I am currently working on a character animation, I found that painting skin weight is a quite painful process. So I am curious about the question asked in the topic.
well, the most industry standard is probably ngSkinTools which is very useful and is probably widely regarded as an almost essential tool for most Riggers, there are some tutorials for it, it’s free for learning and non-commercial use and not that expensive for the commercial use version.
Other than that there’s brSmoothWeights which is also pretty nice, I’m just not sure if it’s still supported or if it’s abandoned at this stage because it’s pretty old already and I know that some other tools by brave rabbit are no longer supported.
Lately I also heard about a new tool called NowakeRig Tools which I believe also offers some nice skinning functionalities that might be worth checking
All in all, I’d probably go with ngSkinTools.
Seconded for ngSkinTools. It’s the sort of tool that should have been built into Maya years ago.
It should also be noted there is no “magic skinning button.” Maybe one day someone savvy will train AI to do it, but I think that day is pretty far off still
SkinWrangler from Christopher Evans (aka chrisevans3d):
An old but magical tool…
With instruments from Daniel Pook-Kolb it was a breakthrough for its time…
- BCS is occasionally updated, latest version available for Maya 2019-22
I have come to believe that no tool is as powerful as really thinking clearly and systematically about your approach. I used to seek tools to relive the tedium of skinning. But the biggest impact for me was from really buckling down and learning to find and fix issues, cope with areas like shoulders and hips, understanding when to hard weight, smooth, add, or replace, or scale… and iterating a lot (paint, evaluate, repeat). It doesn’t feel as frustrating or tedious as it once was. I think those feelings arose form a lack of understanding and thus a lack of control.
I had help from peers while learning though. And a lot of very specific examples during production. If you have team members with more experience, maybe have them review your work and talk about what they look for and how they would fix it.
All that said, I jump back and forth between Maya Paint skin Weights and Ng SkinTools