Best way to create copies of rigged geometry?



Is there a way or some form of modifier or method to clone a mesh and offset it without having a physical clone of the geometry? Almost similar in principle to what mirror does only with more control over the offset parameters.

To explain what I am talking about, and perhaps someone has a better solution:

I am working on creating a 12-leaf shutter iris. The rigging is done, for one of the leaves, using a hidden IK solver chain with a sliding bone on the one end and a follow path constraint on the other attached to a circle spline. This in turn is link constrained to the actual visible leaf. My problem now is in order to add the remaining 11 leaves, I would have to clone the entire rigging of the first leaf which would clutter up the work space and making any adjustments too involved and time consuming.

One way that does come to mind is cloning only the leaf and link constraining the remaining 11 to the main leaf through an equation but I would first have to get my head wrapped around the math (which I’m not terrible good at, lol) and it would still mean multiple geometry that could potentially go off on it’s own tangent when trying to make adjustments. So I first wanted to make sure that there isn’t already a existing and simpler solution.

Thanks in advance


can you handle MCG ?



You could also use a Linked XForm modifier to link the leaf to your existing rig and an XForm modifier above that to rotate and displace your copies to the new position. Since the motion is radially symmetrical, this should work.


Thanks for the replies and suggestions.

Vusta: Unfortunately it’s been quite a while since I worked in 3Ds so I only have 2013, meaning no MCG :wink: But thanks for the suggestion non the less.

Noren: I will definitely look into Linked XForm, thanks. Wasn’t looking forward to polar-cartesian calculations XD

EDIT: Linked XForm worked like a charm, thanks Noren!