Forum: Poser Technical

Subject: Creating weight maps

odf opened this issue on Apr 01, 2022 ยท 12 posts

odf posted Fri, 01 April 2022 at 1:31 AM

Just to make sure I'm not making my life unnecessary complicated: do we know any practical ways of creating weight maps for Poser in external software?

-- I'm not mad at you, just Westphalian.

primorge posted Sat, 02 April 2022 at 12:04 PM


JCMs lol. Just kidding...

Ask on the 11 technical forum. This is a ghost town for responses. At least there Nerd might decide to answer your query and he's one of a handful of people left, it seems, that can answer such a question.

I've personally never heard of any way of doing such a thing for native Poser WM rigging. Poser WM brush giving you the Blues? 

odf posted Sat, 02 April 2022 at 5:29 PM

primorge posted at 12:04 PM Sat, 2 April 2022 - #4436661

Poser WM brush giving you the Blues? 

It's beautiful and terrible. The direct feedback is great, but it steers like a thing that is not particularly easy to steer.

After getting into the flow a little bit, I feel it's probably best to just stick with what Poser offers in this case.

-- I'm not mad at you, just Westphalian.

odf posted Sat, 02 April 2022 at 11:04 PM

Also regarding JCMs, even if that was a joke: I definitely feel that they have their place. It seems to me that the most important - and hardest - part seems to be to get the joint origins and orientations right. Then take the weight maps as far as they can go and if necessary/desired do the rest with JCMs.

-- I'm not mad at you, just Westphalian.

Cascade777 posted Fri, 08 April 2022 at 7:56 PM

The only one known who is having the Know How that i am aware of would be Summoner aka "Gate". He has a very effective weight map technology for poser in combination with external Programs. But I doubt  he would cooperate or share the knowledge after the discriminating acts of Rendo.  

JoePublic posted Sun, 10 April 2022 at 3:25 PM

"It's beautiful and terrible."

That's a very apt description. Lol.

But honestly, since I've gotten PP-2014, I have never wished for a different set of tools rather than the Morphbrush.

I once used Z-Brush (When the UI still made sense), even paid big $$$ for the Studio rigging tools, but I think nothing can beat the direct 1:1 feedback for Poser rigging that the Morphbrush provides. And I'm just using a Laptop with a lowly Logitech cable mouse, not even a stylus or some fancy 3D mouse or so.

Especially if you create correction morphs for texture distortion.

But in the end, you can only do so much with weightmapping, as it only works in 2 directions.

For complicated joints, especially when the mesh is very detailed, you simply need to add a JCM to achieve the correct deformation.

odf posted Sun, 10 April 2022 at 6:54 PM

JoePublic posted at 3:25 PM Sun, 10 April 2022 - #4437015

But in the end, you can only do so much with weightmapping, as it only works in 2 directions.

For complicated joints, especially when the mesh is very detailed, you simply need to add a JCM to achieve the correct deformation.

It's more like 1 direction for me at the moment, because I really don't get how Poser's bulging works. :-)

I've noticed that phantom3d's weight-mapped Antonia works much better in the fitting room than the JCM-heavy version. But since I have slightly different priorities when it comes to how a figure should bend, I'm now trying to create my own weight-maps based on the original rigging. My hope is that when most of the heavy lifting is done by the weight-maps, there won't be much of a problem transferring some small JCMs on top.

-- I'm not mad at you, just Westphalian.

JoePublic posted Mon, 11 April 2022 at 9:47 AM

"It's more like 1 direction for me at the moment, because I really don't get how Poser's bulging works. :-)"

It's easy as pie.

First convert the joint to weightmaps.

Then weightmap the joint with bulge maps disabled:

Here's Aiko 3 - WM with the right thigh set to max side-side without bulge maps:

To influence the inside of the thigh, the value of the "left neg" Bulge has to be set to a value smaller than 1.

In this case I just used the default value of her original sphere-map bulge, which was -0.121.

I started painting the Bulgemap by first removing the original bulging. Just use substract vertex at a high value.

Then carefully paint the bulge with a very light setting and appropiate sized brush. You want to "feather" the weightmap.

Switch between adding and smoothing often until you get a nice, even result:

You can also influence the bulgemap by changing its value.

Here I raised "left-neg" to -0.3 while not changing the Bulgemap itself:

You can compensate for a higher value by "easing off" the Bulgemap. (Or even the actual Weightmap)

It's a bit tricky finding the right balance between all three factors, and sometimes you find the ideal solution just by sheer dumb luck!

Do the full extreme poses first, then try to find a good compromise with the limb set halfway between full side-side and bend.

It's easy to get bogged down if you want to find the "perfect" solution. Just try another day, then.

Or just use a JCM!  ;-)

I (usually) don't weightmap "twist". With correct joints, spheres are usually quite sufficient to handle this.

Same with fingers.

(Sphere maps are easier to "convert" and use up less resources, so I only weightmap joints that really benefit from it)


Also, don't be "afraid" of high rez meshes.

I found it easier to weightmap Aiko 3 than the Aiko 4 LOD 4K figure I converted.


Anything else, just send me a PM


Oh, and when it comes to weightmapping, there ARE several ways to skin a cat.

This is just the way I do things. If you find another workflow that better agrees with you, just go for it.

It's the end result that counts.

odf posted Mon, 11 April 2022 at 6:15 PM

Thanks for that! What's confusing me most about bulges is the naming. What the heck is left pos, left neg, right new, right pos supposed to mean? From you example it sounds like the "neg" ones are supposed to work with negative values. I'll give that a try then.

I'm not big on smoothing weight maps. I like to go low res and push individual vertices around. That's how I modeled Antonia and created her JCMs. Probably another reason why the Poser morph brush is not exactly my jam.

-- I'm not mad at you, just Westphalian.

JoePublic posted Mon, 11 April 2022 at 11:19 PM

Poser will allow you two bulge maps. One on the actors RIGHT side, one on the actors LEFT side. (Or FRONT and BACK, depending on the orientation of the actor)

pos and neg are the settings for how much you want that map to bulge in (neg) or bulge out (pos) when the actor moves out of its default position.



I think  Dr Geep's brilliant tutorials aren't online anymore anywhere, but as he used to share them freely, I think it doesn't hurt to post this little excerpt here:


About the smooth brush: I use it ALL the time for both weightmapping as well as JCM's.

Best thing since the invention of sliced bread. It's finicky, though, especially if the mesh has "crumpled in".

It'll also happily destroy an elaborately hand painted map if you overdo it.

But as I mentioned, I already see a divergence in rigging "styles". 

I seem to treat rigging  more like clay sculpting, and the more "clay" there is I can manipulate (= high res mesh), the finer I can sculpt.

You seem to have a more "mechanical" view, trying to fully control every single vertice and move it through the 3D space to the exact location you want. So a low res mesh naturally gives you better control.

(The morphbrush actually can do that if you set it to "hard" and scale it's influence zone down a lot, but this "move only one vertex around" setting isn't very precise nor controllable.)

Just be aware that Poser's built in subdivision can change the look of a joint drastically. What has looked great in preview, might not look good at all once subdivision is applied.

But I've seen both ways work, so stick with what you can work with best.

Anyway, it's great to see Antonia getting a remake. :-)

odf posted Mon, 11 April 2022 at 11:39 PM

Ah, Dr Geep! Now that makes sense.

By the way, you may be right about twists not generally needing weight maps. But forearm twists definitely do, and I have a feeling they may not exactly hurt for neck twists. Exceptions confirming the rule or something... :grin:

-- I'm not mad at you, just Westphalian.

JoePublic posted Tue, 12 April 2022 at 1:30 AM

Yes, the neck is an exception, although some figures really work great with just plain old sphere mapping. (Sphere mapping really was at its heyday with the 3rd Gen Matt / Maddie and the 4th Gen Kids 4 meshes. These were the last meshes issued of their resp. generations, so they benefitted the most from the lessons learned from their predecessors)

I just try to keep weightmapping to a minimium because I often transfer rigs between different meshes. And while sphere rigs are quite flexible, weightmaps (can) need a lot of adjustment if transferred between figures.

I also use JCMs A LOT. In fact for my personal figures, I often make a "Full Body JCM" to fix a certain pose and save a pose file with that JCM already activated.

It's a very primitive way to "rig", but I don't have to make any compromises regarding shapes or worry about different JCM's interferring with each other. I know one can set up a complicated matrix to control JCMs by multiple actors simultanously, but I never bothered to wrap my head around all the necessary computations.

"Dammit Jim, I'm an artist, not a mathematician."