Wire overlay for editmode

Example of wire overlay with skin and subsurf modifiers.

Some more updates for the skin modifier:

  • The “Wire” option in object draw properties now works in Edit Mode. A light wireframe is blended over solid mode when enabled.
  • Automatic weights have been improved a bit, long limbs should now bend less (avoiding “loopy” deformation.)
  • Generating armature now takes object transformation into account.


Recent skin modifier updates

New skin modifier UI options

Summary of recent changes for the skin modifier:

  • Simplified root-node marking. Rather than having to manually clear roots if there’s more than one in a tree, simply select the vertex you want to be root and click “Mark Roots”.
  • Generating an armature from skin will now automatically add an armature modifier too, so you can start posing immediately.
  • Constructive modifiers above skin modifier work better now; skin roots draw correctly (see for example mirror modifier.)
  • Improved quad generation for branch nodes, avoids merging triangles when the resulting quad would be non-symmetric.
  • Added RNA/UI for symmetric axis (X, Y, or Z).
  • Fix vertex merging, was sometimes creating weird polygons attached to vertex zero.
  • The usual set of code cleanups and minor bug fixes.

And thanks as always to the folks providing feedback!

Armature extraction for skin modifier

An armature generated from a mesh with the skin modifier.

As promised the skin modifier has returned. I’m overall pleased with our detour into armature-land, I think we all have a much clearer idea of what the direction of the tools should be.

Coming at this problem from the other side now, I’ve added an operator to convert the mesh structure into an armature and generate the appropriate vertex groups. You can then add an armature modifier and pose the skinned mesh.
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Armature skinning (is the devil?)

Thanks to all for the feedback on the armature skinning patch. I think it’s clear at this point that most people would prefer the mesh modifier approach to armatures. I’ll be going back to that approach and looking at adding a “create-armature” operator to aid in posing the mesh modifier output.

Not sure when the next update will be, my car broke down yesterday so that’ll be my focus for a few days :)

Lastly, please permit me to lecture briefly on some commenting issues:

  • Code doesn’t disappear just because we try something different. Some folks made it sound like I destroyed the skin modifier code in a shredder in order to make the armature-skinning code. Not so much.
  • Negative feedback is great, but it needs to be specific to be useful. Saying anything along the lines of “it is useless” really needs to be “it is useless [to me] because of X, Y, and Z.”
  • Resist the temptation to use hyperbole, caps-lock, or exclamation points. Do embrace whitespace and punctuation.

And thanks once more to everyone for taking the time to test this code out. :)

Update: Rebased skin modifier against latest trunk, pushed new branch to blender-bishop on github.

Armature skinning

In addition to the partial visibility and masking tools I’ve been posting about, the skin modifier is another target I’m working on under the Blender development fund.

I’m looking at taking it in a slightly different direction than its previous incarnation as a mesh modifier. First, have a look at this demonstration video. (I know, you are all wowed by the amazing modeling going on there…)
Continue reading Armature skinning