Voxel Heat Diffuse Skinning

by meshonline in Scripts and Addons

Why the add-on does not appear?

'vhd-blender-addon.zip' is the product package, the actual add-on files are in 'vhd-blender-addon/addon/2.7' or 'vhd-blender-addon/addon/2.8', if you install the product package, the add-ons will not appear.

There are four add-ons in 'vhd.zip', after you have installed the file, remember to enable all of the four add-ons, you may type 'voxel' in the search bar to find them.

Another case is that Blender is not in 'Object' mode, or you have not selected both the meshes and the armature.

What's new in version 3.0?

From version 3.0, the add-on has become a complete skinning portfolio:

Even if Blender's built-in bone heat weighting fails, you can use surface heat diffuse skinning add-on to generate vertex weights for fingers and toes, then combine voxel heat diffuse skinning add-on to get perfect vertex weights.

In short, version 3.0 gives you a complete skinning solution.

Can I modify vertices weights after voxel heat diffuse skinning?

Yes, you can.

Voxel heat diffuse skinning just gives you a good start point, you can modify vertices weights anytime.

How to fix vertex weights of the torso part?

If the character uses a simple skeleton, such as motion capture skeleton, the vertex weights of the torso part may not good, the torso slightly moves with the arm movement.

You can fix the issue by adding two support bones at the chest joint to balance the vertex weights.

How to fix blocky vertex weights?

If you skin a high resolution mesh with default voxel resolution(128), the vertex weights is blocky.

You have several ways to fix the issue:

1. Skin the low resolution version, subdivide the mesh after skinning.

2. Add a 'Corrective Smooth' modifier to the mesh in 'Object Mode'.

3. Apply several 'Smooth' operation to all vertex groups from the 'Weight Tools' section in 'Weight Paint' mode.

4. Use high voxel resolution to skin the mesh.

Note: The issue have been fixed in version 3.0.

What's the difference of the surface heat diffuse skinning add-on and the voxel heat diffuse skinning add-on?

Sometimes, Blender's built-in Armature Deform->With Automatic Weight tool throws: 'bone heat weighting: failed to find solution for one or more bones', then give up.

If this happens, you can't use the advanced skill to protect selected vertex weights, for there is nothing to protect.

The surface heat diffuse skinning add-on can generate similar results to Blender's built-in Armature Deform->With Automatic Weight tool, but it never fails.

You can use surface heat diffuse skinning add-on to generate vertex weights for fingers and toes when Blender's built-in Armature Deform->With Automatic Weight tool fails, then combine voxel heat diffuse skinning add-on to get perfect vertex weights.

What is the benefit of physically based energy attenuation algorithm?

Like Cycles is better than Pong shading, physically based energy attenuation algorithm generates much natural vertex weights.

How can I tell a bone not to deform the mesh?

When you selected the bone, there is a 'Deform' option in the 'property->Bone' panel, uncheck the option, and delete the bone name from the vertex groups of the mesh, then run voxel heat diffuse skinning again.

Can I select multiple meshes and skin them to the same armature?

Yes, you can.

The feature is available from version 2.0, you no longer need to join the meshes to a big mesh.

Does it support pitchipoy version of Rigify?

Yes, it supports both official version and pitchipoy version of Rigify.

The add-on is also compatible with Auto-Rig Pro.

Does it support 2d characters?

No, the add-on is more suitable for 3d models.

I'm not sure if my computer can run the add-on?

If the CPU of your computer is x86_64 architecture, you can run it.

It supports 64 bit of Windows, Linux and macOS.

Note: The add-on supports both 64 bit and 32 bit of Windows.

Do you have any plan to speed it up?

Yes, the kernel is written in c++, and we have been optimizing the code.

The latest version has achieved six times faster than the initial version.

Should I use high resolution grid?

High resolution grid works well on fingers and toes, but high resolution grid may bring side effects on other mesh parts, like the clothes, the hair, or the equipments, these parts may break into pieces in high resolution mode, it's not perfect in all cases.

To combine Blender's built-in heat map diffuse skinning and voxel heat diffuse skinning is a better solution, you always get perfect result.

When should I use the command line tool?

If you want to use higher resolution than 256, for instance, 512 or 1024, you have to use the command line tool.

High resolution mode requires huge memories, and the task will run for a long time, running the add-on within Blender may cause Blender to crash, so you need to run it as an independent task.

Another reason is that you are a team or you have powerful servers, you may build your own automated workflow by writing shell scripts, distribute the heavy task to your powerful servers.

There are still a few vertices sticked together, how to fix them?

There are two ways:

1. Use 'Protect Selected Vertex Weight' feature, please watch the tutorial to learn more.

2. If there are only a few vertices sticked together, you may clean them manually.