View Full Version : Character Rigging

Ashe Tie'skar
01 January 2004, 08:53 PM

I did a post on character rigging in the rigging section of cgtalk, and i haven't gotten many replies. Here is a link over to that post. I am really stuck on rigging and stuff. I would REALLY appericiate anyone who could help me with it. Please hit this link and check it out.

Link (


01 January 2004, 09:36 PM
personally i dont like character studio. I have a personalized rig that I use, and improve upon with each rig I make by fixing the problems i encountered while animating the last one.

as for your elbow problem, that is the thing with IK... you never know which way it will point, so you need to tell it. If you select the IK solver and go to the Motion Tab, you'll see a spinner next to "Swivel Angle" by spinning that around, you should be able to see it's effect immediatley... it will turn to face the direction you want it to. Now you could go and animate that spinner, but its a whole lot easier to make a control object. Snap a control object's center to the elbow bone, translate it straight back, and reset it's transforms. then select your IK again, go to motion and hit the button under 'pick target', right below swivel angle, and select your control object. now when you move your control object up and down, it will control the swivel angle :) Parent that to your wrist IK Control object (assuming you made one) so it moves around with the parent once you start using the IK.

As for your snake, I'd reccommend more bones in it's tail if it's going to be slithering for a more fluid motion.

Ashe Tie'skar
01 January 2004, 06:08 AM

What are the guildlines and things you need to look out for when you are rigging a character for a game?



01 January 2004, 09:15 AM
honestly i don't really have an answer for that. it depends on the game engine and the game and company it's being done for. My skeleton consists of 64 bones, but that is because it has independant index and thumb, with the other 3 fingers together. (fingers eat up a lot of bones...). As with anything else in low poly, the idea is to get by with as little as you possibly can.

01 January 2004, 03:10 PM
DreiGrasheir is right, use as few bones as you possibly can, since it saves memory and speeds up transformation calculations. Most hardware has a limit of being able to assign 4 bones per vertex, so keep within that limit when weighting.

Some rigging tips on UDN...

01 January 2004, 04:32 PM
while it is true that you should use as little as you can get away with, do not forget what a huge impact some bones can give to the character's silhouette. fingers and toes are such an example.

hand gestures and toes displacing weight add a WHOLE lot...

I am very lucky to have a huge limit of nodes per character with the current engine I am working in...ahhh, the magic number that is higher than 200...



and as for bones per really depends on the engine...for higher res characters having 4/per is a must...but usually only applicable throughout the torso/shoulder/pelvic regions...unless you are using other nodes in their for scaling, muscle simulation,etc... ;)

01 January 2004, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by bentllama
and as for bones per really depends on the engine... I thought the 4-bone-limit depended upon how many bones could fit in the hardware cache. You use more, then the bone transforms have to jump to the CPU, which is slower since it has to send the vert data back out to the card. Maybe you're talking about if the engine has a self-imposed limit, like 1-bone-per-vert?

btw, do you know if Valve will be creating a web resource for HL2 specs like Epic is doing with UDN?

01 January 2004, 12:55 AM
I don't know what it depends on, but once upon a time, not too long ago I've worked with an engine which supported 2 bones per vertex. It wasn't fun to rig that woman with the long skirt.

I was thinking about making an 'animating for games' sticky thread would be comprehensive too. It's missing from the list. I'm interested in any tricks or specs related to game animation!

Does videocards support the 4 bones per vertex deformation or what?

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