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A way to have bones follow mesh
There is currently no easy way to have bones be controlled by a mesh. This severely limits rigging options when it comes to physics objects, or low poly meshes driving a rig that controls a high poly mesh. It is possible to parent or constrain bones to vertices, but this is extremely time consuming, especially for complex rigs. What would be very useful is a deform modifier style option to bind bones to nearby points of a mesh. This would give better options than are currently available with the deform modifier. At the moment, if you want to run a physics sim on a low poly mesh, your options are to use a deform modifier (which must be an enclosed cage, hugely limiting your options for the shape of the physics mesh) or spend hours setting up bone constraints that will take many more hours to adjust in the event of a change.

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Comments(2)

Fweeb · 4 months ago
This is one of those moments where a mock-up of such a modifier would be invaluable. How are bones bound to the mesh? Some form of reverse weight-painting? Envelopes? Would it not be better to just have a mesh deform modifier that maps a low poly simulation to a high poly one?
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aversionofreality [OP] · 4 months ago
It would be great to have such a mesh deform modifier (I believe there is an addon that is attempting to build that but isn't quite there yet) But there are several reasons it would be nice to have bones: 1: So you can pose by hand instead of by simulation 2: So you can save a pose once simmed, or bake the sim to keyframes on the bones 3: So you can hand tweak the bones after the sim (may require multiple bones and parenting) 4: Curve/Bendy bones to require less points or smooth the animation 5: Mix it with bone constraints. As for how to make it work, that I do not know. Bones don't have modifiers of course, but it could be setup as a bone constraint, or it's own panel in bone options. The easiest way to bind it would be proximity. When setting this up by hand with constraints, you normally constrain the head of a bone to one vertex, and the tail to another. If you need roll, then you constrain to a perpendicular loop, or a full face. I do not know what is optimal. We already see systems of mapping to nearby verts in use in Deform and Data transfer, so I assume something similar would work. People already get good use out of setting this up with tons of constraints, so we know it is useful, just so time consuming as to be prohibitive in many cases. Lowering the barrier to using this method and adding more utility could turn it into a very useful tool.
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