Reusing rigging information for other characters?


Thanks for the tips; although I think I’m also about to get the problem solved :slight_smile:

I’m already building the skeleton using a set of locators to define joint positions. I might change that to a stand-in skeleton in the end because it should be easier to visualize and work with.

Now the joint orienting is done using an aim constraint (AFAIK this idea also belongs to Jason here, according to the guys I use as online help here :). I take the joint I want to orient, unparent it’s children, define an upvector object (locator), constrain, then copy rotation values to joint orientation values. I then zero rotations and re-parent the children. For a chain, you have to start this at the end joint otherwise it’d corrupt the local rotational axes (at least for me here).

Your approach also sounds interesting and maybe even easier to implement - however I’m already finished with my procedure and all that’s left is to include it in the skeleton building script :slight_smile:


i really confuse
what is animation rig ? and what to do between the first example that jason gave and the one that he wrote later about animation rig ?

please someone tell me
i think I really have to learn much

I currently working on a projec, a school project but I found that weighting is so hard. but im not sure if skeletal setup can help weighting a lot ?

thanks alot




Originally posted by deddy
i really confuse
what is animation rig ? and what to do between the first example that jason gave and the one that he wrote later about animation rig ?

An animation rig is basically part of the concept that you should create separate rigs for animation and for skinning. Quite often you will have people start animating while others are still defining the skinning solution that you may be using for a character. By ensuring that the animation rig and the skin rig are two different files and that the animation transfers between them from the joints, you can make sure that the file you animate with is super fast and efficient, and the file that actually does the skinning is a complicated and up-to-date as you need. You can keep updating the skinning file as many times as you want, and you never have to worry about an animator having to pick up your latest changes… in addition, if you change the animation controls, you don’t have to change your skinning solution!

hope that helps!


How do you then connect the animation from the animation file to the skeleton in the skinning file?


you can use the mov file format… it will export the animation frame by frame for the joints/attributes you specify…


Cool - thanks - I’ll look into that…

I’m working on a short at the moment that this will be useful for…


and what about the weighting?
it seems to be super hard ?
we can use the weighting from the skinning file to the animation rig file ?


This thread is gold SOLID GOLD!



I just discovered this thread & its really awesome. I see that it has’nt been updated for a while & I was just wondering why??

Jason, I was also just wondering if you ever got around to doing the tutorial you mentioned earlier in this thread?

One of the biggest problems I have is the skinning process. All my rigs are cool in terms of the controls and skeletons, but when it comes time to skin, it always seems impossible to get good results. Please if anyone has tips for this, please post them.


Sticky, Sticky!..


ila_solomon Sticky, Sticky!..

Meaning what?? :surprised



:slight_smile: I meant “please make this thread Sticky!”


Oh, my bad.:hmm: I dont even know what it means to make a thread sticky. Im assuming it just means that it doesnt move down??



this thread sticky sticky for limited time!!!

…act now and you get all our other threads absolutly free!


One thing I do is have the high rez character and the standin character loaded and attached at the same time to the same bones. When I wish to animate I have a script that temporarily turns off all deformations and makes the hi rez character invisible while at the same time makes the low rez standin visible. The standin character is cut up into parts that are simply parented to various bones.
This allows me to have a “mode” for animating and a “mode” for checking my deformations simply by clicking on a button to switch “modes” Its nice and fast. :slight_smile:


I dunno… there are a couple of things against having both the high res and low res rigs in one scene.

For a start, high res meshes and lots of deformers, and maybe even muscle setups and such as well, will give you a huge scene file. Thus the animators have to spend a lot of time waiting while they open the scene, save the scene, and have the autosave feature saving the scene (that should happen at least every 15 minutes). If you have more than one character in the scene, these kinds of problems will add up pretty fast and you’ll get incredibly large files.
The other thing is that sometimes you want to have more than two rigs, for example an animation, a skinning and a cloth rig; or multiple resolutions of the same character. In such cases, having all the rigs attached to the same skeleton in one scene file wouldn’t really work.

However there are obvious advantages in being able to check your high res rig with a mouse click… but I think that for scenes with medium or high complexity, it’s better to keep the rigs separate…


Of course that depends entirely on which software youre using. :slight_smile:


Hm, let me add that Lightwave is definitely a different beast in this case, because of keeping separate model and scene files. So you don’t have to save the high res geometry each time :slight_smile:

Edit: heh, that was quick :slight_smile:



For anyone who has bought Jason’s Fast Animation Rigs DVD for Maya, there is a script that he has created that imports and exports between the hi-res and the lo-res geometry.

Now that Im typing this, Im actually forgetting exactly what the script did, so if thats not what it did, please correct me. :surprised

Anyway, the problem I see with that method, is that if you have a really dense character model, it’ll take too long to import the character just to view the deformation and then export it again to view animation.

I would just have seperate scenes with different versions, develop a pipeline that lets you import and export animation and then every now and again go and import your animation to the hir-res geometry and check that it deforms nicely. If the character is setup well and tested, you should already have some kind of an idea how its going to deform and where there will be problems.

If Im wrong about what that script does, please forgive me, I saw the DVD once a while back when it first came out!! :bounce: