Skin Authoring Project - User Documentation


Page located at:


Where to start

There are some sample files to work with in the data directory. A couple of meshes (3ds), some skeletons (bvh), and some final output (skin) files. The keyboard, mouse, and menu commands are listed below.

While working on assigning weights you can switch between painting and direct manipulation. This is useful because you cannot assign new influences to a vertex except with the paint brush. You may find it useful to open extra pose windows to see the results of weight manipulation in multiple skeletal configurations.

First, pose a skeleton in your mesh. Then select the mesh and the root joint node and Create a Skin Node (menu). Then, you can choose a method to assign the initial influence sets and weights in Define (menu). Now you are ready to tune the weights and influence sets. To use direct manipulation, just make sure that you are in Vertex Select Mode. To paint the weights, select the mesh or skin node and choose Paint Weights (menu).

Menu Items


Open, open a file. Guess the file type by extension (3ds, bvh, skin).

Save, save a file from the current selection (bvh, skin).


Brush, open the brush window. Start painting a selected skin node.

Motion, open a motion window. These are windows that can have independent poses but use the current working skin. You can load and save sequences of poses and copy them to and from the main window.

Draw Mode, choose a mode for drawing (Normal, Figure, Video).


Weld, weld all vertices in the selected mesh that are very close.

Weld Selected, weld two vertices that are selected, even if they are not close.


Define, create inital weight set given selected skin node. Choose method in submenu.

Create Skin Node, create skin node given selected root joint and mesh node.

Paint Weights, paint the weights of the selected skin node or mesh node.

Create Trans Node, create transformation node.


Left button does selection, dragging, and actions.

Middle button does camera translate in view plane and node parenting in scene hierarchy window.

Right button orbits camera, with Alt modifier it trucks camera.


Display Modes Key
Wire Frame 1
Flat Shade 2
Textured 3
Display Weight Subspaces 4
Tranformation Modes Key
None q
Translate w
Scale e
Rotate r
Select Modes Key
Vertex F8
Triangle F9
Object F10
Actions Key
Exit Escape
Delete Selected Delete
Lock Selected Object o
Unlock All Objects p
Misc. Tools Key
Vertex Weight Display y
Joint Split Display n
Joint Weight Display u
Paint Brush h
Vertex Subspace Display j


Luke Tokheim, <>, May 14, 2003