Skin Selection

by Artell in Scripts and Addons


Skin Selection is a Blender addon to select the bones controllers based on the meshes surface.

It allows to hide all the controllers and work directly on the mesh, clearing out the viewport.

Check the video demo to use it! 



Important notes!

  • Selection can be wrong in ortho mode, switch to perspective mode (numpad key 5)
  • Multiple bones selection is not yet implemented.
  • Bones controllers names must end with a two characters side, eg: "hand.l" or "hand_L" for left, "hand.r" or hand_R" for right side. This allows skin selection to work with mirror modifiers.
  • If multiple bones are included in the group, they must be from the same side
  • Performances are generally fine for models made of ~25.000 polys. However with surface subdivision turned on, bone selection may be slower.


Usage:

1)Create the vertex groups:

  • Under the Vertex Groups Creation label, add up to three bone controllers.
  • Click Create VGroup. A corresponding vertex group is added. The group are easily recognizable with the fs:" prefix for "face selection" vertex groups.
  • Assign the faces/vertices for this vertex group.
  • Optionally if the group is from the right or left side, click Mirror Selected VGroup to mirror it on the other side.


2)Display options:

  • Optionally change the display parameter: color, alpha...


3)Click Start! 

  • Only the meshes will be displayed.


4)Click an area on the mesh to select the associated controller. 

  • Click to select the first mapped controller, hold Shift for the second, and Alt for the third.


5)Press escape key or the Stop button to go back to the normal mode.


Release log:

[1.09]

Better performances when Subsurf is enabled


[1.08]

Tooltips text changes


[1.07]

Shortcuts to select the second and third controller can be user defined, between alt, ctrl and shift.

The error popping when the second or third controllers are not set can be disabled.



[1.00]

Skin selection release!





Video demonstration here.

Installing the addon:

  • In Blender, press Ctrl-Alt-U > Add-ons > Install from file >...
  • Look for the file you've downloaded "skin_selection_[version] then click Install from File
  • Check the box next to the addon in the list to enable it.
  • Click Save User Settings at the bottom left of the window.


1)Create the vertex groups:

-Under the Vertex Groups Creation label, add up to three bone controllers.

-Click Create VGroup. A corresponding vertex group is added. The group are easily recognizable with the "fs:" prefix for "face selection" vertex groups.

-Assign the faces/vertices for this vertex group.

-Optionally if the group is from the right or left side, click Mirror Selected VGroup to mirror it on the other side.


2)Display options:

Optionally change the display parameter: color, alpha...


3)Click Start! 

-Only the meshes will be displayed.


4)Click an area on the mesh to select the associated controller. 

Click to select the first mapped controller, hold Shift for the second, and Alt for the third.


5)Press escape key or the Stop button to go back to the normal mode.


Notes:

  • The selection will be wrong in ortho mode, switch to perspective mode! (numpad key 5)
  • Multiple bones selection is not yet implemented.
  • Does not work yet with subsurf modifier in OpenSubdiv mode.
  • Bones controllers names must end with a two characters side, eg: "hand.l" or "hand_L" for left, "hand.r" or hand_R" for right side. This allows skin selection to work with mirror modifiers.
  • If multiple bones are included in the group, they must be from the same side.
  • When switching to edit mode, the skin selection will stop.

No FAQ's found for this product.

Item Rating

This item has an average rating of 5 from 4 ratings by the community.

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  • Brandon Ayers 6 days ago

    This is exactly what I was wanting. I like to have little in the way of viewing my character when animating. This means I normally hide bones that I'm not working with. This can become a tedious process. But Skin Selection has came to the rescue! I can now directly select my mesh to animate! I do love this. However there are a few issues that I have. One is that you can't see Motion Paths with it on. I believe this is due to the fact that it turns on Only Render in the 3d-view. I don't know if it's possible to fix this issue. The second issue is if you are playing an animation and press ESC to stop it, it doesn't stop it first it turns off Only Render and the Bone Shapes are visible but you have to press ESC again to stop the animation then press Stop on Skin selection. This may also be impossible to fix, but just something to think about. In the end the slightly tedious setup is worth it and I highly recommend this add-on to any animators who like a clean interface while animating.

    • Artell 6 days ago

      Thank you Brandon for rating! I understand the motion path visibility restriction is annoying indeed, a workaround is to disable the "Only Render" automatically being enabled when starting the process, but this is not the perfect solution yet. Blender 2.8 will bring way more options to easily customize the display, i'll investigate. To stop the animation, pressing Alt-A instead of Escape should fix the issue. However i'll remove the Escape shortcut to stop Skin Selection, indeed it can accidentally "overlap" other shortcuts action.

  • SergioCajazeiras Cajazeiras 7 months ago

    Great! It works very well for me, it helps a lot! Many thanks great work!

    • Artell 6 days ago

      Thank you!

  • Ndroid 8 months ago

    - Terribly slow even on a simple character (UE4 mannequin). After creating more than 20 vertex groups there is a very noticeable lag between the click and the actual selection of the controller.
    - No obvious multi-selection functionality.
    - Shading is flickering when x-ray is disabled.
    - Very tedious setup process.

    • Lucas Veber 8 months ago

      Sorry to hear this Ndroid. It should not be slow, unless something special is happening, such as lots of performance consuming modifiers in the stack, surface subdivision set to a high level... The video demonstrating the feature is recorded in real time, and as you can see selection is made instantly. I suggest to create a support message (red life belt icon on the side of this page) and to send a sample blend file for me to check what is going on. About multiple bones selection, it is mentionned in the product description that it's not yet implemented. The highlights may flicker when X-Ray is not turned on, that's true. It's best to leave it turned on. The setup process is demonstrated in the video: https://youtu.be/x8AOj-nDn2o

  • Pistol Ioan Alexandru 9 months ago

    Pros:
    Here is what they use at Disney: https://youtu.be/0Z-0EskUcDs?t=2m17s
    With this tool, your selection process is much quicker at the same time you take advantage of the clear viewport, controlling up to three bones with one skin selection.
    With clear viewport, it's easier to focus on the animation and posing without thinking what bones should I need to select.
    Is actually very easy to set up because you define only the green part that you want to select.
    The price is quite cheap for what he offer.
    Cons:
    No multiple skin selection, but may be added in the future.
    And because Python code is a bit slower, when using in a populated scene with Subsurf even with global subdivision at level 1 seems to be a bit of delay between selecting and showing the green skin, maybe 300ms or less.

    Overall I recommend you to buy this awesome add-on because buying it you will support future development of it.
    Is the best tool for every animator that respects himself.

    • Lucas Veber 9 months ago

      Thanks for your feedback Pistol Ioan Alexandru! This duly noted. And yes performance with subsurf is something i'm aiming to improve. Cheers!

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