serenity_fall: (pic#1365838)
[personal profile] serenity_fall

Been meaning to get around to this, but laaaazy. Anyways, this is simple walkthrough/tutorial that will hopefully be useful in explaining bone assignments for TS2 hairs. This will not cover body meshes! That is far too complicated to bone head to toe. (Also forgive me if this sounds like jibbish - it's 2am)

Before we get to the actual hair, I'm going to explain this nifty little panel here. The "Joints" tab lists all the joints and bones of the skeleton of the model (in this case, a TS2 female sim model). The "Vertex Weights" section is the most important part; here is where you can show the skeleton (the blue wiry thing), show the bones of selected vertices and even tweak and assign new weights to selected vertices.

As you can see in the image, I've boxed three of the joint slots -- TS2 meshes usually use no more than three joints per vertex (the exception being around the pelvis/thighs). These slots are useful because you can pick a bone or joint in the drop down and then adjust the number in the box next to it, select the vertices you want, and then click assign and it will automatically assign the bones for you.

Here's what I mean:

The hair I will be using for this is Cazy's "West Coast", which is a long hair. First select your entire mesh, then go to the Joints tab and look for "head" in the first tab; set the number in the box next to it to "100" then hit "Assign".

Tick the box that says "Draw vertices with bone colors" and it will make everything colourful. You'll notices that the hair is now all purple (if you tick the box before assigning bones, it will just be all white - this means that there are no bones assigned).

The whole hair is now assigned the head joint and will move wherever it does. This is fine for short hairs and all, but not ideal for long hairs like this one. Longs hair require extra joints in order to animate right and avoid clipping.

Uncheck the bone colours, so you can see what you're selecting and select all the vertices around the head joint and below. In the box - set the first tab to "head - 75" and the second to "spine2 - 25", then hit assign (for smoother animation, select a small row above and set the first tab to "head - 90" and the second to "spine2 - 10").

**Never assign to the neck! Past experiences has made hairs extremely choppy when assigned to the neck than spine. The head and neck move as one either way, so wherever the neck turns, the head will follow.

Around the neck joint, flip the bones so "spine2" is in the first tab and "head" is in the second tab and set the weight to "50" for both.

Somewhere between the neck and spine2 joint, the weight should be set to 75-25; the rest of the vertices at the spine2 joint should be 100 and only assigned to spine2.

Once you've got all the vertices assigned to bones and weighted, hit the "anim" buttom at the bottom right of the screen, then under the "model" tab, select -> Joint and rotate the head and neck to see if the hair moves right. If the movement isn't as smooth as you'd like it to be, hit "anim" again to get out of animation mode, and tweak the bones.

Note that the above is just a basic guideline! You can do smaller, gradual increments if the mesh allows it (in this case, since Cazy hairs are easily 12-20k, it is probably better to do gradual increments for smoother animations).

Once you're satisfied with animation and bones, rename your mesh to an appropriate TS2 hair mesh name, fix the comments (make sure NumWgtSkins is 3!), and export, age converted, etc.

However - there is one little extra thing I like to do with long hair meshes; particularly if they fall in front of the chest like this one.

This is more of a personal pet peeve than anything else, but as you can see above - the clavicle clips through the hair. I know it seems very trivial, but you'd be surprised how much the clavicle moves sometimes. So what I like to do to avoid clipping is to assign the area around it to the clavicle joints to reduce the clipping.

Select the area around the clavicle, go to "Joints" and hit "Show" - this will bring up the bones that already assigned there (in this case, spine2). In the second tab, select the appropriate clavicle (the left for this selection) and set the weight to about 35~45 and hit assign. Select small rows around that area and reduce the clavicle weight in about 10~15 increments till only spine2 is left (or spine2 and head for above the clavicle). Do this for both sides.

When you're done, is should look something like this - very colourful right ;) This will reduce the clipping whenever sims move/twist with their clavicle joint.

If you haven't, rename your mesh to a proper TS2 hair mesh name, and edit the comments. Export as unimesh, convert to other ages and simPE magic technical stuff that I will not explain, plop it in the downloads, retexture, etc and fire it up.

And there you go - one animated hair ready for your simmies~

I hope this was a little bit helpful when assigning bones to long hairs (for hairs that are swishy and bouncy...that's a whoooole another story...).



April 2014

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