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Working (slowly) on my first character rig. In Blender 2.79 I was able to generate a rig using the Rigify Cat(Meta_Rig). I added thumbs to each paw by copying the adjoining finger. The wing bones were added with the basic_super.copy from the Rigify Buttons in the Metarig properties pulldown. After a bit of trial and error Rigify generated what looks to be a usable rig for the figure. Time to move on to weight painting. I would like to use Automatic Weight Painting to start out, though I know a lot of hand painting will also be needed to get it all working right. Grabbing my main mesh and then the metarig in Object Mode before hitting Ctrl-P and selecting With_Automatic_Weights generates the error Error "Bone heat weighting: failed to find solution for one or more bones". Checking everything in the mesh I can think of I'm guessing it might have to do with the wings being outside the main mesh. I understand it should be possible to apply Automatic Weight Paints from a few bones to the mesh at a time. Say a leg or the spine. After several days of reading files and watching tutorials I am only more confused than when I started and do not even have a start to a weight map.
Any help that can be offered will be much appreciated.

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The problem lies in the front feets, if you separate them (P, in edit mode) the rest can be weighted automatically. As you know, there will be a lot of manual adjusting needed, and some topology seems not good for smooth deforming. In such complicated models, I generally prefer to use the "with empty groups" parenting option, then select one vertex group afther the other, and manually paint (or assign) its weight.

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Anyway, it works!

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. How did you track this down? $\endgroup$ – Rivercoon Jun 8 at 21:33
  • $\begingroup$ Great. This will let me automatically weight paint most of the most of the mesh. The mesh for the front paws can then be reattached and weight painted by hand. The problem then is posing. The figure can be posed by adjusting individual bones but I can not get the widgets to deform the mesh. They only seem to move each other. It looks like they are not parented to the bones or mesh. How can this be fixed? $\endgroup$ – Rivercoon Jun 10 at 23:27
  • $\begingroup$ Check FK/IK sliders: if you move an IK control while the slider is on FK, you will see the widgets moving without any deforming of the mesh. $\endgroup$ – josh sanfelici Jun 11 at 6:12
  • $\begingroup$ I am so new to rigging I do not know how to check this. $\endgroup$ – Rivercoon Jun 11 at 6:49
  • $\begingroup$ When you select the Rigify rig, in pose mode, in the "N" properties panel there are many buttons which control the visibility of the rigfy layers. When you select one hand or feet controller, some sliders appear to let you decide if to use FK or IK (and you can also animate it, to use both inyour scene). $\endgroup$ – josh sanfelici Jun 11 at 11:20

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