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So I'm trying to create a simple fan like object that folds up from right to left. You can see my single bone along with how I painted the weights below:

enter image description here

And here is the result when I go into pose mode and rotate the bone 90 degrees. I would expect left side vertices to be influenced less so that the entire object can fold into itself.

enter image description here

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If you have a vertex that is controlled by only one bone, even if the weight of this bone on this vertex is 0.01, the influence will be 100%.

Example: I have this square, the bone has a weight of 0, 0.01 and 1 on its 4 vertices:

enter image description here

If I move the bone, the vertices with a weight of 0.01 will move as much as the vertex that has 1, the vertex that has a weight of 0 won't move:

enter image description here

So if you want to vary the weight of a bone on a vertex, you necessarily need a second bone. If I create a second bone that has a weight of 0.01 on the vertex that has already a weight of 0.01 from the first bone, this second bone will share a 50% influence on this vertex.

For your object, you could create a series of bones, for example 5 bones, parent the object to the armature With Automatic Weights, then give your bones number 4, 3 and 2 a Copy Rotation constraint with bone 5 as Target, and a decreasing influence of 0.75, 0.5 and 0.25:

enter image description here

Here is what it gives:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ oops sorry Robin, I hope I didn't delete your edit ;) $\endgroup$ – moonboots Oct 2 '20 at 10:59

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