Select the spline ring you want to weight by clicking on a point and hitting the "," key to select the ring. Now right mouse click on the selection and select editCPweights. Apply the weight you want for each bone by selecting the bones you want to weight the points to and giving them a percentage.
I usually start by just giving a ring a 50/50 transition between the neck bone and the Head bone.. then the ones beyond that a 25/75 or so to the same bones. That should at least get you an somewhat smooth twist. Then just smartskin the head bone at 90 degree rotations on the Z and some arbitrary rotations based on range of motion for the x and y.
I usually set my smartskin relationships to blend instead of add so that the overlapping bones don't send cps off into space ;-)
by weighting the points first you'll find that the smartskin is much more predictable across the range of motion, especially if that range remains below 90 degrees rotation in any direction, (which your neck should unless you are also spitting up pea soup and yelling in latin
hope that helps.
Caroiline... Smartskin isn't so V.9 as you put it.. its just that it always needed some help on bones that rotated in 3 directions and had wide range of motion. In the old days that was done with fan/intermediate bones (which I still use alot as well) but the addition of cpweights solved alot of issues for smartskinning complex joints.
My process usually goes something like this. I add fan bones to the elbows, shoulders, hips and knees (because these are the most complicated joints in terms of motion and flexed shape. I weight these joints and the torso, waist, wrists, neck and ankles, hands to if you want but I usually save them for last cause they are a pain. Once I get the weights set and looking good, I go back and smartskin the elbows, shoulders, neck, torso, knees, ankles, etc. For some reason I almost never need to smartskin the hips, something about them and using fan bones and weights makes them work better, That could also be true of shoulders, I probably just dont place the fan bones properly for them. Shoulders are hard to guess at as far as proper place for the bicep bones origin and fanbone angles and positions. I've done a few and I always seem to re-invent the wheel.
Oh.. I also use fan bones along the forarm for the twist of the hand. 3 usually that slowly taper off in effect from the wrist to the elbow. If you try to weight this.. you'll get an arm that acts more like a noodle than a joint. I was stupid enough to try it once.
Here's a link to an old post I made 2 years back that talks about this and has links to some examples.http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showt...mp;hl=smartskin