Gimme some skin!

While it is a subject that almost every artist is now expected to know about, skinning is a remarkably under-documented area of 3D. There are three possible explanations for this: firstly, that it is an aspect of character work that depends heavily on personal preference; secondly, that professional animators are reluctant to give up their hard-earned secrets; and thirdly, that it's incredibly difficult to explain in a simple and concise way. Oh well, here goes anyway...

Skinning, or vertex weighting, is the process of assigning the translation control of one object's vertices to another. In most cases, this means assigning control of a character's surface mesh to a virtual bone structure, mimicking the way in which real bones and muscles deform our skin. By setting different 'weights' (values between 0.0 and 1.0) to the vertices, you can share this control out over multiple bones, creating soft blends between joints and more subtle vertex movements.

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.