This workflow is a contribution from an Avastar user. I have made following changes to the original document:

  • Translation to English
  • Removed some parts which i did not understand exactly.
  • Adjusted some parts for Avastar-1.2
  • Adjusted some parts for Blender-2.72


This workflow presents a way how to bind a Dress. We provide the workflow mostly as is to keep the original author’s intention.

This is the process for binding and weighting a mesh garment (dress) to the Avastar. I expect the garment to be already available in the current scene.

Main Workflow

Prepare Initial Binding

  • In Object Mode: Select the Armature.
  • Properties/Object Data: Rig display/hide mesh: Enable visibility of Skirt
  • SHIFT Select the Dress
  • Tool Shelf/Avastar: Skinning/Bind to Armature: Bind Dress to Avastar’s Armature(see Outliner), use options:
    • Weight: Meshes
    • Clear weights
  • Click on “Bind to Armature”

Check the initial weighting

  • Properties/Object Data: Rig display/hide mesh: Disable visibility of Skirt
  • Select Dress
  • Properties/Modifier Stack: Check that the Dress has exactly one  Armature Modifier
  • Properties/Object: Rename dress to your needs
  • Properties/Object data: Here are the vertex Groups for the weighting.

Check weighting quality

  • Select Armature in Pose mode (bone move mode)
  • Set 3D manipulator to Rotation
  • Reset to rest pose ( ALT R , ALT S , ALT G)
  • Tool Shelf/Avastar: Rigging/Visibility
    • Preset Skin
    • Disable Limit Option (optional)
    • Disable Shape option (optional)
    • Display Style: Stick (optional)
  • Keep Armature in Pose mode and
  • Select Dress (dress is in Object mode now)
  • Viewport Shading: Set to Solid
  • Switch Dress from Object Mode to weight paint Mode

Now the weight map of a bone appears when you RMB click on a specific bone.

Note: cursor is now a brush, don;t let you confuse by that, you still can select the bones “with the brush”.

  • Test rotation of the bones in front- and Side-View (type “r”) . During this test you will note any bad areas where the mesh distorts while posing the bones.
    Note: the manipulator widget is disabled in weight paint mode

Automatic weighting

  • Select one or more Bones
  • type “w” then select Assign Automatic from Bones. This creates useful initial weights.

Fix/adjust weights

Adjust weights using weight painting

Notes for mask selection modes:

  • You can switch between no mask, vertex mask, face mask (in the Viewport footer)
  • Switch Bones when in vertex or face select mask mode:  CTRL RMB.
  • In Select mask mode only one bone can be selected at a time
  • SHIFT LMB open s a selector that shows all weight groups of the current active Vertex.
  • “c” enables a selection brush (to select vertices or faces by brushing over the mesh.
  • While selection brush is active, hit MMB to erase selections

Notes for Brushes:

  • Most effective brushes are: Add, Subtract, Blur, Brush (Optimo has different opinion)
  • Add/Subtract brushes; weight ~0.1, strength ~ 1.0
  • Multi Paint works nicely with blur and distributes the weights uniformly over the assigned weight groups. but take care, this is often not exactly what you want at the end.

General hints:

  • Tool shelf/options: Enable X mirror for painting on symmetric meshes
  • Properties sidebar/Shading: Enable backface culling (to make holes visible while posing the character)
  • Select a bone and rotate for testing (for example to raise a leg or an arm)
  • ‘/’ on Numpad hides/unhides the not selected Objects.

General rules of thumb:

  • When weight group values reach 0, or 1, then advance to next weight group to continue vertex weighting.
  • weights get only painted on vertices. take care that your brush covers vertices, otherwise painting does not happen. You can increase the brush size, or zoom in/out on your mesh to cover more or less of the mesh area.
  • Take care to cover vertices or face corners when painting.
  • Sit-pose can be seen as extreme pose.

Fine adjustments on vertex level.

If you want to (need to) work on single vertices, then you can use the Vertex weight editor in the Properties sidebar:

  • Select the garment (in Object mode)
  • Properties/Modifier Stack:
    • Enable display modifier in edit Mode
    • Enable Adjust edit Cage to Modifier result
  • Switch to edit mode.
  • Open Properties sidebar (type ‘n’)
  • Locate the Vertex weights Panel
  • In the Vertex weights panel you can modify each weight of the active vertex.

Notes for editing Vertex weights

  • The sum of all weights of any vertex can be > 1.0 However Blender uses the normalized weights in any case. also when you export your mesh then the exporter will export normalized weights.
  • When you set all weights for a vertex to 0, then the vertex is only influenced by the COG Bone.
  • If weighting of individual vertex weights still does not help to solve your weight problem, then consider to adjust the mesh vertices them self carefully.

Checking the mirrored Pose

  • Select the Armature in Pose mode.
  • Select all bones of the Armature.
  • Copy the entire pose to the Pose Copy buffer (third icon from the right)
  • Mirror Paste the entire pose from the Copy Buffer (secnd icon from the right)

Hint: when you mirror copy the pose to another time frame, then you can use the timeline as pose scrubber Tool to see the transition from one pose to its mirrored version.