View Full Version : Question On hand Rigging on maya

11 November 2008, 01:48 PM
Hi everyone . i`m learning rigging on myself now ,but i have some question

I`m trying to rig my character`s hand , i watch some tutorial ,and conclude most of them use 2 different method

1. One is Using Driven key , good for this method is after setting , posing is really fast , but bad is that cannot have detail control individually , because the bone rotation is lock on Driven key

2. Set every rotation on the individual controller (or control value on the controller ) , good is it have Detail control , bad is need more time to setting up the pose

I use method 2. ,and I wanted to add Driven key attribute on my controller , it can be driven but lost detail controlling function because the lock of rotation

So now , my question is how I combined these two advantage on Maya?
Please help , thanks

11 November 2008, 04:06 PM
You could create a controller for each individual finger that sits at the pivot of each finger joint, for example



Connect these to the joints via SDK's/direct connections/constraints or whatever you choose

Parent each fing controller to their own groups that sit at the pivot of each finger joint

You can use set driven keys on these groups for poses such as fist, relax, etc and the controllers will inherit the transforms of the groups above them.
You can then adjust the controllers themselves for individual control.

11 November 2008, 07:03 AM
hi mlefevre , thanks for your reply , I try to do but have some problem ,

As you can see in my attachment (hand_rig_problem001.gif) , it`s my hierarchy of the rig Control , I try your method and it`s works !! (hand_rig_problem002.gif)

(the g_f01_ctl_pointconstrain1 and else is use for lock the position of the control curve when my finger move )

but the new problem comes , when i choosing the control curve ( In my case is called f01_ctl , f02_ctl , f03_ctl ) ,and it`s cannot like the bone in the hierarchy have rotation inherit (see in hand_rig_problem003.gif)

sorry for my poor Englsih , i`m not native speaker ,and hope you can understand my question . Many Thanks !!

By the way , your rigging script looks cooool !! gave you five star :thumbsup:

11 November 2008, 10:02 AM
Hey, thanks for your comments.

It looks like you need to parent the groups of the finger controllers under the controller above it.

Click here for image (

At the moment, you currently have it setup like this

| |
| Index_A_ctrl

Hope that helps


11 November 2008, 01:10 PM
hi mlefevre ,

this time i try to change the hierachy like the image you post , but it will got mess when i change that (after rotate it got mess ) ,maybe there`s something i just not figure out , so would you mind share the maya file for me to studied ?

Many many thanks : )

11 November 2008, 08:02 PM
Kataze I suggest you do your hand with controllers bound to everyjoint in a FK set up. Make sure every controller is double grouped. So that you have ie. offset_MidA, sdk_MidA, ctrl_MidA. You almost have this on your controllers you just need one more group. You also constrained the group to the joint or have the group constrained by the joint in your first image.

Everytime you make a controller get in this habit. Make the controller and then group it twice. Name them as I suggested with the top most group called offset the middle is sdk and the last is the controller itself. You then select the joint you want the controller to go to and the offset group and parent constraint it with maintain offset on. Then you will see the offset group fill up with numbers. Select all the rotation and translation channels and then zero them out. Your controller should now have moved to the joint you want it to control as well as the sdk group right above it but that has no visual reference. Now go to the offset group and delete that parent constraint you just made. Now just select the controller and then the joint it controls and parent constaint it with maintain offset on. Your controller is now properly aligned. When you need to parent the controllers one to the next to form a FK chain make sure you parent that offset group under the controller of the next joint up the chain.

The offset group allows you to have both the sdk and the controller lined up for each joint in the hand. Parent constrain the controller to the joint. Now make a controller to put all the set driven key attributes on and parent that to the palm of the hand or some joint that recieves no rotations. When you go to make the connections to the sdk controller do not connect them to the actually controller. Connect the attribute to the sdk_MidA group instead. It will still act like you had connected it to the controller only this allows the animator to make animation on the set driven keys and micro adjust if needed on the controller layer.

11 November 2008, 08:28 PM
I admit i didn't read every post above, so this might be a repeat... but what i do for hand setups is this. I have a joint for skinning, a joint for fk tweaking, and a joint for setDrivenKeys. This is so i can pose the hand quickly with SDK's but if I need to i have individual FK tweaks. so the hierarchy looks like this:

|----- l_index_1_SDK_joint

11 November 2008, 04:42 AM
For me I just create the joints I need for each finger and then add a group node above each joint that is oriented and positioned exactly the same as it's child joint. This resets the channels on the joints to zero. From there add another group above that meaning I have both a joint and a group node that has zero transforms with the correct orientations, like this:


This means I can have set driven keys driving the 'index_L_finger1_GRP' and set up controls for the 'index_L_finger1_JNT' for the FK. I've found this to be quickest and easiest for setup, and the animators seem happy with it. By setting the SDK's on the groups means that they can quickly pose with the slider controls and then offset, or clean the pose via FK etc.

- Stu

11 November 2008, 08:06 AM
wooo , First of all , thanks for Coyote12 ,mberglund , stewartjones ,and Matt (mlefevre) , you guys Rocks !!

I read your replies and pay for almost 2.5 hr to figure out what you says , and try it on maya ,you guys method is really cool ,I learn a lot , really appreciate !!

to Coyote12 : seems your method is more suitable in my case at this time , i will try to use your method , thank you

to mberglund : the Awesome Spine Setup on your rigging blog is amazing ,ha ,i will try that when i done of this rigging :P

to stewartjones : your animation reel is very attractive , nice performance!! : ) ,but the Rigging reel got broken link , maybe you can re-upload it on your site let me have chance to see how you rig it : )

Thanks you guys :thumbsup:

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