Last week I was asked on youtube to do a tutorial on Weightpainting with Blender, and here it is. I kept the project very small just to show the basics of what is weightpainting about.
In simple words: When you have a rigged model in Blender and apply transformations for the bones (Rotation, translation) in Pose mode, the model is translated with the bone. with Weightpainting you can define, which areas are affected more and which one less. When you paint an area in red color, then the bone transformation will have full effect an this part. When you paint it in blue, there is no effect. You can also define colors between the range from red to blue (yellow, green, orange) to let these areas to be transformed proportionally.
Here is a youtube video in which weightpainting for my simple model (a kind of cucumber) is demonstrated:
I won’t describe the process on adding a rig to the model here, instead I want to focus on weightpainting. Just one important thing:
Parenting the model with automatic weights
When you added the bones and want the model to be the parent of this bones you have to select the model first in Object mode, then, with the model still selected, select the bones in Object mode. The order of selection is important. Then press Ctrl + P and choose With automatic weights:
When you select your model now and choose the Weight Paint, you can see in which areas the option With Automatic weights applied then weight painting:
Select a bone in Pose Mode now and rotate it a little bit. The model should follow the transformation in the intensity the Weight painting color is applied. Red areas should follow 100%, blue areas should not follow.
So why to change the automatic weights now?
Well, when you have a complex 3d character you will perhaps run in a situation when you need some areas of your character more or less affected by transformation then automatic weights option suggests. Then you can change this areas by adding or substracting color.
When you are in Weight Paint Mode you can see the Tools palette in the upper left corner. Select the Draw brush:
You can now choose Add or Substract color for Weights:
You can also define the instensity of adding or substracting color with the strengh slider, with the radius slider you can set the size of the brush for painting (you can also press F key for settig the size):
Now paint to you model and see how this changes the behavior of bone transformations. It will take some time til you got used to it, but finally you will love this feature.
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