'll want to sort that out sooner rather than later. Then you also need to create a skeleton for the character. Without that, there's nothing to skin to. After these, you're ready to skin.

      Not sure what you did and where exactly you had problems with skinning. Skinning is not that hard but rather tedious. If you looked at one tutorial you'll see how it works and then it's just a matter of doing the manual labor. If you worked with a less complex model you'll also have much less problems and it's better to do that with your first attempt at skinning.


        Thank you both for your replies

        @JessieG I just want this character to replace the current UDK bot, I won't be doing any animations to it and I'm just going to copy all the sockets from the original bot so I was planing to use the default UDK skeleton, as for deformations it's just a regular humanoid character nothing special, and thank you I'll make a post in the correct section.

        @obihb I was planing to simplify LODs inside the engine itself when I finally manage to get it in there, The UVs aren't great, in fact the suck polygons :P I did them in Zbrush but my texture now uses them so it isn't really important as I don't need to do any more texture work.
        I've looked at a ton of rigging tutorials I think I get it but i do all the work then I import the mesh into the engine and it's all wrong I fail miserably in painting skin weights, it appears to require a certain finesse that I don't seem to be able to conjure.
        I'll be starting a post in the looking for talent section and I'll add this link which has the mesh and the skeleton in it:

        Again thank you for your responses, they were very informative and helpful


          Doing LOD in the UDK based off this model is not a great idea. Unless it's purely for your own tests or personal use, I guess it doesn't matter. But for proper game character, I really would suggest you make some effort in proper modelling and of course UV's.

          Either way I would still suggest you at least sort out the very obvious problems like inner faces and overlapping faces. This is not only useless polygons but will make life much harder when the model gets skinned. I'd guess this may have caused you some problems with your skinning attempt.


            Not to mention that automatically xl reducing the polygons of a skinned character will most likely break the very weights pretty badly. Is it even possible to use simplygon on a skeletal mesh?


              I took a bit of a look at the model + skeleton and there are definitely some problems there that would cause this not work at all. Your model is not aligned to the skeleton very well and in some places not at all. It'll be impossible to get a good deformation on this. Sure, it can be skinned as is, but it'll deform extremely badly. Whether someone else doing skinning does this or you do it yourself, you'll have to align the model to the skeleton much more precisely.