Skinned/Deformation Rigs: Your Pro Guide

Skinned Rigs: Your Pro Guide

(And what they didn’t tell you)

  • First of all, let’s have a look at how well YOU think Roblox has explained Skinned Rigs/Meshes.
# Has the Initial Roblox Post About Skinned Meshes got you satisfied?
    • I know everything related to Skinned Rigs.
    • I know how to make a Skinned Rig
    • I’m not sure about how to use Skinned Rigs
    • I’m sorry, what are they?

0 voters

Well, if you weren’t satisfied about what or how much Roblox has explained about Skinned Rigs, look no further. I’m gonna take you through all the steps, to help you make your own skinned meshes.



Basics of Rigging In Blender

Adding A Bone To ViewPort

  • SHIFT+A, Armature, Single Bone

Applying Armature to a Mesh

  • Select the Mesh(es) first and while holding Shift, select the Armature (a Single bone in the video), press CTRL+P and then select Automatic Weights. The mesh and the armature should now merge as one object in the Scene.

(Select the Mesh(es), press Alt+P to separate Armature from the Meshes in case something goes wrong.)

To use animations, you will have to animate in Blender, export as an .fbx, and then import it inside Roblox’s native Animation Editor (Import FBX Animation). This applies to all kinds of Skinned Rigs explained below.
Blender Rig Exporter will not work with Deformation/Skinned rigs.



There are two main divisions of Skinned Rigs: Bone Mono, Bone Numero. There’s a Hybrid type too, but more about them later.


Bone Mono

If you are using a powerful or a popular Engine like Unity3D, UnrealEngine 5, CryEngine, etc, you're most probably gonna stick with Bone Mono rigs. All realistic looking games use this type of rig.

Bone Mono is basically an rig consisting of only ONE mesh. That's why it appears as one Meshpart in Roblox Studio. (There's no "Head", "HumanoidRootPart", etc.)

You could pretty much Parent an armature to a mesh and then call it a Bone Mono rig! xD

Bono Mono Example

Characteristics:

  • The whole rig will appear as one MeshPart in Roblox Studio, as the parent of the Bones used.
  • BodyParts cannot be differentiated in Roblox Studio. The whole mesh is one. You could try moving the bones.
  • Humanoid and AnimationControllers Compatible.
  • Usage of Textures recommended (Max Size of Textures is 1024x1024 if I remember correctly.)
    Textures can be added/changed through the Meshpart instance.

Bone Numero


As the name suggests, this kind of rig is made of one armature and multiple Meshparts. As a Roblox Developer, I find this the most work-friendly. (Make sure to read about Hybrid Type Rigs)

Rigging a Bone Numero

Bone Numero Example

Characteristics:

  • Imports as multiple Meshparts in Roblox Studio.
  • BodyParts can be differentiated, and given color to.
  • Only AnimationController Compatible. Humanoids will not work. (more info in Hybrid Type Rig)
  • Textures AND Material/Color both recommended.

Hybrid

This is the most advanced type of Deformation Rig, optimal for Roblox Development. It requires a little more work than the Mono and Numero rig types, but take my word, it is so worth it. (Roblox's Lola was made using this by the way.)

However to make a Hybrid rig, you will need some skills like Weight Painting and some knowledge about Vertex Groups. It is crucial in Hybrid rigs, which polishes the movement and makes sure the bones of the armature move places they are supposed to move. Weight Painting is supposed to be used in Mono and Numero too, but in Hybrid it is especially important, because mostly the weight problems pop up here, which makes the rig look weird when moved.

Learn more about Weight Painting

To build a Hybrid rig, Select the BodyPart meshes while holding down shift, and then select the armature. Parent it as shown in the Rigging Basics section, and move the bones in Pose Mode to check if everything’s alright.
If it moves weird, you will have to weight paint your rig. Help provided in the link above.
If it’s all good, export as .fbx, import it in Roblox Studio using Rig Importer FBX. The rig should be a model with all the parts intact.

Till now, what we’ve done is the same as what you would do to work with Numero Rigs. However, this type of rig uses both Joint 6Ds and Bones, which makes it work with Humanoids. If you remove the AnimationController and then open the Animation Editor, it will cause an error. To fix it, join your BodyParts with Joint 6Ds like you would in a normal Roblox r15 or r6 rig and add a Humanoid instance to the model. Now Roblox thinks it is a native rig, which makes it compatible with Humanoids.

Characteristics:

  • Different Meshparts can be colored as you like
  • Can be animated in Roblox itself, where it’s deformation will also work.
  • Cannot be animated in Blender (hey, you can’t get everything with one rig!)
  • Humanoid and AnimationControllers Compatible.
  • Textures AND Material/Color both recommended.


Final Note

I would appreciate any additions to my documentation. I will add more details and help to this post if you guys are still confused.

Just thought I should note down all my observations about Skinned/Deformation Rigs, as I found out there was a lot more to them than Roblox explained.

More information is appreciated. I get a lot of DMs asking for help regarding Skinned Rigs. So here you go :smiley:

23 Likes

I think this was meant to be in Community Tutorials.

2 Likes

Couldn’t you have provided a little more detail in this tutorial? I’ve added my bones and attached them to my mesh as you instructed, but when I move them around in blender, the mesh doesn’t deform.

1 Like

Are you moving the bones in either pose mode or weight paint mode? if not, the bones will not affect the mesh in blender sadly. To get into pose mode, press ctrl + tab while selecting armature i think? And for weight paint mode, press armature, then the mesh, and finally press ctrl + tab and select weight paint mode.

(Edit applied because apparently the video i took didn7t capture the full stuff :frowning: I retried)

1 Like

Do the bones have to be connected to each other like that for this to work? I’m trying to recreate this specific thing: CubeLight a Cube with Bones for Builders
and it seems like the bones are all separate things there. Help?

1 Like

I am not too sure of how that works, but I believe he simply used disconnect bone (alt + p after extruding bone) to achieve that hierarchy. Although I used automatic weight paint to reduce time, I suggest you to do manual painting to assign correct weight per vertex. (white video, the vertex doesn’t follow the bone correctly due to me using auto weight, which didn’t work well on this armature)

1 Like

Yup, I finally figured out what I was doing wrong. I was duplicating the armature itself which meant I couldn’t parent more than one armature at once to my mesh. Turns out I had to open up the insides of the armature in the browser and duplicate the bone itself.

https://gyazo.com/849d0522f74b362eb14d36dc03029490

TY for helping though, hope this will be helpful to others too. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Hello, I am currently working on a dark fantasy game with a custom character that I worked hard to make:

I am at a point where I am considering using skin meshes and scrapping this… however I would need to create a custom hitbox and slightly re-code the custom character controller.

Our character will be equipped with and have:

Tilt movement/leaning.

Custom Inverse kinematics foot planting in conjunction with animation

Auto vaulting through terrain scanning.

=============================
Multiple weapon types

Clothing

Accessories

and such…

To make it short, is it worth switching from individual parts to skin meshes right now and will I be able to do those things with skin meshes?

1 Like

Hey There!
So here’s what you should know before switching:
Make sure you get into Blender, split the bodyParts of your skinned mesh as you want (I would split the arms into UpperArm, MidArm, ForeArm and the Fist along with its fingers separately.)

Now to the IK, you don’t want to mess with it in Roblox Animation Editor AT ALL. You can always import it into Blender, apply IK there and let it roll. The makers of RobloxToBlenderExport plugin have actually written about this in their post at that it won’t mess up your rig if you import it in Roblox after applying IK in Blender, so that’s great news.

For the Terrain Scanning, as I said, you want to convert this rig to a Hybrid Rig by splitting each bodyPart in Blender, then Weight Painting it so that it still moves together like you want. Export the whole thing as an fbx with an armature, you should get the whole rig with split bodyparts in Roblox which move together. lmk if you have problems doing this.

As explained in my parent Post, Skin meshes are of 3 types. The most inferior type is which only contains one mesh. However Hybrid Rigs are split bodyparts which still deform, which I suggest you use since you’re using Footplanting (IKPF) along with custom clothes.
Also Hybrid rigs are fully compatible with Humanoids unlike native Skinned Rigs (again, as explained in the parent post.)

Would it be worth it?
Eh it’s really your choice dude. If you want deformation, go ahead. This is fully possible as efficient as normal R15 Rigs, so don’t worry about losing out on anything.
However my personal suggestion would be that you convert your rig to a Hybrid Skinned Rig, then bone weld your clothes on to it, that way you can manage cleaner deforming clothes.

(PS that rig is dope, don’t give up)

EDIT: I just read your post again, it seems you are using normal rigs with split bodyparts, which is great. Just export this rig to Blender (WITHOUT REBUILDING RIG or you can, but only for reference) and add a new armature in Blender, weight paint it so that it deforms like you want it to, then export that rig made in Blender back to roblox as an fbx. You’re already halfway there :D)

1 Like

Ty ty, I put an ocean of Sweat and tears while making the rig myself, and I am quite familiar with the software, I took a lot of time to make the model’s joints look really clean when using regular motor6Ds. I don’t know if it is worth switching because the way I am doing it now works really well, you can barely see the joints and they will be covered by clothing.
A small disadvantage is that I have to make the clothing for each part of the rig, but that isn’t too hard.

I do think that the hybrid rig would work, BUT my new question is… Would I be able to animate the hybrid rig In Blender? because blender has really powerful animation tools which I would prefer to use instead of the Roblox editor. I would be making hundreds of animations and I do not prefer doing it in Roblox studio.

In your main post, you said that hybrid rigs cannot be animated in Blender, does that still apply?

Thank you for getting back to me!

1 Like

Well, you could try animating the FBX file for your baseMesh in blender, then export that animation as an FBX (make sure to check “Export Animation” in the export tab when you do)

Then get into Animation Editor in Roblox, click “Import FBX”, and select the animated FBX, it should load in.
Precaution: Do NOT change the size or orientation of anything. Once you have the default pose, stick to it. Changing it will mess up your animations and give you flying arms.

1 Like