Skinned Meshes

A skinned mesh is a rigged mesh that bends naturally when the bones are posed or rotated. This creates a natural looking stretch and flexibility when models are animated or repositioned. You can skin a rigged model by applying multiple bone influences to a single part of a mesh in a third-party 3D modeling tool such as Blender or Maya.

A rigid model uses 15 rigid meshes that are completely influenced by the rotation of a single bone.
An skinned model uses 15 skinned meshes that bend naturally since the meshes are influenced by two or more bones.

See Types of Skinned Meshes for common types of skinned meshes, their naming conventions, and links to various resources on creating skinned meshes in Blender.

Once a mesh is skinned, you can export the rigged mesh for use in Studio.

Types of Skinned Meshes

A skinned mesh can be created from any mesh, including humanoid characters, accessories, entire buildings, or even a body of water.

Skinned models use a naming convention starting with "S" and ending with the number of individual meshes that make up the model. This is used to quickly identify the type and number of meshes that a model has. Although S1 and S15 models are common, a model can be of varying sizes and can have any number of individual meshes, such as a S5, S20, or S200.

  • S1 refers a single mesh that is skinned, or associated with an internal rig. Many organic models, such as a tree or fabric accessory items, are good candidates to be made into an S1 model. You can even design humanoid characters, such as NPCs, as S1 models but they will not be able to take full advantage of the animation and humanoid options available for S15 characters.

    For instructions on turning a basic mesh into an S1 model in Blender, see Skinning a Simple Mesh.

  • S15 models typically refer to a R15 humanoid models that have been skinned. Like an R15 character, an S15 model is made up of 15 meshes that are parented to a single rig. A R15 character model does not have weighted influences specified on its joints and, when the joints are rotated or animated, the meshes will not stretch and deform.

    For instructions on skinning a rigged humanoid model, see Skinning a Humanoid Model.

Skinned Mesh References

The following reference .fbx files are available for download as examples and are ready to import into Studio:

Filename Type Description
MapleLeafTree S1 A single mesh tree model created from the Skinning a Simple Mesh guide.
MapleLeafTree_S3 S3 An advanced version of the tree model with the soil, branches, and leaves as separate meshes bound to a single armature. This is packaged as a .zip to include UV textures that can be applied with SurfaceAppearance.
Creature S11 Creature model from the Beyond The Dark showcase. This model is made up of 11 meshes and over 50 bones.
Lola S15

A skinned R15 character created from the Skinning a Humanoid Model guide. Since this reference model doesn't yet have inner and outer cage mesh data, this model can't equip layered clothing or accessories.