View Full Version : Mirroring Joints (with Maya)

12 December 2002, 08:51 PM
Hi guys !

I' ve done a complete setup of the left side of my character's skeleton, but It seems I'm not smart enougth to mirror it :(
The problem is that I've point constraint a locator with the armIKHandle and than I've added some attribute to control all the forearm and hand movements... now if I use the join mirror option I lose all my settings, so I need to know if there is a tecnique to mirroring without losing all the set-up...
I try also with a very simple "group and scale -1", but it, obviusly, dosen't work.

Thanks a lot

12 December 2002, 09:22 AM
you might try this:

selecting what you want to mirror

group it

choose "export selection" and export the objects and group node to a new scene

do the actual mirror in the new scene, by selecting the group node and scaling -1 in the appropriate axis

then import it back in and re parent it into the skelaton

hope that helps...


12 December 2002, 08:38 AM
hi guys.

i had this problem too.
if you mirror a hand or something like you said, you get the driven keys hand setup on the other side correctly. but you get a funny behavior with all your ik setup. this is because the negative scaling. if you make some grouping and negative scaling on some part of the ik stuff and locators you can fix the problem.

i figured out how to do this. then i began to animate and my setup completely mess up!


do this (this process worked for me):
model the character
create the skeleton (you can mirror the joints)
adjust the local rotation axis on all of the joints
create the skinning (you can mirror the skin weights) with influence objects or/and blend shapes
create the char setup without mirroring anything
you're done!

i thinked that it will take two days to recreate the hand setup but i did it in one hour!
i gave the same attributes on the other hand as in the first. i made the setup on one side completely, and then i mirrored the joints in the completed side to the uncomleted as a reference. it was easy!!!! you can also create a shelf button for mirroring the joints and add them to a layer that has custom color. oooh .. and another for deleting the mirrored parts!!!

have fun and sorry for my english :)

12 December 2002, 02:28 PM
yep. I've found myself that you cant really just mirror the setup you've exported. just doesn't do the same thing somewhere along the line. :-/
the mirror joints/bind/create char controls method is about the only way to do it. tedious yes, but you'll know it works fine then! any set driven key stuff you do you can always save a bit of time on by copying the curve from a previous node. (ie: lhandik to rhandik, etc...)

maya, bloody useless.

12 December 2002, 07:11 PM
hmm....thats weird, i sucessfuly mirrored the legs and arms of a rig i did a few weeks ago, and i had no problems with the IK of set driven key controls.....maybe ill go back and look at my method again, perhaps i left some small detail out......

after exporting, do you mirror the group node? or the actual bones? you should mirror the group node.

if mirroring the group node, is its pivot point at the origin? this is important.

also, after mirroring, are you parenting the joint back into the skelaton? or the group node? it is important to parent the mirrored parts' group node to the skelaton, not the bone.

i hope this helps, lemme know if you have any more problems


12 December 2002, 07:24 PM
sorry for the big image!

here is a picture of my hypergraph and channel box for the mirrored arm i did. you can see that the RIGHT_ARM_GROUP is parented to the collar bone. and in the channel box, you can see that the group node has been mirrored along the Z axis

hope that helped,


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