View Full Version : look under the hood :: autorig

09 September 2003, 01:35 PM
Thought some out there might be interested in new messiah features, and since I'm stumbling through them myself - well, here is one super nifty one that promises to get a whole lot better in the near future.

First, ya open messiah, set directory if you wish.
New is the ability to save everything as a messiah project (mpj) instead of the previous fxs files, which only linked to external meshes, etc.

Then ya load yer guy. Or gal. Or Deev. I'm testing this with a model I did for the incredible Ila Solomon. (

edit: oops! Forgot to mention that this is Ila's design. Check out projects -> Meat Trouble!


09 September 2003, 01:45 PM
... ya go to the animate mode tab where you apply effects (bones, etc.) and rig etc.

Oh yeah, if he's facing the wrong direction, spin him around. Doesn't matter if you do this after the other steps. I'm still exploring the flexibility of messiah but it is a lot more forgiving than other programs I've played with.

Then select what rig you want (only one at the moment), choose bones (unless you want to hang pieces on a robot-like rig of nulls (or bones, for that matter, or - okay, ya get the picture)

09 September 2003, 01:51 PM
... and your base rig is done. As you'll see this has IK legs with feet that you can twist from the toe, a nice spine rotate handle and good base shoulder set-up. Activate that "symmetry' button and...

Fit him to your guy. Goes quick, just drag the joint nodes, switching views as needed.

switch to the effects tab (still under set-up) and select your mesh on the left (items list) and the skeleton on the right (effects list). Assign the link to each other by clicking 'add'. Done. Animate.

Now comes the best part. add muscle bones, anchor bones Hands, even other auto-rigs (dragon wings oh pretty please) and whatever your guy fancies!

09 September 2003, 03:43 PM
You left out one important tip. Double click on the wrist controls while in animate mode and previously invisible controls for the shoulders and arms appear giving you even more good stuff to animate with.

09 September 2003, 03:51 PM
I didn't even know about that. Thanks!
Yeah, there's a tip in the docs.

09 September 2003, 03:56 PM
Actually, try double-clicking on all of the controls - most have hidden extras. There's even a switch on the shoulders that determines whether shoulder movement effects the spine, IIRC.

09 September 2003, 11:53 PM
> Fit him to your guy. Goes quick, just drag the joint nodes,
> switching views as needed.

Don't forget you can have dual or quad view. Press w on the keyboard to toggle dual view on and off, or q for quad.

09 September 2003, 02:48 AM

Thanks for posting that ... it really helps out people like me who are just getting started with Messiah:beer:

09 September 2003, 08:15 AM
It hel;ps me, too! Getting the other guys to spit out cool tips!
I'll try to post more as I stumble acorss it, feel free to contribute. I'm double-timing between my messiah explorations and a design contract, so....

messiah is looking incredible though. It is the first environment in which I feel empowered to rig and animate characters. (Even though I haven't taken hold of this power yet.)

09 September 2003, 07:52 PM
This looks cool. When will the demo for Animate4 be out?

10 October 2003, 05:29 AM
hey, what gives? i keep getting name/pass dialog when loading this page...


10 October 2003, 06:16 AM
yap, for me too :shrug:

10 October 2003, 05:12 PM
sorry guys.
Slipped while putting up a client password protection.


10 October 2003, 03:01 PM
ok...that's pretty freakin awesome! um...damn paycheck, where are you? I have to upgrade now!!!!


Gene Williams
10 October 2003, 05:01 PM
Double clicking on the main foot control also exposes
other controls for the foot...really awsome.


10 October 2003, 05:12 PM
Just demoed this stuff (and other messiah goodies) at the school where I lecture. I'll try to put some material together for the curious. It had the traditional Maya and XSI camps dissolving into one salivating mass of enthusiasm.

05 May 2004, 02:57 PM
Just wondering..., is it possible to turn the blue lines in the finished (auto) rig off?
I agree that it's brilliant, just trying to customise my rig a little...
I'm amazed at how much time I just saved :)
Another thing thas got me baffled: The autorig has IK and all kinds of handy controls right? Yet Nothing shows in the command tab and there's no IK on the bones. Is it all in the armatures? Where is it? Its magic! :eek:

The reason I ask, is because I want to have rotational control over the Hips, without the entire spine rotating with it....
(Without this control, No character will ever be able to Boogie :D) However, since the rig is Made by Magic, I've no clue how to adjust it...


05 May 2004, 01:37 AM
Is it possible to make your own custom auto rigs? It would be nice to be able to "record" an auto rig after it's been completed so that you can recall it later from that menu where the biped is located.

From all I've seen in videos and a brief stint with the 4.0 demo it's not an option yet... just wondering how hard it would be to implement something like this either from PMG or third party.



05 May 2004, 12:27 PM
Hi Stijn, yes, you can turn off those blue lines in the armature settings. Would be nice to have a one-button solution, though.

Gwot, not possible yet, but I believe this is planned. I know I've asked for it ;-) Best would be to adress the team once they get their heads out of the next release.


05 May 2004, 01:46 AM
... the autorig has IK and all kinds of handy controls right? Yet Nothing shows in the command tab and there's no IK on the bones. Is it all in the armatures? Where is it? Its magic!

I think that must be done by progammation like C+ or C++, or something else, i don't know...which can explain that nothing show.... :blush: that does'nt help.

But still, there is some kind of "IK logic" in the setup, like the bone hierarchy and a null object a the end of the chain. I wanted me too more control in arms by taking off IK, so i created in "IK/FK blender"
-create a slider
-create a variable (Command_>Variable_>New variable)
use "KeyFader" expression (KeyFader fades between an item's keyframed and procedural motions(the slider); that is, between what you pose & make keyframes for, and what it gets from expressions, scripting, or other non-keyframed things).
One variable per bone of the IK hierachy (once one done, use copy and change the name of the bone in the expression)

By moving the slider i can "switch off" IK for the arms (i hope that make sense)

So maybe you could do the same for the spine ....
Or a better way exist ?

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