Reference Cinema 4D Cinema 4D Prime Character Menu Commands
Function available in CINEMA 4D Prime, Visualize, Broadcast, Studio & BodyPaint 3D

Bind

Provides you with the fastest way to prepare a character for animation. To use Bind, select your character's mesh in the Object Manager and the joints you want to use to animate it, then choose this command. A skin object is added to the mesh as a child and a Weight tag is added with all the joint objects entered into the tag.

The character is weighted automatically by default so that you can instantly animate simple characters the moment the IK chain has been created.

Simultaneously pressing the Ctrl-key while executing this command will exclude all objects except Joints and only Joints that can be auto weighted be default, thus keeping the list more concise. Pressing Ctrl+shift will include all Joints, even those that can’t be auto weighted by default.

Bind Options

By clicking on the options icon next to the command, parameters/options will be made available for the Auto Weighting (see also Auto Weight) needed during binding.

Mode

Two modes are available for calculating weight:

Distance

Calculates the weight based on the distance of each point from the Joint. This is not only the fastest method but also the only one that ensures a weight for each object point. However, this method does not produce the best results in critical regions (e.g., at a shoulder).

Visibility

This method checks to what degree a Joint is enclosed by geometry. Regions of mesh that lie behind other polygons from the point of view of the Joint will not be assigned to this joint, even if they lie closest to the Joint. This method requires the longest to calculate but leads to the best results in critical regions. For example, this method can be used to prevent the shoulder region from encompassing too much of the torso.

This method is, however, unable to weight all of the points if the geometry overlaps or if the joints are not placed accurately enough inside the mesh. Therefore, you should make sure to normalize the weights or correct problematic regions manually if this occurs.

In the image above you can clearly see the difference between Distance and Visibility. For most mesh regions the results will be the same but the weighting in the shoulder region is much better with Visibility. This is because only regions visible by the Joint will be taken into account instead of using a fixed distance for calculation.

In the second example above you can see how all points are weighted independently of the position of the polygons when in Distance mode. In contrast, Visibility mode weights only those points seen by the Joint. The outlying cylindrical hull is therefore not weighted at all.

Joints

Here you define the maximum number of Joints that can affect a given point.

Falloff

Defines the transition between two neighboring Joints. The larger the value the softer the transition will be.

Visibility

Here you can define the degree of visibility of a Bone for a specific Joint. If set to 100%, the Bone must be completely visible for it to be affected by weighting. If the Bone is not or only partly visible, the point will not be affected by that Joint. If set to 0%, the point will be weighted whether or not the mesh blocks the view of the Bone.

Tip:
A Bone is the connection between 2 Joints. Auto Weight only checks the visibility but ignores the shape of the Bone. A straight line is drawn from on Joint to the next. The visibility is checked based on this straight line. Visibility is measured based on how much of this line is seen by a point or if the line is hidden by mesh.

Distance

Defines the distance the points to be weighted can lie from one another and still be weighted. Higher values will increase the distance of the Joint’s influence correspondingly.

Allow Null Bones

If enabled, Null Bones will automatically be included with Auto Weighting.

Keep Empty

If enabled, empty Joints or objects will be removed from the Weight tag (if the command is called up for an existing Weight tag).

Joints Only

If enabled, only Joint objects will be included in the weight calculation.