View Full Version : small script for adding bind joints

04 April 2003, 06:48 PM
Hi guys,

Iīve just finished a small script which creates some extra joints at the selected joint, then it links them to it and rebuilds the rotation in Y with a smooth interpolation from the start to the end joint. You can use it for binding the upper/lower arm or the lower leg.

Itīs very usefull for good shoulder deformations without using heavy modelled blendshapes or weight painting.

Just give it a try.

C&C is welcome!!!

here is the script:

// build new joints script (c) Paul Dreisen 2003
// mailto:
// Version 0.2
/* This scripts builds new joints from the selected joint to its first child.

I use this script for character setup (upper arm, lower arm, upper leg...).

how to: First, drag the whole script to your shelf and press the new button, if everything is right... you should see a new window :-)
Now select the joint, type the new name in the empty textfield of the window.
Choose the number of joints
Now press the "GO" button and see what happens ;-)

LIMITATIONS: you cannot choose the the orientation axis (the default is: YXZ), should be added in the next version

History: V0.1: first version
V0.2: fixed the number of joints problem, added an extraAttribute (inRotateY) to the selected joint, for more flexibility during the setup process.
(see comment lines for more information)


// start of Script

if ( `window -exists jointMaker` )
deleteUI -window jointMaker;

window -title "add Joints UI" -wh 320 104 -sizeable 0 jointMaker;
$form = `formLayout -nd 100`;

$col = `columnLayout -adj true`;
textFieldGrp -label "Enter new joint name" -cw 2 160 jointName; intFieldGrp -nf 1 -label "how many Joints?" -v1 8 joints;
setParent $form;
$b1 = `button -label "Go" -command "addJointsCallback"`;
$b2 = `button -label "Close" -command "deleteUI jointMaker"`;

formLayout -edit
-attachForm $col "top" 5
-attachForm $col "left" 5
-attachForm $col "right" 5
-attachNone $col "bottom"

-attachNone $b1 "top"
-attachForm $b1 "left" 5
-attachPosition $b1 "right" 2 50
-attachForm $b1 "bottom" 5

-attachNone $b2 "top"
-attachPosition $b2 "left" 2 50
-attachForm $b2 "right" 5
-attachForm $b2 "bottom" 5

showWindow jointMaker;

global proc addJointsCallback()

string $jointName = `textFieldGrp -q -text jointName`; int $number = `intFieldGrp -q -v1 joints`;
string $sel[0] = `ls -sl`;
string $child[0];
string $nJoint[];

// add an extra attribute to the selected joint and connect the rotateY to the attribute (inRotateY).
// If you have an Ik-setup you can connect anything to the new attribute without having the problem that the rotations are locked

addAttr -ln inRotateY -at double -keyable true $sel;
connectAttr -f ($sel[0] +".rotateY") ($sel[0] +".inRotateY");

float $n3;
// this lists the child of the joint

$child = `listRelatives -c $sel[0]`;

// get worldPosition of the two joints

float $cvpos1[] = `xform -q -a -t -ws $sel[0]`;

float $cvpos2[] = `xform -q -a -t -ws $child[0]`;

// create the needed multiplyDivide nodes

string $multi = `shadingNode -au multiplyDivide`;
string $multi2 = `shadingNode -au multiplyDivide`;
string $multi3 = `shadingNode -au multiplyDivide`;

// settings for nodes

setAttr ($multi + ".input2Y") -1;
setAttr ($multi + ".operation") 1;

// fixed setting for the rotation divide node

setAttr ($multi2 + ".input2Y") ($number -1);
setAttr ($multi2 + ".operation") 2;
setAttr ($multi3 + ".input1Y") 1;
setAttr ($multi3 + ".input2Y") $number;
setAttr ($multi3 + ".operation") 2;

float $n3 = `getAttr ($multi3 + ".outputY")`;

// make connections
connectAttr -f ($sel[0] +".inRotateY") ($multi +".input1Y");
connectAttr -f ($sel[0] +".inRotateY") ($multi2 +".input1Y");

// create a curve to have control over the position of the new joints

string $baseCurve = `curve -d 1 -p $cvpos1[0] $cvpos1[1] $cvpos1[2] -p $cvpos2[0] $cvpos2[1] $cvpos2[2] -k 0 -k 1` ;

// create the additional joints

for ($i=0;$i<$number+1;$i++)

// V0.2 added this varible to have control over the curveParamter, sometimes it needs to be clamped to the value 1

float $cpara = (0 +(($n3 * ($i))));

if ($cpara<1)
float $posi[]=`pointOnCurve -pr $cpara -p $baseCurve`;
$nJoint[$i] = `joint -p $posi[0] $posi[1] $posi[2] -n ($jointName+"BIND_"+$i)`;
else // if the $cpara value is more than 1, Maya cannot query the world position and prints out 0 0 0,
// to fix this I just enter the value 1 into the $posi[] and everything works fine.
float $posi[]=`pointOnCurve -pr 1 -p $baseCurve`;
$nJoint[$i] = `joint -p $posi[0] $posi[1] $posi[2] -n ($jointName+"BIND_"+$i)`;


if ($i>0 && $i<$number+1)
//orient the joints (because they only get rotations in y we donīt need to take care for the x and z axis
joint -e -zso -oj yxz $nJoint[$i-1];

if ($i>0 && $i<$number)

// this connects all the new joints to the $multi2 node
connectAttr -f ($multi2 +".outputY") ($nJoint[$i] +".rotateY");


// at last connect $sel[0] rotateY to $nJoint[0], to remove the rotation in Y

connectAttr -f ($multi +".outputY") ($nJoint[0] +".rotateY");

// now parent the new joints to the selected Joint and delete the unused nodes

select $nJoint[0];
select -tgl $sel[0];
delete $baseCurve;
delete $multi3;


// end of script

04 April 2003, 02:23 PM
Cool.. thanks for sharing! :beer:

I'm still a bit new to character setups, but I was wondering: Is there a way to use the setup this script creates in conjunction with an IK chain and still maintian the distribution of the ry? (the ekstra y is in the thighbone of a leg!)

I know how to create a setup manualy with a seperate bind and controlskeleton, but would like to find a cleaner and quicker method!

Thanks :)

04 April 2003, 09:05 AM

sorry for the late response.

Sure you can use the script with an IK-setup.

If the Y-axis of your control bone is locked by an IK-handle, you can manually connect another rotation ( example: handcontrol rotate Y) to the extra attribute (inRotateY) of your control bone.

I use two "different" skeletons for my characters. one for animation, with all the controls I need and the other skeleton, which is driven by the animation skeleton, is only used for binding the mesh.

Right now I donīt know a cleaner way... but who knows tomorrow ;-)

Greetz Paul

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