View Full Version : Character Rigging Tutorial Hell

02 February 2005, 08:58 AM

I'm currently trying to do the character rigging tutorial from the Learning Maya 5 Foundation book. I've got to the point in chapter 17 where it says:

"Select the pelvis joint using its selection handle and lower it until Primitive Man's knees are slightly bent"

Problem is when I select the pelvis joint and move it down the legs stay straight, and the whole character just moves down.

I have searched all over the web, fine toothed combed my way through the tutorial again, watched the chapter overview movies, compared the books scene file with my file; but I still can't work it out! Really stressed out over this, any pointers suggestions really appreciated.

02 February 2005, 10:06 AM
Sounds like you haven't set up the IK on the legs yet. Do that, and then the leg shall bend!

02 February 2005, 10:27 AM
Thanks for the reply, I have setup the IK on the legs, I can select the IK handle for the ankle and move it to bend the knees. I'm new to all this, but I thought maybe there was a problem with my hierachy or something?

02 February 2005, 11:18 AM
Hmm, possibly you have your IK handle parented under one of your joints in the joint heirarchy, like the pelvis perhaps? If so, those transforms are passed onto the IK handle and cause it to move as well. make sure it's outside of your joint heirarchy.

02 February 2005, 11:21 AM
either that, or the ik handles werent set to sticky.

02 February 2005, 02:16 PM
*the earlier message was posted far too early in the morning before I'd had my coffee*

02 February 2005, 05:58 PM
Thanks again but I don't think any of your suggestions are the sollution, I've put an image of my hypergraph here ( aswell as a link to the project file (I don't think I know enough about maya to articulate what I think the problem is!). I hope one of you can spare some time to take a look, and let me know where I'm going wrong!. Thanks in advance.


02 February 2005, 06:16 PM
This is just a suggestion but give this hierarchy a shot

...|_ master

To basically simplify the approach...take all your ikHandles and throw them into a group called ikHandles...let me know how that works for you (leave this group unparented from the entire joint hierarchy).

02 February 2005, 06:49 PM
I have IK Handles for both legs and arms, setup as the tutorial told me, for what it's worth the IK handles I have created are all outside the joint hierarchy. I have grouped them as you suggested, but it has made no difference to the way the pelvis controls the legs(although it has made it easier to see whats going on in the hypergraph view).

Sorry to be an idiot, but I know very little about character rigging, I guess this is why I'm trying the tutorial. I kind of get the diagram of the hierachy. I think this is a later step in the tutorial, where the pelvis joint gets grouped, but further explanation would be appreciated. once again thanks for the response!

02 February 2005, 08:11 PM
your pelvis joint works fine in Maya 6.01. If you are using Maya 5, I beleive it has an option called "enable sticky" or something like that (probably in the skeleton menu, but I forget). Turn that on/off and see if it works now. Sorry I don't have 5 anymore or I'd give better instructions.

The Control above the joint has some weird expressions on the translates, so if you were trying to move the joint by selecting its control parent, you'd need to remove those expressions on it.

Hope that helps :)

02 February 2005, 10:42 PM
Thanks everybody for your help, enable sticky was the one! get in! I would never have spotted it on my own. on to the next part of the tutorial, I will post the results of my efforts and your help soon.

nice one!

woo hoo!

02 February 2005, 10:30 PM
make sure you keep an eye on that sticky IK command. It seems like they change it with every version of Maya. In some versions it is defaulted on in others it is defaulted off.

03 March 2005, 07:50 PM
Sorry that I saw this so late. I had that exact same problem last year. I wasted 3 days ripping apart my rig and putting it back together only to get the same result. It was a single checkbox that needed to be on. Frustrating to be sure.

03 March 2005, 08:20 PM
Thanks again everyone, here is the toils of my labour so far!

just hope I can pick up some work animating robots walking, pretty poor first attempt!

A couple of questions:

The tutorial uses an expresion to keep the pelvis between the feet, this caused problems when animating the legs on the y axis through the walk cycle(when I lifted a leg off the ground too high the pelvis moved up aswell), is this (using expresions) a recomended way to set up a rig?

Also, the next part of the tutorial uses the trax editor to loop the animation, it seems pretty flaky (brief first impressions) is the trax editor an industry standard tool when creating complex maya animation, or are there better methods of looping and editing animations?

03 March 2005, 08:56 PM
The tutorial uses an expresion to keep the pelvis between the feet, this caused problems when animating the legs on the y axis through the walk cycle(when I lifted a leg off the ground too high the pelvis moved up aswell), is this (using expresions) a recomended way to set up a rig?

The raising of the pelvis is probably due to the expression, I think its better to just create a cv curve control for the pelvis, orient and point constrain it to the pelvis. That way you can raise your leg without having the pelvs move if you wish, and then use the pelvis control in other animation like a walk cycle.

03 March 2005, 06:29 AM
Another suggestion is that you can keep sticky off but use an icon for the pole vector of the IK so you can rotate the knee by translating the icon. As soon as you add the Pole Vector is fixes the "stickyness" automatically.

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