Rigging & Weight Mapping~ Beginners Thru Advanced

Posts: 23,552
edited April 2017

This thread is for those who haven't even tried rigging a figure, to those who have experience and can lend a helping hand.

It's for when you get stuck.

It's for telling others what to do- and what not to do. In short, tips and "avoid these headaches and do it this way." And if you see someone post a tip and you have another way of doing it, jump in and explain why you do it that way. Choices are always good!

It's to help others understand what adding bones and weight mapping can do for them.

It's for help with characters, vs clothing- you may want a different approach. (I haven't done clothing.)

Someone may or may not want to tackle a tutorial from the beginning, but that's rather re-inventing the wheel as there's several product that do that.

Most of all, it's to get all these darned tips and questions in one place. But before you ask "How do I do this?" you might want to watch some videos or Google it and explore it.

If you do links to tutorials to help people, please make that link a separate window so people don't leave the thread accidentally.

Post edited by Novica on

• Posts: 23,552
edited April 2017

Index

Bones:  How To Rename
Bones:  How To Split   (To get more movement/ make different zones)  See also Face Group.
Bones: Rotation- A fast way to get the bone rotation (Should it be XYZ? YZX?)
Center Point: What is it?
Clear Selection:  If you forget, here's how to fix it- and save your second area that got messed up!
Face Group:  When  you split a bone, does a Face Group get created?
Face Group:  The steps to add one to a new bone in Joint Editor
Figure Selection Tool:  Where do I find it?
Maps: XYZ: How to quickly get all the maps the same
Maps: XYZ: How to remove them and replace them (such as starting over with a clean slate)
Polygons:  How to select and do all your initial polygroup/bone areas at once
Polygons: Hiding Polygons- a word of caution. Well, several, as at least two things can go wrong. See next link.
Polygons: The correct way to hide them!  New April 25th
Polygons: What if the weight mapping overlaps? Can two areas be selected?
Polygons: Selecting: Why use the Node Weight Map Tool. How to select and deselect. Find mistakes!
Polygons: Fading out around the edges- is that right?
Polygons: Why won't the highlighted polygons transfer to a new Face Group?

Post edited by Novica on
• Posts: 23,552
edited April 2017

Novica's Experience/ Tips As A Newbie

I used two guides at the same time.
The Comprehensive Guide To Rigging Tools In Daz Studio
Rigging Original Figures in DS4 Pro

This has been my experience. It wasn't optional as I was putzing along and experimenting. I dove in with tutorials but there were still "Dang it" moments. This may help you, or may not.

I created a cartoon creature in Zbrush and imported it into the studio.
ZBRUSH TIP: watch your edge loops. I don't know WHAT I did, but between each bone/surface group were those pesky loops. So when I closed the eye by the bone (in Scene) I had all these strips which didn't belong to either polygroup. And my critter has 100 bones/sections so THAT was a mess.

I'm new to Zbrush and that was my first creation, so my first request for assistance would be:
Question:  how do you turn off edgeloops on the polygon groups in Zbrush? I don't remember setting them. (Edgeloops as in the border, one row of polygons all the way around.)

Something to consider/ TIP: If you make polygroups (sections) in Zbrush, you can use the Figure Setup Tool and easily create bones for those. It has the option to put bones where those groups are- bada bing bada boom! They need tweaking but it's a fast way to populate your figure with the bones, and close to the section where you want them. The tutorials explain how to use it and get bones onto your figure. Then there's an option to align all bones, etc. It will get you started quickly.

Question: Where do I find the Figure Setup Tool? Answer: Window: Panes (Tabs)

What I found out- those polygroups were assigned face group numbers in the Geometry Editor,(Window: Panes (Tabs)>Tool Settings-  and they made no sense whatsoever. They weren't sequential. It's been a few weeks since I used Figure Setup, but I think I remember giving names to each section so it would show up in Scene.  My second question is-

Question: is there a way to get those Scene names to show up in the Geometry Editor list for Face Groups, instead of the numbers?

So, my steps were create a figure in Zbrush, import it into the studio, use Figure Setup and then quickly populate it with bones that matched the polygroups. You'll need to move the bones (there's an align bones, and all sorts of nifty helpers in the menus.)

TIP: Rotation of bones:  Load a Genesis 3 gal or guy in the scene with your figure. In Joint Editor, (again, also in Tool Settings) you'll be able to get the rotation of the bones. (Bones aren't setup the same way- your backbone runs up and down vertically, whereas your feet are pointing forward.)  Each bone needs a rotation. So when you click on each bone in Scene, in the upper right corner in Joint Editor, you will see the rotation. Easy! (This took me awhile, I didn't know it was there and was wading through forum posts for hours. I hope it speeds you along!)

Also take a look at the direction of the bones in Genesis 3. Careful with the torso! Some bones go one way and then there's a change of direction.

Post edited by Novica on
• Posts: 23,552
edited April 2017

How To Rename Bones

If you want to rename bones, there is a post on how to do it. But it didn't work for me. So this thread will save you the frustration of figuring it out, IF it doesn't behave as it should. The forum member helping me had no problem doing it in Joint Editor, for me it was no love, no matter what I did. I did it exactly as the tutorial said (I mean, it's a no-brainer, you'll see how easy it is. A right click drop down menu, for heaven's sake.)

So the link to how to do it is in that thread, and my "didn't work for me but Richard figured it out" solution is there too.

Post edited by Novica on
• Posts: 23,552
edited April 2017

I've managed to get things done, here's a few things you may want to know when you first start out.

Question: What is Center Point?
Answer: Where the bone starts. It's the opposite of End Point. This needs mentioning, because it's NOT the center of the bone!

Question: What are some of the tools used to do Rigging and Weight Mapping, and how do I use them together?
Answer: Figure Setup,  Joint Editor, Geometry Editor, and Node Weight Map Brush.

Question: How do I add a new bone?

Splitting a bone and assigning a face group for it
You've already rigged your figure with bones, but want to add a few more or split a bone so you'll have better movement. Let's say a hat, and it's one long bone named Hat. We'll split it.

Select Hat Bone in Scene.

Joint Editor>right click in viewport>Create>Split Bone.

Then adjust the bone to where you want it. (If it's going the same direction as your other bone, the rotations will be the same.)  Next, if you right click in viewport, you'll see several Align or Snap options. I defined Center Point, above, to help you. Just play around and see which options you like, and if anyone has suggestions, please feel free. It's been a couple weeks since I did this part, so I'm a bit fuzzy and not able to elaborate.

So you have the new bone aligned. Now you want to select polygons to go with that bone. So the Geometry Tool is next. I like size 5 for the selection radius. But before we do that, we'll need to know what to reference.

Now, here's my question: Does a bone get assigned a Face Group number in Joint Editor when it is split/created, or do you have to do the polygon selection and make a label? (that's what I did.)  Answer: you must create a group.

The dropdown shows the numbers and their labels in Joint Editor, but some numbers just show dashes, so it's hard for me to tell if a new bone gets a Face Group number in Joint Editor and it's showing as a dash. How would I find that out? (If you click on one of the boxes, that number automatically becomes the name of the bone you have selected in Scene. So I can't click and test as no matter what I picked it would make it Hat!)  Question:  Or are Face Groups only made after polygon selection?

Post edited by Novica on
• Posts: 23,552
edited April 2017

Okay, we've got our split bone (or duplicate bone, any new bone) so there it is. That was using Joint Editor. So far, we've done the Figure Setup, then Joint Editor. Now on to Geometry Editor.

For those starting out in rigging, it's important to know that bones don't move your mesh, they're lonely souls who are begging for the "skin" (aka mesh) to be attached. That's what weight mapping does. It's "I'm here, you're there, let's get together." So you paint the mesh (polygons) around the bone and the bone moves that area. (For me, that was Face Groups.)

In the Geometry Editor, in the Target Group drop down, you'll see different options, such as Face Groups, Surface Area, etc. But for my comments, I'm using Face Groups.

So my second Hat Bone, which I will call Hat 2, has a bone but nothing clinging to it. At this point, you may think, "Aha, we are selecting polygons for Hat 2 in the Geometry Tool."  Aha, no. I'm going to give you a tip that as a newbie, I found saved me a lot of time.

TIP:  When adding bones and new face groups to them, don't use the Geometry Tool to do the polygon selection for the Face Group. GO TO THE NODE WEIGHT MAP BRUSH. Here's why:

1. You can paint polygons from there

2. More importantly- if you had already weight mapped some of the areas, you can select the adjoining bone (aka Hat bone) and see where it's mapped, aka, where it's borders are! When you select Hat in Scene tab, it will turn red (or orange, depending on your color calibration- let's just go with red) and that will help you paint your Hat 2 polygons.  This is SO cool and it took me days to figure out. This will jumpstart you.

So where is the polygon selector? In Node Weight Map Brush, you'll see icons for the brushes running across the top. One says P, another says S (for smoothing)  The polygon selector is immediately to the left of the P brush. So with your OTHER nearby bone selected (and showing the mesh in red) that will help you with your polygon selection. (I will add an image later. My internet is acting up and it will be three days before they come out and fix it. My upload is only 1mbps so after Friday I will upload the image. Sorry!)

Question: Will hiding the surrounding mesh (assuming it's already weight mapped) keep it from being selected?
Answer: Not just NO, it's HECK NO. Hiding polygons does NOT mean they won't be selected!!!!! Whenever you hide face groups (polygons) for ease of getting to another area (I had to do the inside of a mouth, talk about a challenge) you ALWAYS TURN THAT AREA BACK ON AND remove the unwanted polygons that you accidentally selected.

Question: How do I undo polygon selection?
Answer: CTRL+ALT and mouse over. Easy!

Question:  How do I select polygons?
Answer:  You click the polygon selector brush, as mentioned, and simply click and move your mouse over the polygons. If you have to let go (aka, to move your viewport view) THEN hold down CTRL as you move your mouse.

Question: Dang it, I forgot and clicked my mouse and all the polygons I had selected disappeared except for where I clicked. I'm an idiot.
Answer: Yes you are, join the club, because we've all done it. That's why we know to CTRL+ Z to undo that last move. Now, don't do it again. (At least for the next five minutes.)

Question: Did I do something wrong, the polygons aren't filling in with a hard line at the borders?
Answer: No. I asked that question and it's because of the vertices- they get weight mapped too so you should actually expect fading out into the next section, even when your fill is set to 100%. (We'll get to that.)

Edit: Next, go here.

Post edited by Novica on
• Posts: 80,643
Novica said:
Now, here's my question: Does a bone get assigned a Face Group number in Joint Editor when it is split/created, or do you have to do the polygon selection and make a label? (that's what I did.)

Groupas have to be created and assigned explicitly - they are optional, at least for DS itself (Poser, if you are aiming to be able to use the time with the DSON Importer, does require that all geometry belongs to groups that match bones). Groups are useful if using the Figure Setup pane for roughly placing the bones, and are also useful to quickly fill the weight maps to match the bones, but beyond that they are essentially a convenience for the user in enabling bones to be selected by clicking in the viewport (and they enable chunks of mesh to be hidden by hiding the bone).

• Posts: 23,552

Thanks! That's the way I did it, as no matter what I clicked, it became named whatever bone I had selected in Scene. I'll continue this later today. Appreciate your help (again!)

• Posts: 6,164

I think this a great idea Novica to have this thread as I am just getting into doing rigging for products that does not have it.

My question is this: Can Rigging be done in other programs such as Ex:blender, Zbrush, etc......or does it have to be done in Daz Studio?

• Posts: 80,643

I think this a great idea Novica to have this thread as I am just getting into doing rigging for products that does not have it.

My question is this: Can Rigging be done in other programs such as Ex:blender, Zbrush, etc......or does it have to be done in Daz Studio?

DS will import a couple of formats that can hold rigging information, but the results are pretty variable at best so it's usually best to do the rigging in DS.

• Posts: 1,138

thanks for starting this thread.  bookmarked!

:)

j

• Posts: 23,552
edited April 2017

@jardine You're welcome, not sure how much help I will be, but thought I might be able to contribute some of the basics. (And others may spot what I might improve on at the same time, or if I'm doing anything wrong.)  At any time, folks should jump in and correct me if I'm wrong on my terminology or what I'm saying. Please!

So continuing on from here (and those subscribed should go back to here, after Richard answered my question, I continued with our "we split the bone and now need to assign it a Face Group and weight map it."  There's some good "did you know?" in that post.

So we took "Hat" bone and split it in two, so we have Hat and Hat 2. We need to work on the Hat 2 bone. We're going to select some polygons and make a Face Group for that new bone. As was answered, a new Face Group number is NOT assigned in Joint Editor when a new bone is made.

So in the Node Weight Map Brush (NWMB) (NOT Geometry Tool, go read the linked post!) select Hat in the scene. (NOT HAT 2) Make sure you have X rotation selected over on your left, so the map turns red. (Assuming it's weight mapped.)  Oh, you haven't done that? Okay, tip time and let's weight map. This is assuming all your beginning bones and polygroups (face groups) are assigned to each other. If not, remember we are doing that right now. But let's make sure you got the original bones weight mapped first- here you go-

Question: How do I weight map my bone polygroup areas at once?
Answer:  It may require tweaking, but here's a start.

Weight Mapping All Your Bone Areas At Once
To fill all your polygroup areas, in Node Weight Map Brush (NWMB) go to Scene and select HIP of your character. If you've done what you were supposed to do using the tutorials, that's your pivot point of your character.  I also had the X Rotation selected in NWMB

Then right click in the viewport>Weight Editing>Fill By Bone Selection Group(s)  Use Fill at 100% So now...

XYZ Maps: Getting Them The Same
Question: How do I get the X, Y, and Z maps all the same?
Answer:  Right click on (for example) the X rotation or whatever the current map is (it's highlighted) and choose the Copy option. Then right click on the recipient, say the Y rotation map. Choose the Paste option. Give it a second or more to change, wait until it does. Then do the same Paste with the Z rotation map. (Again, be sure and wait.)   SAVE!!!! Get in the habit!!!

So now, assuming Hat is weight mapped and you have it selected in Scene, the red weight mapped area is showing and that helps you know where the boundaries (borders) are located. (Remember the pitfalls of HIDING other areas, go back to the linked post if you've resisted the urge to read that post so far.)

Question: What if I select the polygons from another Face Group area?
Answer: It will take them out of the first Face Group and put them in the new one. Polygons can only be assigned to one area at a time.

TIP Get the polygons right on the LEAST important areas first, then work your way toward the most important ones. Why? Because whatever polygons you choose last are the Kings (Or Queens. Equal opportunity here.)  They rule. They will overcome the other Face Group area and snatch away whatever is there, as they are the ones used last. So, for example, if you are doing a tongue, work from the back to the tip, as the tip will rule the roost and be seen more. You want those polygons to be the best of the best so far as grouping. Make sense?

So we have Hat weight mapping showing red (so you see the surrounding area mapping), and you have the polygon selector brush selected (it's the icon on the left of the brush labeled "P" in the NWMB (Node Weight Map Brush tool)

TIP: Use Wire Texture Shaded view so you can see the rows of polygons.

Selecting The Polygons And Weight Mapping Them

Have the X Rotation Map selected in NWMB. Holding down your mouse, select the polygons you want for the Hat Two area. Then right click in the viewport>Weight Editing>Fill Selected. Your polygons will turn red. Now, this is just me, or may be the right way to do it- I do NOT copy and paste the Y or Z rotation maps at this point, I want to make sure the geometry assignment goes well BEFORE I do that (so I'm not changing three maps.)

LEAVE THE POLYGONS SELECTED.
IMPORTANT: be sure you select HAT TWO in Scene before you leave NWMB. That's what you're working with. (You had "Hat" to show you the other mapped area.)

So now it's time for Geometry Tool.  We've got this weight mapped, but it isn't attached to the bone.

Post edited by Novica on
• Posts: 23,552
edited April 2017

Now we are in Geometry Editor, with the polygons selected and weight mapped. We need to attach them to a bone so when the bone is moved, so are those.

Right click in the viewport. Geometry Assignment>Create Face Group From Selected.
Name it. (Let's say Hat 2)

Now you have a Face Group. But it isn't with the bone.

Adding A New Face Group To A Bone

Go to the Joint Editor Tool. With Bone 2 selected in Scene, you'll see in the upper right corner of the Joint Editor Tool, it will say Selection Group and the menu will say None. Click on the dropdown and you'll see Face Group on the left, and Assigned Bone on the right.

TIP: Click and pull the title of Face Group to the right so you can see the entire title, when using longer ones. You should be able to see something as short as "Hat 2."  Always scroll to the very bottom of the list for the newest additions.

Select Hat 2 and because Hat 2 bone is selected in Scene, that's the one the Face Group is now assigned to. Easy, huh? Your Face Group is now assigned to Hat 2, and we already did the weight mapping. But let's go get it on ALL the maps.

So then go back to NWMB (Node Weight Map Brush) and right click.
Geometry Selection>Clear Selection

Then do your copy (right click on it) of the X Map Rotation (over on your left, near bottom, where maps are listed) and then right click and copy it onto Y and Z.  SAVE.

So now you know how to create a bone, weight map polygons and assign to a Face Group, and attach that Face Group to a bone. You're on a roll! What does that mean for you? You can add a bone to something that doesn't have enough movement, and assign what part of the mesh you want it to move.

But you still have a long way to go with smoothing and bulge maps. And I've got to get back to my project, I'm still weight mapping/fine tuning areas. Remember, my figure has 100 bones so I've got to get back to work. I'm on a self-imposed deadline, it's for my son's birthday.

The tutorials I linked cover the smoothing, and other folks can jump in. I'll see how it goes, I've played with it a bit, but there's got to be a better way than what I'm currently doing. I'll share when I'm more experienced. Hope this helped!

Post edited by Novica on
• Posts: 23,552

Question: What happens if I forget to Clear Selection?
Answer:  Those polygons will get added to the next area that you work on. Remember, they can only be assigned to one Face Group.

Question: Okay, but I forgot and I already did the weight mapping and it's assigned to a bone. (lets say Zebra. And I forgot to Clear Giraffe.)
Answer:  Sigh. I knew this would happen.

What you can do- if you still have all the polygons selected. use CTRL+ALT and erase Zebra, the one you just made the weight map for. We are going to KEEP your blunder (okay, I'm being mean)...your "boo boo" because we're going to assign it back to Giraffe. Remember- it can only be assigned to ONE place, so by assigning it back where it should be, it will disappear from the second. (Zebra.)  So only your Giraffe polygons are now showing. (aka, whatever you forgot to erase that got lopped onto your newest one.)

So in NWMB, after you erase the newest Face Group that you just made (and want to keep) then go to the Geometry Editor and right click. Choose Geometry Assignment>Assign To Face Group> and pick Giraffe. Voila, it left Zebra in the dirt and is now back where it belongs. DO NOT CLEAR SELECTION YET. Always check your maps FIRST.

Go back into NWMB and do the copy/paste of each of the maps. THEN click on Zebra and do the XYZ maps too. NOW clear your selection.

And if you forget to Clear Selection again, you'll be in great company.

• Posts: 2,690

Very useful! thanks for sharing your learnings

• Posts: 129

So I'm stuck on something and I cant figure it out. I'm making a helmet which supposed to be 100% solid. I've imported my mesh and ran transfer utility for it and it works fine on genesis 3. I filled the head weight map to 100% and it's all good if I pose it on the figure. I'm now trying to make it so that if I change shape from basic figure to lets say victoria 7 it stays solid but when I do that some parts stay fine but some other like the visor and chin deform. I can't figure out what step am I missing.

• Posts: 2,690

So I'm stuck on something and I cant figure it out. I'm making a helmet which supposed to be 100% solid. I've imported my mesh and ran transfer utility for it and it works fine on genesis 3. I filled the head weight map to 100% and it's all good if I pose it on the figure. I'm now trying to make it so that if I change shape from basic figure to lets say victoria 7 it stays solid but when I do that some parts stay fine but some other like the visor and chin deform. I can't figure out what step am I missing.

I haven't done it myself, but I think you need to use a feature called rigidity maps to keep those areas from deforming (the same you have to do for buttons on clothing so they don't warp). If you search Google using the terms daz studio rigging rigidity you'll find some discussion on it.

• Posts: 23,552
RGcincy said:

I haven't done it myself, but I think you need to use a feature called rigidity maps to keep those areas from deforming (the same you have to do for buttons on clothing so they don't warp). If you search Google using the terms daz studio rigging rigidity you'll find some discussion on it.

I remember reading about that- it used the examples of zippers and buttons in the article I read, but that was last week and I don't have the link. I'm not that far yet as I'm not working on clothing at all- and won't for a long time. I have a lot of other characters I have to create, none with clothing.

• Posts: 23,552
edited April 2017

TIP:  If you are reassigning polygons from one face group to another, be SURE you have the second one's bone/label selected in Scene. Otherwise, when you go to the Geometry Editor, then right click for Geometry Assignment and Assign To Face Group (second one) - nothing will happen with the new location. The polygons stay in the first face group.

Post edited by Novica on
• Posts: 23,552
edited April 2017

TIP: XYZ Maps- Removing Maps

If you start tweaking your weight maps, it can get frustrating to try and see where some of your character's lines are, particularly with blobs of red on parts you're trying to see. In the  Node Weight Map Brush, over where your X,Y, and Z rotation maps are, here's how to take out a map and start with a fresh slate.

Right click on your map (let's say X Rotation) then choose the delete option.
A couple lines above the maps is "Unused Maps." Click on it and select X Rotation.
Click Add Map. And the X, Y, and Z maps go back in the same order (X, Y, Z) which is really nice.

And as usual, be sure and SAVE.

Post edited by Novica on
• Posts: 23,552

Well, somehow I overlooked this in a tutorial, so after doing the basic weight mapping (now starting on bulge maps) I found this tip which would have significantly helped. So you avoid the pitfalls, here it is:

As I mentioned earlier, closing the eye in Scene DOES NOT KEEP YOUR POLYGONS FROM BEING SELECTED. When you open that eye, you get a nasty surprise. Why hide polygons? To see other polygons better. So...

TIP: To hide polygons so they can NOT be selected, go to Geometry Editor and close the eye of the Face Group there.

• Posts: 968

So I'm stuck on something and I cant figure it out. I'm making a helmet which supposed to be 100% solid. I've imported my mesh and ran transfer utility for it and it works fine on genesis 3. I filled the head weight map to 100% and it's all good if I pose it on the figure. I'm now trying to make it so that if I change shape from basic figure to lets say victoria 7 it stays solid but when I do that some parts stay fine but some other like the visor and chin deform. I can't figure out what step am I missing.

Transfer utility may assign part of your helmet geometry to the lower jaw group (or whatever it is named for G3, I'm not sure) so if you want the helmet rigid you should assign all those polygons back to the head group.

• Posts: 129

Turns out it's a problem with generated JCMs affecting the mesh. I can get rid of the deformation by selecting auto generated morphs and dialing them back to 0 or removing deltas from them but I can't figure out how to save them. I though I was out of the woods but when I load the item again it looks like that information was not stored.

• Posts: 2,690

I've been slowly learning rigging starting with simple objects. I document what I do for myself so I can do it again later (so easy to forget a critical step if you don't do it often). Here's link to two tutorials I've written:

How to Rig a Prop: Cabinet Doors

How to Rig a Prop: Magician's Staff

• Posts: 23,552
edited April 2017

Thanks Rich! Those are so well done!

Creating Material Zones Using Face Groups

This is nifty for adding areas to colors, textures, or shaders-or for hiding areas. This example assumes you have Face Groups done.

In Geometry Editor, right click in the viewport and choose Geometry Selection> Select By> Face Group. Then select the area. That will cause the orange overlay to appear which shows the polygons are now active.

Right click the viewport again and choose Geometry Assignment> Create Surface From Selected. I name it the same thing as the bone (what's in Scene tab.)

For Iray, keeping the polygons active, I also go in the Surfaces pane and make sure the section is selected, then I go back to Content Library and add Uber Base so now it's Iray compatible.

Post edited by Novica on
• Posts: 983

@Novica Hi, I like the effort you putting in this thread. As the title says its all about the little steps for doing rigging and weihtmapping on figures and we get a nice overview of all the tools and things you can do with.

I like to jump in here as you mentioned and hope this wount clutter this thread in terms of overview and toppic. The technics you show here can be used in many ways. Lets say you want to have parts of a prop object movable or parts of existing figures needs more poseability. With clothes its a slightly diffrent approach.

The rigging of a fitting cloth figure: Firts the cloth figure needs to have some bones named and placed the same like the original figure it should fit to - for example a genesis figure. Basicly the cloth figure you create needs the bones so with using the Fit To command they can snap to the figure bones position, rotation and even scaling to follow the movement this is also called a conforming figure. If the cloth has bones it is also treated as a figure and therefore the bending is controlled by the weightmaps. There are a two ways to get the bones and the weightmaps from the figure to the clothes. One you may have allready seen is the Auto-Fit dialouge and the other is the Transfer Utility I think they both work basicly the same. The Auto-Fit always pops up if you try to fit a cloth item to a figure it isn't designed for. Select the right figure and better choose an item type - this will copy only the needed bones to the fitted cloth item - if you can't decide choose Full-Body. These item type presets are called Projection Templates and I ask myself if you can create your own Templates.

The cloth geometry base shape to start with: To keep it simple the cloth object you may have imported as a geometry file form an external editor needs to have a base shape that fits to the genesis figure base shape and pose - exept you want to do some Reverse Source Shape From Target with the Transfer Utility later. With this method you also can have a cloth base shape that fits some dialed in character shape or pose of the genesis figure but the Transfer Utility process can reverse the current cloth base shape so it will by default fit to the genesis figure base shape in zero pose.

How to convert a prop object to a figure : In Main Menu: Edit > Object > Rigging > Convert Prop to Figure. You simply get a hip bone somewhere as a starting point for rigging. You can also parent the object to the desiered body part of a figure it should fit to and with the option Inherit Skeleton of Parent from the Covert dialouge the bones of the figure should get copyed over to the converted prop.