After you create a skeleton, you bind it with the character’s surface so that the surfaces move with the skeleton during animation. Binding is also called skinning, and a character’s surface after binding is called a skin.

It is important that the character’s skin deforms naturally as the skeleton moves. Near joints, the skin bulges or indents when you rotate the joints.

In Maya, the skin deforms because the surface’s vertices (or CVs) move in response to the rotation of adjacent joints. The vertices are known as skin points. This is useful for animating elbows, shoulders, necks, and so on.

By default, the influence a joint has on a skin point’s movement depends on how close it is to that joint. You can edit skin point weighting to change the default movement.

In this lesson you learn how to: