Need help with a rig for Maya 2018


Hey everyone,

I have yet to find any tutorials on balloon rigs. Like PartyCity balloons. I’m trying to create a rig where I can move the tail of the balloon and the string, in a sense it’s like trying to rig a tail from an animal or arm of a being. What I want the rig to do is when I animate it I want the balloon to be floating around in space and the illusion of wind that the string will swing and twist around.
So far I’ve seen loads of videos on youtube and whatever I could find relating to an animal or human arm on I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong or if I’m skipping/missing a step and could really use some help. This is my third time redoing everything and would love to know if I can get some help figuring things out?

The image on the left is currently what I have, I got the balloon to move and rotate alright (in the image it’s not skinned or anything), but the rest as the inflation tab(the part you tape the string on) and the string I can’t figure out why I can’t get it work. The image on the right is what I would like it to looked finished with NURBS controls.

What I’m looking for is if someone knows of any good tuts I’ve might of missed, or if I can go step by step with someone of what I’ve done and hopefully they can point me in the right direction.

Help is very much appreciated!


Can you upload a snapshot of what is going wrong. The setup seems to be correct and your animation can be achieved.


Can you upload a snapshot of what is going wrong. The setup seems to be correct and your animation can be achieved.


From a lot of the tutorials I’ve seen, everyone is using the IK Handle, and everyone resets their settings which is where I’m at.

I have made two separate ones. One thats for the tail of the balloon so it can do the following…

I’m not sure where the curve1 came from but it follows the IK handle.

But now my other IK won’t react the same way.

I’ve been following this tutorial on : Rigging Quadrupeds in Maya
With no luck. Maybe I skipped over something, or I’ve missed something, but I was just trying to follow what he did to the tail. I’ve even looked at leg rigs and have tried those with no success.

Please help me figure out what I’m doing wrong, lol


This is another way of doing it.

  1. Create a curve for the wire to the balloon.

  2. Under the nhair menu, make selected curves dynamic.

  3. Create a nurbscircle on the ground or where you want the wire to be anchored to. (start of curve)

  4. Parent the hairSystemFollicles group under the nurbs circle.

  5. Select the follicle under the hairSystemFollicles group and set point lock to Base.

  6. Go to the nucleus node and invert the gravity. ( you could ofcourse make a field or something instead if you need the nucleus solver for something else in the scene with the correct gravity.)

  7. Create the balloon and make it ncloth.

  8. select the top controlvertex of the curve and then the vertexes of the balloon and make a component to component constraint under the nConstraint menu.

  9. tweak ncloth and hair values until you got what you want in behaviour.