View Full Version : Maya newb: rotate an animated character
04 April 2010, 12:10 AM
total newb question:
so I animated something simple with joints, just a guy walking, but I realized he's not facing the z axis as we need him to do... so how do you rotate the mesh and all the bones properly so it doesn't mess everything up??
04 April 2010, 07:52 AM
your rig should have a master Controller or a root controller (which is the top node in your controller hierarchy)
04 April 2010, 08:00 AM
You could try to group the entire character, and then rotate the group to change the direction of the walk. If there is a "main" or "master" or "supermover" control that wasn't animated for the walk, then that could be used to turn the character to face the way you want. If the "master" control was animated, then you can look into Maya's redirect animation tool and use it to turn your master control while preserving its animation.
04 April 2010, 09:12 AM
To answer the question, yes, you need a master controller. However, I also had a question regarding rotation. I am currently using a custom stretchy spine that I built following cgToolkit's Art of Rigging Vol I. I love the spine, and my current rig is easily the best I have made yet. But it has a few major drawbacks. The bigest issue that I have noticed, is that I can't rotate the hips (COG) more than about 109 degrees. Even though the joints all follow the hips up the spine, it pops around 110 degrees. If I needed to make a full 360 rotation I would just use the master, but that is where I am running into problems. Much of the landscape I am animating on is not flat, so if I try to, for example, have a character run, then jump and rotate in the air, to shoot a pursuing enemy, I can't, because to animate on the ground, I need to move the COG away from the Master, thus causing the pivot to be off when rotating. Is there some magically technique I am missing, or perhaps didn't understand about animating characters and using the master node correctly. Is there any material I could read on that subject specifically.
04 April 2010, 03:44 AM
Without seeing your scene I just referred to the CGtoolkit spine documentation. They are using the twist attribute under the IK handle to twist the spine, and when built their spine myself I did not experience any flipping. Instead you could try using the Advanced Twist for your IKSpline as Jason Schleifer showed in his AFR series (Animator Friendly Rigging) and see if that prevents the flipping. You can find it in the attribute editor of the ik handle under the IK Solver Attributes. It's tricky to set up. Check my attachment.
Also, to solve the rotation problem (when your character flips through the air) try building some extra hierarchy into your rig that allows you to reposition your whole character to suit your pivot requirements. If your master control has a couple of child controls you can really help yourself out. If you had something like:
---------the rest of your control rig
... you could grab belowMaster2 and drag it down so that the point where you want to pivot lines up to the master. Now just grab belowMaster1 and move it up in the opposite direction (just negate the values from belowMaster2 and place them on belowMaster1). Now everything still respects its position based on the master, but now you can pivot the entire rig by animating belowMaster1. Again, check my attached file for an example.
04 April 2010, 03:44 AM
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