Creative Strategies: Rigging Our mother Bird: Alec’s Notes

I decided to take on the responsibility of rigging our characters for our animated short, which I really enjoyed, but I found it incredibly difficult to initially break into. So my lecturer, Alec Parkin, put together this amazing helpful tutorial.

‘I feel the reason why it helped me so much much because everything is well explained and conveyed within the video. Everything said made sense to me and I was able to follow along with it perfectly. This helped make the rigging process less daunting to me and eased me into it and also left me with enough knowledge and confidence to continue on with updating our mother bird rig and completing our other two character rigs, Baby Bird and Fat Baby Bird.’

Key Notes Taken

-Always remember to zero out the values of your rig controls

Modifyfreeze transformations (with the controller selected)

EditDelete by Typehistory

-Remember to name the attributes in your outliner appropriately,make it easy and straight forward to understand, not just for yourself but for the others working with the rig.

-Keep all connections, such as aim constraints connected (intact)

-Applying a new group to a pre-existing group will zero out the origins

-Applying blend shapes to our character rig, to apply the modified meshes as blend shapes to our original mesh, select the meshes in the following order:

‘DUPLICATED MESH’ ——->‘DUPLICATED MESH’ ——-> ‘ORIGINAL MESH’

Now, with the meshes selected in the following order:

Go to ‘Derform’‘Blend shape options’‘Edit-reset settings’‘Apply’

Now the blend deformers have been applied to the original mesh.

“APPLYING BLEND SHAPES KILL YOUR RIG?”

No worries

This can be fixed by editing the input of our character: 

With our mesh selected, go to ‘inputs’ – ‘All inputs’ – using the middle mouse button, move our blend deformers under our skin cluster (smooth bind)

inputorder

So as seen above, we want our blend deformers to effect our mesh before our smooth bind is applied.

When Rigging we want:

  • The CONTROL OBJECTS to drive the JOINTS and the JOINTS TO DRIVE THE MESH

We don’t want:

  • ROTATED JOINTS

Rigging for Translating and scaling our characters:

With our root joint applied to our base control as seen below:

base_control

Apply a scale constraint and a parent constraint to the base control.

(under Rigging – Constrain – Parent and Scale)

Final Rig Outcome:

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