View Full Version : Character: Nix - Here i start -

11 November 2004, 03:51 PM
Hi. There's something strange to me today..
I want to animate somethin' funny, a little guy that walk on streets and sing and run and jump and on and on..
I've already try to play with free rig stuff like PackageMan and Generi.. I've also run into preriggin' solution.. But i feel like i'm dead.. like i waste my time becouse i can't sell my character to no one.. I want to say: this character is mine.

I like this NIX character to start and after rebuilding a little, i want to riggin' it.
Yes the model is not mine.. but it inspired me to start.

There's many things that i don't know that make me crazy. Where to begin???!
The first thing that i don't know is:
if is safe to mantain the character with separate meshes (?)
If so, do i need a separate skeletons for the body (?)

Anyway i suppose to start while i'm waiting for suggestions..
Ok. All bones are oriented (with the jsOrientBones) - I use a familiar skeleton (one root).
The character is grouped in a matter way (?) to avoid double tranformation.
I'm ready to bind.. smooth skin (!)

I feel like i'm lost (alone) :sad:

Please help me to go in the right direction.


11 November 2004, 10:43 AM

I've learned about joint orientation and i'm in love with the jsOrientJoint script.
I rebuild my skeleton twice 'cos my ik handle (white arrow) pointing in the wrong way so my legs and arms behave in an horrible way..
Well i run into ik handle tool and i discovered some options that make double crazy.
First this Ik Handle Attributes "Stikness".
The Ik Solver Attributes with the Ik Fk Control..
(why most of the tutorials on the ik fk switch talk about double skeleton and constrain when here you can do swith with a click?)
I now be able to tilt my leg and arm around a locator (pole vector).
Just a few mistakes: I've smooth skin the whole geometries (group) so i've skinned the eyes too. That's was very critical becouse after skinning i've lost the ability to control the eyes (visor aim constrain) whitout problems (my eyes jump off the head!) -
I think i'm in the middle of riggin..

Many mistakes helps me to learn.. But if you've got 2 cents plese let's go shopping with me!

11 November 2004, 03:40 PM
Hey thanks for sharing your story. You are not alone on this matter. I'm also learning rigging in Maya lately and it's sometimes frustrating and takes a lot of work, especially smooth binding. But I see that my understanding of rigging has improved a lot thanks to patience, reading lots of tutorials, browsing on the forums and asking my 3d teacher.

Before yesterday, I didn't even know how to setup a reverse foot and a lot of other handy things. Thanks to some rigging dvd's of Alias, especially Fast Animation Rigs and Character Setup and Rigging, I learned about the rigging techniques of some of the best in the industry. I'd certainly recommend these dvd's. And I also learned a lot from Rigging 101, great stuff guys!

Yep, indeed, when I bind the skin I only bind the geometry of the body, NOT the eyes, teeth and so on. Those I use point and orient constraints to move along with the COG control.

I still need to learn about joint orientation, I understand this is very important, but still need to understand the whole topic.

My 3d teacher (which is a pro in the cgi industry) told me:
- when binding select only the joints other than the end joints. This way you get better skinning when you press the button the first time, as the end joints don't really have a function for deformation. What I do is I first collapse the whole skeleton hierachy in the Outliner, and deselect those end joints. When naming joints I always name those end joints MyJointBlabla_End so they are easy to spot. And also use the script editor to record/shelf those selections so you don't have to do it over and over again.

- when smooth binding set max influences to 1 and do it on selected joints. Later on you can increase the max influence.


I'm still struggeling alot with smooth binding, trying to understand when to use hold weights and when not. Also experimenting with the component editor to set weights.

Good luck with your learning! :D

11 November 2004, 08:12 PM
well.. my story goes on.
I've just restart building my skeletons.. many things to say.
I've now got the ability to handle the eyes as an add on the skin.
I've no more double transformation and at this stage i can quikly pose my character.
In fact after posing it and exagerate some arm and leg position i can see that my skin weight need to be revisited. The fact is now my skeleton has no fingers and mouth.
I need a bit of time to do that before ask any other question.

But into my head there's this option in the ik handle attribute:

Handle Attributes "Stikness";
Ik Solver Attributes with the Ik Fk Control;

and what's difference between iKrpsolver and iKscsolver?
do i need to learn the reverse foot lock? When i push down my character with the cog the foot are constrained to the floor maybe becouse of the pole vectors in the leg il handles.....
Well that's too much for 3 days of deep exploration into the rig-art.
Thanks for your patience.


11 November 2004, 11:52 AM
- Hey look here.. something cool today. After a night whitout tweaking my char. i feel fresh and new. Here's some shoot of my workflow and some nice render (as usual) to catch your attention. I've update my skeleton adding the fingers and 3 extra bones with the split joint (bonustool) to control the shoulders. When i want to see if my skel. works i bind smotth to my gemoetries with the helps of CoolDuck. My skin oprions are: Max Influences = 1 / Dropoff Rate = 4 -With these setting i see that the bone infect only the mesh around without to influence adjacent geometry. So with the skinning tools i have to smooth my weight to avoid harness into deformations..

(In the moment i've read twice that i'm gonna publish i'm ask at myself: why nobody helps me? Maybe becouse my english sucks! That's right.. i-know)

I'm into bath reading papers printed from riggin101 about the reverse foot lock. I think now.. ok my foots are on the floor when i move down my character but yes it's cool.. if i want some wakcycle is better to add this amazing stuff to spped up things.

Please let me know if u notice something strange with the images down there..

Don't leave me alone!!! I want to start animating this dummy as soon as possible (jack Nicholson laughs....)


I've been add a cinepack avi link about 15Mb - If you notice where i'm wrong with my stuff gime me a call :) -

11 November 2004, 03:51 PM
Maybe i have to ask something easy: The ikhandles set-up must be done first or before bound the skin? Becouse i've noticed some small translation after apply some constrain to the ikArm_left (for example) so my arm and finger no longer fit in the geometry!
I want to replay by myself (yes dude.. before bind skin)... so now you can simply add down here (yes or no).

I've spent the past 3 hours reading this thread

I've also build a spine using the ikSplineHandleTool. Since now my bind is detached, when i turn on Enable Twist Control an heavy movement of the spine happend :(
Every time i do something new.. i face new problems (interesting to have this as signature) -


11 November 2004, 04:48 PM
Remember that you can use Modify|Evaluate Nodes|IK Solvers to turn IK on and off globally. That may be all you need.

11 November 2004, 06:23 PM
Cool stuff, nice updates!

Yep, I think it is better to first fully finish the rig (ik, controls etc) and afterwards bind the skin. This is also what my maya teacher told me.
If only we could speed up the process of smooth binding. :shrug:
How did you animate his face? With blendshapes or an other technique? I have done it before with blendshapes with a seperate head. I forgot whether I needed to do the blendshapes first or bind skin first.

Keep up the good work!

11 November 2004, 08:47 PM
Cool stuff, nice updates!

Yep, I think it is better to first fully finish the rig (ik, controls etc) and afterwards bind the skin. This is also what my maya teacher told me.
If only we could speed up the process of smooth binding. :shrug:
How did you animate his face? With blendshapes or an other technique? I have done it before with blendshapes with a seperate head. I forgot whether I needed to do the blendshapes first or bind skin first.

Keep up the good work! My 0.02 with this concept is that I have been doing the smooth bind before any controls and IK is put in. I test all the deformations with rotating the joints and use the goto bind pose button to zero it all out. I found that the other way, sometimes my controls will move the skin slightly which makes it hard to add stuff later as influnces and such. This is just one mans work flow and not to be taken as the only way.

11 November 2004, 10:41 PM
Hehehehe. Elvis75k your not alone those are common mistakes everyone goes thru at the begging of theyr rigging carrier. Expecially if your goign to thrive to be a character td, you will have manny nights of :banghead: its part of the job. I wear a football helmet when I work and my monitor looks like its been thru hell and back. Looking at the pictures of th rig I cant really say anything I will have to touch it and play with it. As for the skiining going thru each other. It could be a couple of things just off the top of my head I would check the influance of the cv's in question to the joint. Meaning the shirt and the arm has to have the same exact influance form the same joint. If you will like you can post your final working progress and I can take a look at it and send it back to you. And I will right down what I did and why. If you dot have web space email it to me: or catch me on the msn messenger if you want to disscus a prob or send me something. I'm always on line so feel free.

Good Luck :bounce:

11 November 2004, 11:03 AM
That's right CoolDuck! This is what i've doing this week-end. I found by myself what NolanSW post here.. I understand that if your binding is 80% good you can go on and add ikhandles and constrains.. It's a miracle that now i know why i need and ik-fk arm and a reverse foot lock!! And i'm lucky becouse i don't need no more to follow a step-by-step tutorial to do that. It's a bit easy to do now! Thanks to you and to the riggin101 resources.I've also explored the PackageMan.. What a wonderfull rig! But the expression

@ WFinlay: That's very helpfull but i've not understood the task!

It's time for cluster (C) and blendshape!
I'm ok with blendshapes till now.. But i really don't know how to handle clusters. Where they must to be parented?! I really hate to leave cluster in their original position, but if i parent clusters with my character some kind of double transformation appear.

I've done a quick animation for fun and i'm quite happy with my rig.. Unfortunately I've lost my pen-drive so i can't post my progress today. It's very good to learn rigging - maybe the most exiting experience into 3d.

@ nottoshabi: i don't want to be a character td.. there's no chance to find this kind of work where i live. Maybe in another country ;) Anyway, I've passed last three nights to work!!! I've no msn account yet. I think i need one soon! Thank-you

Here i am (now) -7Mb-:

ps.. i'm using the David-Walden's skinningTools and i'm happy with it but with the component editor i only get headhaches.

pps.. I hope to finish my rig next monday! Your answers are vital for me and every hint will be very welcomed!

-elvis (30% english) :)

11 November 2004, 04:22 PM
Some nice stuff u got there in your video. :)

Don't want to leave your cluster in the original position? Why not move it away and set the pivot of it at the original location. I would first snap a temp locator or something @ the cluster, so I can see where it was when I move away the (C).

11 November 2004, 01:52 PM
Hey, CooldDuck i'm (c)onfused with this extra deformation.
I've done a quick SDK drive-my-cluster-test but it failed.
My steps are: slecting my verts at the edge of the shirt (where the shirt meet the shoulder) and deform this with a (C) or a lattice....
Now i create a locator and i parent the cluster to this one. I've set an extra attribute (value -10 to 10 + default=0) called make_my_deformation_better, into locator and sdk this to drive my cluster position and scale.. Now when i move my arm or spine .. the cluster stay freeze in his local space and don't follow the verts. If now i tweak my make_my_deformation_better a blue screen with exeption memory error pops-up! But seriously.. Can u explain better or guide me to a good on-line tutorial?

And of course, i take a deep breath with a new movie.. (

Let me kmow what you think..

ps: I finally being able to use the DavidWalden's skinningTools (Component Editor)

-- EDITED -- Ok i'm fine with clusters - i found the how to just searching here (parent to a locator and then parent the locator to the hierarchy)--
Now something new to ask.. Why i need to do an ikfk switch in maya 6 when i have already a IkBlend?? Too much rigging.. i'm getting confused!

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