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[Maya] [weight painting] Maya exceeds my set maximum influences when editing weights

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BTDarmstad polycounter lvl 3
Hey there!

I've got this very annoying problem where, despite me setting the maximum influences to 4 or 8 when weight painting, for game performance (it's for VR, if anyone knows if limiting to 4 weights is overkill, please let me know), Maya goes out of its way to exceed that. I have no idea what the point of a limit is if Maya is just going to go above that anyway. I have tried a few scripts to reduce the max number back to what I originally set, but the results are pretty dismal.

I need some way to see what the actual result is going to look like while I'm weight painting, so I can't have Maya doing this. Is there any solution to this?

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  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    YEah get the NG skin tools. They are free and they work in a logical and easy way. THey solve this problem. 
  • BTDarmstad
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    BTDarmstad polycounter lvl 3
    Alex_J said:
    YEah get the NG skin tools. They are free and they work in a logical and easy way. THey solve this problem. 

     Yeah, I wish it did. Running another script that checks influences, even when I set a limit in ngSkinTools, ngSkinTools seems to exceed the limit as well.
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    I'm not an expert by any means. Might be worth contacting the author of NG skin tools, or maybe a rigging hero will chime in. 

    But, I would second guess a little bit because I recall reading somewhere in the documentation about how this is one of the issues the tool was meant to solve. Been awhile though. 

    Also, about needing more than 4 influences - again going from memory - but I do think for games you wouldn't normally need more than that. In my own projects I am usually only using 3.

    I'm more of a "just make the tools work" kind of guy though. Hopefully somebody who knows the inner workings can help you out.
  • CheeseOnToast
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    CheeseOnToast greentooth
    Ng Skintools works reliably for me in limiting skin weights. How reliable is the script you're using to check weight influences? Have you tried using Maya's own component editor to check weight influences? BTW, unless things have drastically changed in the AAA space, most games limit weights to 4 influences per vertex. For VR, I'd definitely stick to that.



    Are you able to share the file, or is it under NDA? If you're able to share, I can take a look at it.
  • BTDarmstad
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    BTDarmstad polycounter lvl 3
    It might have to do with me using other methods parallel to ngSkinTools. I use Advanced Skeleton to rig, and while I assume AS also attempts to keep influences to the limit I set (based on the messages from Maya saying that skinning may not be optimal because of locked influences), there could be a problem with different tools not wanting to work together. ngSkinTools simply deletes influences from AS' corrective skin shapes, for example. I also initially used Maya's integrated mirror tool before I realized ngSkinTools has interactive mirror.

    The script I ran to check for influences and prune anything beyond that is this one:
    https://gist.github.com/chris-lesage/5d8eb501915e4a6335e7eb00aedad7d0

    It seems to get the job done, but makes no attempt to smooth out any artifacts caused by pruning weights.

    I'm checking Maya's component editor now, and it does indeed look like influences are 8 or fewer, but it's hard to tell for sure when looking at one vertex at a time. I may try to push it down to 4, but certain areas like the torso and face look very tough for that. Would it be possible to only have certain meshes have 8 influences while others have 4, or does the game engine read the entire skeletal mesh as having an influence limit of 8?
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