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So far I've been able to find the answers to all my blender questions without having to ask but this one I just dont know what to search for so I wanted to inquire.

The spines on my dragon's tail are separate meshes 'joined' together but when I do weight painting there's always one or two fins per bone that wont follow the contour of the tail even at a weight of 1 but some will at less or even 0 weight. I tried removing the spines from all the vertex groups but then they just detach and float in the air for all deformations.

So my inquiry is; is it possible to have the spines follow stapled to the tail's surface somehow? It confuses me a little how the one outlined in red dose not follow while the one outlined in green does.enter image description here enter image description here

Blender file of tail section

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes it would help if the peaks were part of the tail, but could you please share your file (at least the tail): blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Nov 24 '20 at 9:02
  • $\begingroup$ @moonboots Thanks for looking, added the blender file of the tail above. This was created parenting the armature with automatic weights and I had intended to go back and modify them to clean up but nothing I do seems to change anything. I can set the spine highlighted in green to a weight of 1 or 0 and it doesn't impact its motion in the slightest which has me further confused. $\endgroup$
    – Dracasis
    Nov 24 '20 at 17:30
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Alrighty, I figured a way to make it work. I adjusted the geometry to place edge loops around joints and under the spines so deformation could happen more naturally without such drastic vertex movement. Also increased the length of the spines further into the mesh a little so it takes much more (unrealistic) deformation to help hide the motion. Its not as ideal as having it not move relatively but it'll work for my use case. enter image description here

enter image description here

The teeth were pretty easy to fix, just painting the weight to the hierarchy correctly made it work. It just confused me when in conjunction with the tail spine issue.

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  • $\begingroup$ oh ok, it's easier to fix it that way ;) also maybe segment your bones to have rounder bends? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Nov 25 '20 at 5:58
  • $\begingroup$ @moonboots I did increase the segment count from 6 to 10. I'm a bit limited as its eventually going to become a unity asset with dynamic bone solvers so I dont want to go crazy with it. Thank you all the same :) $\endgroup$
    – Dracasis
    Nov 25 '20 at 17:30
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You can try to fix that with a Boolean: In Edit mode select the tail, not the peaks, press CtrlF > Intersect (Boolean), then clean the topology because it will be a bit ugly, and reparent again With Automatic Weight:

enter image description here

Or you can try with a Mesh Deform modifier: Duplicate your tail, close it on its tip, fatten it a bit with AltS so that it contains the whole tail and make like a cage. Parent to the armature With Automatic Weight, make it invisible. Select your tail, delete its Armature modifier, give it a Mesh Deform modifier with the cage as Object, click on Bind:

enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I will play with those options though I was hoping for a better understanding of how it works so I can apply it in other circumstances because the issue occurs with the other parts of the mesh as well. Teeth, tongue and wing membrane are all also separate entities where some of them function as expected and others do not. I added an image above of the teeth when moving the head. I've also seen it work without cages or binding the geometry on some of the other models I used as reference but I'm unsure how. $\endgroup$
    – Dracasis
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:09

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