I have been getting so really ugly results with my rig and weight painting on my character. This was really concerning as I need a good rig for my mocap data to go on to. I took a couple screen shots of whats going on.

ugly3 ugly2 ugly1

Ignore the spiking, that was just influence from another joint. But what you can see is bulging and unsightly folding even after meticulous weight painting. I thought this could be down to the position of the shoulder and clavicle joints. So i repositioned, bound and painted twice more with almost the same outcome.

At this point I had to walk away for the weekend. I had been sat starring at it too long, getting mad with Maya and wasn’t coming up with a solution. So I came back the Monday with a fresh head and help. My tutor Mat showed me how I could use blend shapes to help correct the problem.

Notes for self

  • Make copy of geom for blend master
  • from blend master, copy one for each correction you want to make (in my case, left arm up, left arm down, right arm up, right arm down)
  • Select blend object, shift select model you want to deform
  • to add the shape to existing node – edit deformers > blend shapes>open prefs and select node from drop down.


So I could now edit the mesh vert by vert, on the correction meshes. Raising the arm up and setting the relevant blend shape to 1, I can amend the mesh to how I want it to look, I could then attach that node to the correct control using set driven keys. Setting the driver as the CONTROL and keying it to the relevant node at 0 or 1.

I got a much better result after when using the controllers. It’s not perfect and the mesh looks a lot prettier in her T-Pose but they cant always stay that way. I made sure I had more polys around the top of the shoulder and neck to allow for better stretching but didn’t consider the armpits. This may have been a reason why the deformations didn’t tern out as good.

better ugly

It is time consuming, I could have set blend shapes to correct all the un-sightlys in the rig, but I chose the most problem areas that will be used a lot.

I hadn’t used blend shapes before now, but I know about them and technically what they did. I do need a bit more practice with them and would like to experiment with them further in the future.