View Full Version : How to rig wings?

01 January 2007, 01:43 PM
Hi, I'm new to motionbuilder. For human characters, it is very easy because everything is automatic if naming is right.

But I am not sure how easy it is to rig "strange characters" in motionbuilder. I actually need to animate something with 4 legs and two wings. I thought it should be as easy as just rigging 4 legs, but I can't figure it out how to rig my wings....

I know there is something called "character extension", and I tried to do that as said in the documentation. I can keyframe the wings now but I don't have IK/FK/control rig??

How can I move my wings easily?

Any tutorials or docs that explain more about "character extension" or rigging wings?


01 January 2007, 12:43 AM
u cant create FK_IK controls on wings as controlrig has
u can just rig them as u usualy rig in your 3d app ,exept dynamics
preaty much the same thing only different button names=)
u can use relations constrain and make some damping effect on joints rotation
but i had problems(joint poping ) doing cycles with this type of rigs ?but if u dont need cycles it might be usfull to you

but i thing it is better to use only FK on the wings ,put them in "character extension" to be able make and mirror poses , and that is all =)more control more power

01 January 2007, 12:58 PM
But I can't seem to move the joints in my wings freely.
How can I rig FK into my wings in MB? any tutorials?


01 January 2007, 06:25 PM
u have to disable "Skeleton Lock Trs" in the Show drop down menu in Characters Control window

01 January 2007, 05:45 AM
Skeleton Lock, OH yes. Thank YOU.

Now only missing some FKs in the wings.
Does anyone know how to create FK manually? for my wings
I want to "just animate" it but I need some FK in my wings.


01 January 2007, 02:58 PM
do you mean some FK Visual Controls instead selecting skeleton joints ?

u need to use constrains...for example parent constran joints to locators
and use locators to animate them

01 January 2007, 02:13 PM
Because now I can move individual joint node of the wing (and which moves independently from any other joint), so it appears so ugly and look weir. Do you know what I mean? They are just like independent nodes, not a skeleton.

I need something like IK handle in Maya to pose my wing.

How to do that in MB?

01 January 2007, 09:47 AM
animating Wings with IK its not a good idea

dont know why your joitns are moving independently
if they are in hierarhy and you rotate a root joint all joints above that root must rotate with it
so you can animate the root joints and then do a falloff by animating the rest of the jonts

by the why
to do the IK in MB
you have to use "Chain IK " constraint " in the constrants list of Asset browser

but you can allway go to the and download Free motionbuilder video tutorials
it will help you Alot

01 January 2007, 11:30 AM
well, I probably used a wrong word, not exactly independently.

they are in hierarhy, when I move a joint in the middle of a wing, all the joints under (joints alone the end of the wing) will move and roatate together, but the "upper ones" won't.

For example, if I move the "middle joint" close to the root or the body, the wing will deformed and become shorter. and the ones above don't move at all.

01 January 2007, 11:50 AM
i think its your skeleton construction problem

your skeleton without control rig moves ok with the wings?

01 January 2007, 02:14 PM
the wings move like the same with/without control rig.
I think when a skeleton without control rig, it moves exactly like what I described, not just the skeleton I am using.

01 January 2007, 04:33 PM
can u post some sreenshots
it might help

01 January 2007, 09:58 AM
Hi, here are the screen shots.

The problem is I don't want the bone in the red circle to be shorter/longer when moving the joint, because that makes the wings unrealistic. I really hope someone help me on this...

Here is the wing

After moving a joint

01 January 2007, 06:38 PM
man... =)
you shouldn't translate joints
you have to rotate them when they are FK or simple skeleton

if you want to trs joints you need to create IK on them
but i prefer FK on wings

01 January 2007, 07:46 AM
Apply a character extension on the wing joint closest to the body.

Now provided that all your joints have their rotations zeroed out at default pose, the next step will be easy:
If for example you have the following joints in your wing - Shoulder (closest to wing and with character extension), WingJoint1, WingJoint2 use a relations/expression constraint to do this-
WingJoint1.Rotation = WingJoint2.Rotation
WingJoint2.Rotation = Shoulder.Rotation
(look at the 3d buzz hand rig tutorials to understand this if you need to)

You can then rotate the handle on the shoulder joint to beat your wings. This is a very simple setup and won't give you realistic wing cycle poses. But that's the principle.

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