XM Magdalena 3D print, GGeorgy (3D)
LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : Dog rig - help needed

02-16-2006, 02:01 PM
Hi guys,
First to introduce myself - Marin Petrov - character animator and rigger. The problem is I`m using Lightwave for all my work, but I`m gonna make my short animation /wich i started over an year ago blah..:cry: / using Maya for the animation and rigging. So i`m not noob in rigging,but I`m total noob in Maya . I designed and modelled a dog character. I need a little guidelines for how to rig it. Just a few tips on how do you build your hierarchy for a dog rig. I have some special requirements for my dog, but i`ll coment them later. Now I just wanna know how do you guys rig your dogs If you can link any tips and tricks It would be very helpful. thanks.

02-16-2006, 02:10 PM
Take a look at the FB/IK quadruped skeletons. Just came out with Maya 7.0, so it is pretty new, but I guess thatd be a good start...

02-16-2006, 02:31 PM
Thanks I checked it... but i have to admit it`s a little bit strange for me that i can grab an arm and move the whole body with that handle... Maybe it`s easier , but i`m not used to that kind of things.
What I want for my rig is to have 2 handles - one for the front legs, one for the back legs, and to move them separately. And if it`s possible the spine between them to be stretchy. That`s the things that I want to have in my rig, so when i pose the front legs somewhere, I don`t want the back legs to move. I want them to stay there. I hope i make myself clear..

02-16-2006, 03:59 PM
.. but i have to admit it`s a little bit strange for me that i can grab an arm and move the whole body with that handle...

Yeah, I hear lots of people say that. You can pin/unpin the effectors at the end of your limb, so they stay in place, but I can understand that the whole concept is weird (Alias took that from Filmbox, when they Kaydara, hence the name "FB"IK)

Anyway, when you say you only want the front and back legs to move seperately? Do you need to pose left/right leg as well? I just tried something which might work for a rough start. Youll need IKs for your legs anyway, so when you created those, create a helper object (does matter what, as long as it doesnt render). Use a parent constrain to lock your IKs to the helper. Now when you move the helper both IKs follow and you can move each IK seperately. Nice and easy.

For the spine, Im not quite sure, what you need. If it is a stretching spine (for example if the dog would jump to catch a stick out if the air), then you could use a driven key and a helper as a driver to drive the the spine from a stretch/unstretch position (Just position your spine joints as you like them and use the "key" command of the driven key. Easy as that.

And heres a skeleton of a dog.


I just saw, that the skeleton looks like its standing on the tip of the toes, because of that Id do the FK of the hind legs from the fibula down to the second last bone, so you can control the "toes" seperately. For the front leg, maybe from the scapula down to the humerus?

What do you think?

02-17-2006, 07:34 AM
Oh very nice info. I thought I can share my design and my ideas to be more clear about the rig I want.
http://img123.imageshack.us/img123/3791/dogwires2uy.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

So the things I don`t know are how to make stretchy IK and independant controls for the front and back legs. And yes I want to pose the left/right legs separately too of course.

02-17-2006, 08:49 AM
So the things I don`t know are how to make stretchy IK and independant controls for the front and back legs. And yes I want to pose the left/right legs separately too of course.

Oh, goody, a robot dog. What is that on its main body, a toaster? :)

Anyway, use the idea of creating a helper object with your IKs parented to it, leaving you the possibility to move each IK seperately. Create a driven key to stretch (translate) your tail from the hip and another to stretch your spine from the hip as well by translating your whole shoulder rig forward. Maybe you could use a lattice to deform the main body of the dog and link that with a driven key as well. You would create extra helper objects to control all of the driven key animations.

I think that might work, just give it a try with a rough rig, which you should be able to create in 3-4 hours. Nothing final, just something rough, to see how it works!

Cheerio from germany


02-18-2006, 04:23 AM
hi scroll_lock,

nice character i must say..

i've rigged one quadraped recently (broken hierarchy).. and i'll tell u how i did it.. might help..

for the hind legs, and fore legs, we can create individual IK chains and you can have IK controls for each of ur legs, so u can move them independently...

and u build ur spine individually. and u can get a stretchy/squashy spine setup (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=3186832&postcount=4) real quick.. pls c that page , and u can do this same for ur tail and neck too.. its like u have individual parts which are made to stretch and squash and then u bind each of this parts via parent contraints , to have a connected structure.

if u need any info further, lemme know.. i'll try n help :-)

02-18-2006, 05:04 AM
sory twin posts.. ignore this..

02-19-2006, 11:46 AM
Oh just returned from a trip and i sat on my PC ready to work and saw these replies! Thanks guys!!! That`s one of the things i like in that community - the readiness to help each other. Thanks again. :bowdown: I`ll unpack and start to work :D If i have further questions I`ll post them. And really - do you like the design ? That idea came a year before "Robots" came to life, and when i watched the movie, i was like "Urgh... WTF? :banghead: " Some people say it`s pretty much like the designs there, so i quit working on it. But now i want to make it again. Hope you like it.....really! :)

02-20-2006, 08:33 AM
ashishdantu: Thank you! That`s what I needed . It took me awhile to understand it, I asked some Maya users to help me but finally did it :) Now I`ll try to incorporate it in my char. Thanks all of you again!

02-20-2006, 03:31 PM
hi scroll_lock,

i'm glad that helped !! and ur character is cute man, i like the design...

and if need be, give a shout, i'll try n help....


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