Ashasekayi has a video that explains how to use the Bone Weight Copy Add-on. That does a good job of explaining the weighting process. Watch the video. Afterward I explain a couple of things.[youtube Kh6RBvoGo-E]
Ashasekayi refers to a previous video on installing the Bone Weight Copy Add-on. I’ve already covered that in this tutorial. So, you should see the controls in the Tool Shelf (panel to the left in 3D view). If not you may not have enabled the tool in this file. Go into User Preferences and find 3D View: Bone Weights Copy and enable it.
Ashasekayi mentions the bones I added in the Easy Method. We have skipped adding them in this more complex method because the Bone Weight Copy will add them in for us.
The morph groups she deleted in her file setup I’ve left in. Whichever way you went affects your choices when copying weights. I hope you noticed she said the morph groups are useful for other things.
Only Named Bones
This option will omit the morph groups and include any missing bones. I left the groups in so I need to select this option.
Copy Empty Groups
This will force the addition of a complete bone list to any mesh you are weighting. If you read or watch various tutorials you’ll hear you must have the bones or that you don’t need all of them. Those tutorials conflict, but they were likely correct when written. The safer path is to include all the bones. The Lab has changed and is changing the Mesh Importer in the viewer. They find edge cases and add corrections. In doing so regressive mistakes sometimes creep in. So, it is hard to say which way to do things over a long time. So, you may have different problems with different versions of the LL & TPViewers.
What to Copy From
Ashasekayi’s video assumes you have been following her series of videos. So, she doesn’t need to check for a weighted source. We are using Domino’s so I know we don’t need to check. So you’ll know how to check, I’ll explain how it’s done. Also, as Ashasekayi explains the source and destination meshes must be visible. I’ve put the armature and the target mesh in Layer 1. I moved Domino’s mesh to Layer 2.
Checking the Source Weights
In Object Mode right-click the layer selector for Layer 2. Now layer 2 should be darker meaning selected. You should be looking at Domino’s mesh, right-click to select a part of the avatar.
Over in Properties select Object Data (the triangle icon). In Vertex Groups find a bone group in the part of the mesh you selected. Click it to highlight-select it. Now change the 3D View from Object to Weight Paint mode. You should see the weight painting. If not, something is wrong. You’ll have to track the problem down before you can proceed. Double check that you picked a group that is in the part of the avatar you selected. An arm group is not going to work if you selected the legs. See Image #28.
You can repeat the check for each part of your avatar mesh. While doing the check you can get an idea of what weight painting should look like. There are numerous vertex weight painting tutorials on the net. As you learn more about weight painting you start to notice problems with the SL avatar. It would be nice to fix them. That requires the Lab’s help. Add your weight to STROM-1800 by clicking WATCH.
You need to select the mesh that will receive weights first and the mesh the weights will be copied from second. This can be tricky when you are using models that are exact copies. You can use the Properties Panel to make the selections.
We haven’t talked about naming your meshes and keeping things well labeled. Here you’ll see a bit of why you need to label things. Let’s do some labeling to make selecting things easier.
In the 3D View in Object Mode select Layer 1 to show you mesh. Right-click the head to select it. Now look over in the Properties panel and find the highlighted item, you may need to scroll. If you want to rename it, now is a good time. Select the cube icon, Object, and type the new name in the field just below the icon. See the image. I suggest you rename all 3 parts.
Now check the mesh you imported, so you’ll know the names of those parts. Switch to Layer 2 to see Domino’s mesh that we appended earlier and right-click a part of the mesh to highlight it in the Properties Panel. I suggest you leave the name of Domino’s parts as is. But, do whatever works for you. It won’t matter to Blender.
Now that you know the names, shift-right-click Layer 1’s selector so both Layer 1 & 2 are selected. Now move up to the Properties panel and right-click the legs part of your mesh, whatever you named them. Then scroll to Domino’s lowerBody and shift-right-click it. That should select both meshes in the correct order.
Now is a good time to save a copy of the file.
Over on the left you should be able to find Weight Copy at the bottom of the panel. It only shows when the 3D View is in Object Mode. Make your copy selections, Interpolation should be 5 since we aren’t experimenting and know what we want. Also both options should be checked. Click Copy Bone Weights. The process starts. In a few seconds my screen goes black. That is normal. If you try clicking inside Blender during this time you may see Blender go Not Responding. That is normal too. Five it up to 10 minutes. If it has not come back by then, assume something is wrong. Kill Blender and try again.
Repeat this process for the torso and head. The torso takes the longest to copy over. The head and leags are about the same. The torso is about 4.5 times longer.
You can check the weighting as I did earlier.