View Full Version : simple rig control problem

11 November 2008, 02:12 AM
In Maya, I have a character with 3 legs all using spline IK's, like tentacles. I want to implement 2 levels of controls on each leg, and I have that set up through clusters with one level of circle controls and a higher smaller set of square controls. The movement works fine in that I can do large movements with the square controls and fine tuned movements with the circle controls.

My problem is that whenever I keyframe any of the circle controls, the square controls become ineffective. Each cluster has a point constraint to its own circle control, and each circle control has a point constraint to one of the square controls. I feel like I am missing something simple here. Is my whole thinking off, or just some bad connections? Any help is appreciated!

11 November 2008, 03:07 PM
Whenever something's attributes are constrained, and you key them, the keyframing overrides the input from the constraint. BUT, maya knows about this, so whenever that happens, it creates a blend attribute called BlendPoint1, and sticks it in the channel box. You can use that to keyframe the influence if you'd like, or find another solution. I'd suggest finding another route for the hierarchy.

Is there a reason you couldn't just parent the circles to the squares? (Or vice versa if I read your setup wrong). Or, just group the circles to themselves, and put the point constraint on the parent node...that way it'll move with it, but still allow the freedom you need.

11 November 2008, 01:35 AM
Moleman, thank you. Between writing out my problem and your reply I found exactly what I was looking for, and parenting was the answer. I had been constraint happy. Simply parenting the circle controls under the proper higher level square controls allows me to keyframe either the circles or the squares without affecting the other one. Also when I do the main movements with the squares the circles follow appropriately without needing to be keyframed.

I've been working on this rig I knew was busted, but using it with only one set of controls. Now that I need tougher movements I'm glad I decided to just fix it because it was really simple. I was really making buttons for all the controls I needed, and keyframing them all at a time, it was disaster. thanks again

11 November 2008, 07:18 PM
No problem, glad I could help. You may also want to check out this thread HERE ( It may give you some more ideas on being able to control and twist your joints.

Or, if you're familiar with the ribbon spine setup, I have a little tutorial on my blog about how to modify that to allow for greater than 180 rotation HERE (

So, just something else to think about and look into.

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11 November 2008, 07:18 PM
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