Chapter 43. Skinning Characters
IN THIS CHAPTER
Planning your character
Using the Skin modifier
Painting skin weights
Using the Weight Tool
Working with the Skin Wrap and Skin Morph modifiers
In the taxidermy world, skinning an animal usually involves removing its skin, but in the Max world, skinning a character involves adding a skin mesh to a group of controlling bones. Skinning a character also involves defining how the skin deforms as the bones are moved.
A character skin created in Max can be any type of object and is attached to a biped or a bones skeleton using the Skin modifier. The Skin modifier isn't alone. Max includes other modifiers like the Skin Wrap and Skin Morph modifiers that make your skin portable. This chapter covers explains how the various Skin modifiers are attached to a skeleton and used to aid in animating your character.
Understanding Your Character
What are the main aspects of your character? Is it strong and upright, or does it hunch over and move with slow, twisted jerks? Before you begin modeling a character, you need to understand the character. It is helpful to sketch the character before you begin. This step gives you a design that you can return to as needed.
The sketched design also can be loaded and planar mapped to a plane object to provide a guide to modeling.
You have an infinite number of reference characters available to you (just walk down a city street if you can't think of anything new). If you don't know where to start, then try starting with ...