View Full Version : spine and arm controls

05 May 2006, 10:11 PM
Hello all...

Hoping someone could give some hints on spine and arm controls.. i'm an animator who has a basic understanding of rigging, but the finite details still twist my mind at times.

here is my status #1:
I have a spine, i want to add nurbs circles for easy selection. It has been mentioned that i parent the nurb to the spine, so it is essentially like selecting the joint. my problem lies where i want to select 3 contols in hierarchy for a nice spline effect when i rotate, but it won't rotate them all. I've also had suggested to orient constrain but this seems to move my joints and rotate them strangly. Anyone have any tuitorials that might enlighten me?

#2: I have 90% of my IK arm set up with wrist control and elbow control. I would like to use maya's built in IK/FK switch. I know how to turn it off and on, but i am having trouble constraining the wrist control properly so that when i turn off the ik it will follow the joint during fk animation. Would i set up driven keys for this?

wow, sorry for so much to read, thanks for the help anyone can offer.... cheers.

05 May 2006, 12:10 AM
Okay I am far from a pro but I'll do my best to try and help out...

#1: I don't really understand why all of your spine won't rotate... when you orient constrain them, you are selecting the NURBS curve and then the joint, right? If you do it the other way around, it'll come out all wrong. If your joints are rotating upon putting the Orient Constrain on them, then maybe go into the Orient Constrain options and turn on "Maintain Offset." I made a pic of what my simple 2 second FK spine looks like:

#2: I personally don't like to use Maya's IK blend attribute at all, I do the other way of setting up the IK/FK switch... easy to understand tutorial can be found here:

Go to Free Stuff then scroll down to find the IK/FK switch tutorial.

Hope I was of some help!

05 May 2006, 02:25 AM
"It has been mentioned that i parent the nurb to the spine, so it is essentially like selecting the joint."

Actually, it is the shape node you parent:

parent -add -shape spine2_nurbShape(or whatever your control is called) spine2; then you delete the spine2_nurb.

Just remember, the shape that you are parenting should have the same transforms as the object you are parenting to. If you don't, the shape will shoot off and you will need to hunt it down and component move it or redo the operation.

05 May 2006, 04:50 PM
thanks for the helpful hints for my spine controls..

i attempted both with more questions to follow :D

for the parenting method i noticed my translates are not the same for the nurbs control and the joint. I did a freeze transformations on my rig and controls, but they still don't match up. also... GRANT: parent -add -shape spine2_nurbShape(or whatever your control is called) spine2; then you delete the spine2_nurb.
this sequence is confusing, what does the dashes mean? could you clarify, thanks!

for the orient constraint method i did what ANDY mentioned, but the controls do not follow the rig. is there another step to complete following the orient constraint?

Thanks again for the assistance in understanding this process.


05 May 2006, 06:26 AM
With the orient constraint method that I have in that picture example, I would just have to point constrain joint1 to the nurbs circle on the bottom for the controls to follow the rig.

That way I can just click that bottom nurbs circle which has every other nurbs circle under it as its child, and i can translate the whole rig wherever i want it to be.

As for the dashes in that MEL code, I'm not sure what the dashes "mean" per say... more that it is probably just the correct syntax for the desired operation... but don't listen to me too much because I know almost no MEL at all (but I want to learn it!)

Sorry I did not respond to this again sooner.

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05 May 2006, 06:26 AM
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