parenting mesh to meta rig vs rig
I am having trouble figuring out if i am rigging my character mesh correctly. I have followed several tutorials that have all parented the character mesh to the metarig. When I do this, I'm using the "automatic weights" parent function for the body and "empty groups" function for the clothing. My character is able to move and everything works about okay.
I have also seen a few other videos where people are using the generated rig to move the characters limbs around. These motions seem way more fluid than mine does, I'm assuming because the human rig I used comes with IK and FK controls.
I want to be able to move my character around using the rig's IK and FK controls, however I can't get the parenting to work properly. Whenever I try to parent the character/clothing meshes to the rig, I'm not given the same "automatic weights" and "empty groups" options. The clothing also won't follow the rig when I'm moving around the character's limbs.
My questions are:
Why am I having these problems parenting my meshes to the rig and not the metarig?
Should I just move on and animate my character using the metarig instead of the rig?
How will that affect the level of difficulty for animation later on?
Any help is appreciated!