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Plugin/Workflow for adapting Bone parented avatars?

Discussion in 'Avatars' started by Firestorm185, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Firestorm185

    Firestorm185 Member

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    Firestorm185
    Hey all! Firestorm here. So I wanted to start this thread because I see an inherent problem with the way VRChat's performance requirements are set up right now and I believe a lot of avatars are going to need major reworks because of it, so I just wanted to see if anyone knew of a Blender plugin or a general workflow to make it much easier to adapt these old avatars to the new standards.

    What am I talking about? bone parented avatars, of course. I personally am a voxel artist, I make lots of avatars using MagicaVoxel and rig them using a Bone parented rig in Blender to combine all the little pieces of my avatars together in the right spots so it'll work for VRChat, and I believe this was the same system used for lots of robot characters in VRChat too until recently, for models that had lots of individual parts for pieces of the robot that are bone parented to the humanoid rig so that they would work as a humanoid avatar, but then each piece of the mesh was it's own object (which has a mesh renderer on it, meaning performance problems).

    Of course, for my voxle models, other than having to call for each mesh piece, each part wasn't a huge, high poly model, so it wasn't super hard on performance, but now all these models are marked as "low performance" using the new testing models for avatars and public worlds, so none of my worlds (which were previously public) work, and I need to convert my avatars to be one mesh again so they'll work fine for VRChat worlds again. My only problem? I'm pretty sure weight painting all those models would take MONTHS, and maybe still deform the meshes at the end of it all, which I don't want. Same with lots of robot models in VRChat, I believe.

    So here's my question: Does anyone know how I would circumvent this problem? A plugin that can take a bone parented avatar and make it one mesh with correct non-deform weight painting? Or something to make the weight painting process go faster? (because some of my meshes have lots of small parts). Anything would be SO helpful, because I'm at a loss right now.
     
  2. FailureKai

    FailureKai New Member

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    I'm admittedly a bit of a noob to 3d modeling things, so I might be off here, but I'd think a reasonable way to do this would be to start by merging each discrete moving part into one single mesh, copying that into your 'final' unified mesh, and immediately making that selection into a vertex group that you can then assign to the bone.

    so long as you go directly from selection to vertex group you won't have to actually paint any of the weights, and so as long as you don't mis-select anything there's no space for unwanted deformation.
     
  3. Firestorm185

    Firestorm185 Member

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    It took me a bit to realize what you meant by that, I haven't ever actually used vertex groups before, but believe it or not, once I figured out how to assign vertex groups, that method actually worked! In order for it to work with the rig though, the vertex groups had to have the exact same name as the bone they would be parented too, so that was interesting. XD I'll probably make a tutorial later to show people wanting to make their own robot avatars how that worked, because it made the process so much easier than having to manually weight paint everything. Here's the robot avatar I made based off your advice, @FailureKai ! -

    It has a perfect score in the optimization tab! So excited to get the rest of them up online again!
     

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