View Full Version : How to find the propper joint placement? (Maya)

05 May 2006, 09:08 AM
For the moment, I place a few joints, smooth bind them to the the geometry, delete the history, move joints, bind again, see what is going on, delete history again.
Of course if I need a lot of joints, I export the skin weights.
Still, I have to do all that coming back and forth when placing the joints.
Does anybody knows any trick to place the joints propperly without much hassle? I have to rig a fat character, and I have a lot of trouble figuring out where to start.

05 May 2006, 07:24 PM
Yea, joint placement can be a bugger for sure and it just so happens I'm rigging a really fat kid myself. Here is a few tips that could help you out:

For getting at the center of an apendage(arm, leg or finger) if you select a ring of of edges, convert that selection to verts and then make a cluster, you will get the average of that selection and the appox center to place a joint. Once you have the joint at the position, delete the history of the mesh.

No as far as skinning and moving joints after you've skinned it, really the best thing to use is Michael Comets resetSkinJoints ( plugin. It's a must for any rigger. Simply load the plugin, move the joint, and type "resetSkinJoint" with joint selected and the geometry will reset back to the original bindPose.


05 May 2006, 12:08 PM
Thanks for the script and for the advice. Placing the joints in the middle of the limb is not really an issue. Placing them in a manner will deform the character as needed, is, because happens from time to time that placing it in the middle isn't really the best solution.
Finding the best position for the joints is hard for me because of two reasons:
1. you can test out if is what needed only after the skinning is done
2. Some problems may be because of the skinning

In the end I don't really know the question anymore. I think I should have asked how to find out if something is wrong because of the skinning or because of the joint placement...

05 May 2006, 04:28 PM
Well, there are so many factors as to joint placement,skinning and the design of the character. Once you have done a lot of characters it does get easier and you just know where to put stuff. Good luck.

05 May 2006, 12:07 AM
As you are doing, test them out. Once you get more experience, joint placement will become easier and require much less testing. You'll just know where they should be for a desired effect. But till then you'll have to do it the hard way and gain that experience.

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05 May 2006, 12:07 AM
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