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Weight Falloff

Basic Coord.

Weight Falloff

The Weight Effector is a special object that allows the user to set a specific falloff to a joint as a separate object.

This has two advantages: First, it allows an area of influence to be defined that can deform the object based on the position of an object other than the joint itself (useful if you need to add some extra deformation only when a chain of joints reaches a certain state, for example); second, it allows you to bypass weight painting altogether by using the Falloff function of the Weight Effector as your area of influence.

Assigning a Weight Effector to a joint is pretty straight-forward:

Since Weight Effectors are separate objects they can be in the joint hierarchy, or not, depending on what you need.

Once done, you can easily see which Weight Effector is assigned to which joint, since each Weight Effector will be shown as a Child of said joint.

Since the Weight Effector is not a deformer, it can be placed anywhere in the hierarchy, much like joints. Only the Skin Deformer needs to be placed as a Child of the mesh to be deformed.

Keep in mind that moving or rotating the Weight Effectors alone will not deform the mesh. They are tied to joints, so only joints can actually be used to deform the meshes. Weight Effectors are only spatial falloffs and define the area of influence of a joint. While they can be moved separately from the joints, only the area of influence of the joints will be changed when doing so (in other words, the mesh vertices are tied to the joint. The Weight Effector defines which area of influence the joint will have on these points).

Here, a Weight Effector is moved independently from the joint to which it is assigned. Note that the mesh will only deform if the joint is rotated, otherwise the mesh will stay in its initial state, even if the Weight Effector encompasses it (since the Weight Effector is only a falloff and the points are not directly tied to its position/orientation).

You can visualize the weights of a Weight Effector by double-clicking the Weight tag of an object and selecting a joint (which has a Weight Effector assigned to it) from the Weight tool's joints list. Keep in mind that the Weight tool won't show the actual weights used when hovering the mouse over each vertex, though.

While limited, this is still useful to check out the influence of a Weight Effector, as the falloff gizmo in the editor view can sometimes be hard to read, especially if a lot of Weight Effectors are used.

Visualizing weights by color is always easier.

While Weight Effectors can be used without actually painting any weights manually, you can still do so if you wish. In this case, the Weight Effector will be used to fine-tune your weighting, or to better manage transitions with other joints.

Weight Effectors can also be baked easily by opening the Weight Manager (hold Shift then double-click a Weight tag), selecting the joints to bake and clicking the Bake Effector’s command.