View Full Version : rigging a neck quickly and cleanly
01 January 2009, 10:10 PM
I need to rig the neck of my character, but i'm at a loss as to how to do it and do it quickly.
I'm using maya.
My two ideas so far are a controller object with set driven keys that rotate the neck joints... But that's very confusing, complicated, and takes forever.
The other idea is to directly control the joints in an FK manner, with control curves for each moving joint. This is viable, but the tangle of controllers isn't ideal.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
01 January 2009, 11:52 PM
if you're familiar with a ribbon spine setup, those are pretty good for necks as well, especially if you need a very flexible stretchy neck
aaron holly's dvd has a great demonstration of the ribbon setup, and i'm sure there's a bazillion threads here on how to put together a similar setup
01 January 2009, 02:43 AM
Hey there, let me start off by saying I would try to avoid using Set driven keys as they be broken if an animator choses to "Delete Channels" Anyways, the way I always do knecks that will also allow for stretch, squash setup is to place a locator at the kneck joint, bind the control curve to the locator, bind the locator to the joint, and bind and oirent constrain the joint to the curve, then if u want squash/stretch add second locator and use distance between node. Use an offset group for the controller so that it has zero values and is oriented properly, as well as having keyable attributes.
01 January 2009, 02:44 AM
Oh and the ribbon setup would work too, but is a little overkill if you just want a functioning neck.
01 January 2009, 04:12 AM
well, right now my neck has 3 joints, and i want to be able to use them all.
The neck has this weird sort of ability to bend/twist.
Like, you can til your head in the opposite direction of the lower 2 bones.
From the back, if a straight neck looks like this:
and a tilted neck looks something like this:
and the neck can also look like this, which is what i want to be able to do:
i'm playing with a mini IK spline setup w/ clusters, whcih might do what i want it to do.
01 January 2009, 07:43 AM
Well you can always create an IK chain for 2 of the joints then orient constraint the head joint and plug the IK handle twist value (I.e. the back twist you want) into the rotate y of the Controller for the head joint. That with the locator constraint would do it.
01 January 2009, 07:43 AM
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