View Full Version : Darksuit Huntress Torso Maya 8.0

12 December 2006, 06:31 AM
This will be the Maya Thread. I may also use this to work on my Lightwave and XSI rigging.

12 December 2006, 10:10 AM
With some interuptions, and just playing around with it, I have my first pass of bones setup. I reserve the right to blow it all away and redo it on a whim.

For this I set bones for the entire body, but will only be focusing on cleaning up the smooth binding and controls for the torso. I am using this to relax a bit now that teaching is done for the fall, and before I have to start preping for the spring. I may out doubtly just rig the whole thing this week from head to toe. take notes and post them later. With tweaks.

Steps so far. I seperated the armor out and renamed some of the materials.
I am playing a bit around with my traditional joint placement, and trying out some ideas in my head with some additional joints. I might take them out later. At the moment I have 3 spines. 1 for the Bind, 1 for IK, and 1 for FK. So that the spine and arms will be able to IK-FK Blend.

Joints on the side are currently in my vision to help hold wieght and armor Deformations for the underarm, Ribcage and Waist. I have done it with less, but this is a challenge and an excuse to do something different. So I am. =)

Generally for Work flow, I am creating the joints is a orthographic view then moving the root of the chain to a particular position then using the scale and rotate to achive the right spot. So as to keep my rotations as clean as possible.

Naming for the joints. I am using L_ = Left and R_ = Right
For IK chains the joints have the suffix of _IK and FK chains have the _FK suffix

The current verision of the rig is using a single elbow with a forearm Rotation, and a double knee. Again I am using this to experiment. I had thought about using a double elbow but, truthfully, I didn't feel like doing it at the moment. For those who are curious. A double Knee or Double elbow, as I have seen, and used myself before. Helps to reduce the amount of popping that occurs when animating. Everyone will have their own special way of doing things. =) thats just the nature of the beast.

The next step will be to do an initial smooth binding test or 4, modify what I need to. At the moment, my vision for the helmet armor is to constrain it to the head, so that it can be removed and set down and picked up when needed. I might even go as far to do a multiple constraint on the helmet so that I can also bind it to one or both hands.

12 December 2006, 08:25 PM
Spent some time this morning, I made the Spine FK/IK switching, As soon as my webserver starts responding again I will be uploading some screen shots of the working blend, along with a shot of my hypergraph.

The spine is setup with both FK controls and IK controls, using the IK Spline handle for the Spine.

For my blends I am using the Blend color node in the hypershader to take advantage of Maya's Node system. This method I have found to be cleaner than using constraints. Using the nodes also has the advantage of using less resources and speeds up the rig, versus using an expression to achive the same result.

I also created a Global Controller to Anchor the FK/IK blending Attribute to.

The FK Controls are also now on their own layer, as are the IK controls. This will allow for an animator who like one type over the other to simply turn off the controls completely if they would like to.

Screen Shots will go here within the next couple of hours. I should also have more done at that point as well.

12 December 2006, 04:24 AM
Web server is back up...

Here are some screen grabs. Didn't get a chance to work on anything durring the day.

But here is the mornings work.

Without Mesh (Mesh is on a seperate layer)

Red is the FK, Blue is IK and the Purple/Pink is the Bind

With Mesh.

12 December 2006, 07:51 AM
So for the past couple Hours, I put in the FK and IK controls for the Arms, Put in IK for the legs. Most of this is so that I can acturately test the torso more completely. I also added IK Splines for the Front and Back Cloth. FK Head and Neck Ctrls also added. At this point I have only done a smooth Bind and not touched up the weights at all. Global Controller also added.

I do understand that this challenge is just for the torso, and that a lot of what I am currently doing is overkill for testing purposes. However, I am using this to relax and get my creative side going fo the eon challange which I need to get back into doing.

12 December 2006, 09:49 AM
Watched did some stuff, and I couldn't get to sleep so I came back and Finished up the FK IK Blending on the Arms.


IK Pose

FK Pose

I was going to show a nice inbetween shot of the smooth switch. However I really need to learn to not do screen grabs after 1 am in the morning.

12 December 2006, 09:22 PM
Removed a couple of the side joints. Too many errands to get anything real done yesterday or today (at least in the morning.)

I am going to Try and get around to cleaning up the weights a bit. Then I will post a video via you tube or some other manner. To show the spine in action.. FK/IK Blend on the torso.

12 December 2006, 09:34 PM
cool stuff, it woulb be cool if you made a on/off for cloth sim/animate for the cloth areas, or maybe even a blend between. nice work so far.

12 December 2006, 11:41 PM
Cloth is the last part of this. I have preped for it already though. There are Controls in place for the IK Spline. If I wanted to go all out. I would set up the IK and the FK plus CLoth Controls. But I will work on that in a month or two =)

I am using this again as a warm up to get back into the mode for doing the Eon Challenge which I have been sorely negeclting due to Time constraints.

12 December 2006, 04:34 AM
:surprised Wow. Some hypergraph you have there for the IK FK blending. Thats an interesting idea, using color blend to change between two inputs. I have a question here: How noticeable is the difference between a constrained IKFK System and a colorblend system? Bear in mind that I am using the reverse node to link animation control to the contraint weights....

12 December 2006, 05:25 AM
I have found that the Color blend node gives me a lot more refined control and is a little cleaner to deal with.

So the way this works is that the color blend node has 3 channels on it. R G B, these are for all intents and purposes strings value holders. So one of the things this does for me is give me more refined control then a constraint setup.

The effect is the same you have two joints and you are blending the values between the two. If I do a constraint on the two points, I get the W0 values that I need to blend between them, which a can do any number of ways.

By using the color blend node, I can feed the rotate, translate or any attribute into the node, then use the output of the node to drive the rotation of the bind rig. On top of that if I wanted to get even more creative, I can use a Condition node to turn the whole thing on or off if I wanted to. I create a new attribute to my Global Controler (or as some people call it a G-tran, which is short for Global Translator) to control the blend attribute for the blend color nodes.

For those wondering what I am talking about. In the Hypergraph, you can add anything that you can select in maya to the workspace (under Graph>Add Selected to Graph) then you can also apply any node to to anything else.

You can achive some really intresting effects by really pushing the bounderies of the hypergraph.

Hope that makes sense and helps inspire some one...

One additional note that I forgot to but in. On a reverse node it places a default value of 1 in the reversed output. You can simulte the revese node with out the annoying 1 value by using a multiply/divide node then setting your value input 2 values to -1 for X Y and Z.

12 December 2006, 03:41 PM
wow! nice rig.

hey, could you please share with me, how did you create IK/FK blend in arms?

I want to know that, can't see your hypergraph clearly...

please help me, I know I suck at making IK/FK blending rigs.. :(

12 December 2006, 06:36 PM
Its actually fairly easy... and I have an FK/IK blend arm blend sample for people to down load and inspect I zipped the file here (

All it is doing is using the rotations of the IK and FK joints to drive the position of the Bind Joints. It does this by running the IK and FK joint rotations into a Color Blend node, then out from the blend node and into the bind joint. I do this for each of the joint that is being driven.

So I don't for instance have to create IK or FK joints for the hands or fingers.

12 December 2006, 04:48 AM
Hey, thanks a lot buddy!
I liked your idea of using color blend!

01 January 2007, 01:52 AM
Whoa that is a very neat IK/FK setup you have there. I also like the controls you have placed in for the cloth already. Great work so far bud.


- Stu

01 January 2007, 07:04 AM

i would like to know... about the extra joint you used in rib cage area....
.. once i used them.. for breath ctrl... but give them up.. for blendshape.. for breath...

it seem to me that they can do a nice vol. preservation.. when character bends... can you post your skin weights map..image.. at rib cage area.. and what do u say about this...


01 January 2007, 08:22 AM
Sorry for not getitng back to ya sunny,

Been a little busy around the house. I did however remove the extra joint around the rib cage. I need to take some screen shots and up load them as well. Also need to make a quick video and up load it showing off the deformations, and FK IK blending.

The FK IK Blending is quite simple for this I have three rigs setup, one for IK movements and Controls, one for FK movements and Controls, and the Bind Rig.

I can then Use the color blend node. On any given joint I can run the IK joint to the color 1 of the Color blend node then the FK joint to the color 2. I then have a attribute on the Global Controler setup to control the blender attribute of the color blend node.

At the moment I have 3 FK/IK Blends set up. Arms, Legs and Spine. I will post an update with some weighting tomorrow.

=) All the entries look intresting.

01 January 2007, 03:01 AM
This i looking very promising...looks like it would be fun to animate!

02 February 2007, 11:22 AM
hey Darksuit, cool idea with the blendColors node...

i dwnld the example zip file for IK/FK arm blend. What i cudnt understand is the arm didnt bend at the elbow in IK mode...instead the joints scale down when the IkHandle is pushed back.
Probably thats the effect u r trying to achieve ....plz dont mind me asking this cuz i am rather new to rigging...wud like to hear from u. I guess the arm shud be stretching once its completely straightend otherwise it always bends at the elbow when the IkHandle is pushed back.

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