Creative Strategies: Alec’s Notes Rigging

Popular Rigging Tools

  • Grouping/parening
  • Constraints
  • Joints
  • Blend shapes
  • Face deformers.

Creating an FK Joint chain

FK -Forward kinematics

Refers to the movement of the children of the hierarchy being
driven from parent of the hierarchy.

The create Joint tool automatically creates an FK hierarchy which
you an also see in the outliner.

Maya’s joint tool lets us create skeleton style set-ups to deform and drive the polygon geometry.

The Create Joint tool is found under the rigging sub-menu

Skeleton – Create Joints

It’s recommended to layout your joints in the orthographic view ports (front, side or top)

A video tutorial going through the joint creation process

Creating an IK chain

IK-Inverse Kinematics

A Inverse Kinematics joint system is where the movement is driven from the end of a joint chain.

Therefore the inverse of an FK system is where the movement is driven
from the start of a joint chain.

To create an Inverse Kinematics chain do the following:

Create a joint chain with the Create Joint tool

Make sure to add a slight translation in the chain in the direction you want the chain to bend.

Select create IK Handle toolSkeleton – Create IK Handle

Click on the start of the joint chain and then on the end or last joint you want to affect in the chain.

A video tutorial going through the creation of a simple IK rig

Creating Parent Constraints

it’s not recommended to add key frames to joints directly, instead you should use controller objects that drive your joints or IK handles.

This can be solved by:
• Creatining a NURBs circle and snapping it to the relevant joint or IK handle
• Freeze the transforms for that circle – Modify Freeze Transforms
• Select the NURBs circle then shift select the corresponding joint/IK handle
• Go to Constrains menu – Parent Constraint

Parenting and unparenting joints

‘P’ to parent and shift + P to unparent joints or other objects.

Alternatively you can middle mouse click and drag the joints about in the outliner

Blend shapes

Animation menu – Anim deform – Blend shape


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