Nope, you definately bind the mesh to the skeleton and then paint the weights. The default smooth skin creates some weights, but, in my experience, they are rubbish. You need to paint the weights to get anything resembling a decent deformation. I just wish Maya had a skinning system that was somewhere near as good as the one in Messiah.
Originally posted by Phopojijo
You rig THEN paint weights? To my knowledge you paint your weights for the skeleton BEFORE you attach it/after detach (though I never came across the need to yet)
Please explain further.