Saturday, 15 January 2011

Rigging: Making the Rig and Attaching Handles

After a recovery from my minor break down, I'm back working on my model, I've decided to leave texturing till last and get rigging out of the way first as it's an easier task to fix if I encounter any problems they should be easier to fix. Also my tutor has placed a full and extensive tutorial to the complete rigging process, this should also make it easier to complete.

Before giving my character the ability to move, first I have to give it a Skeleton made up with joints. First I create a new layer to build the skeleton ontop of and use the joint tool to create limbs such as the arms and legs then a spine etc. thinking logically about where joints would go and how I want my character to move. The most important part about building the skeleton is to have everything parented to a "root" joint that's centred some where in the stomache area, it's also important to note that the hip joint should also be snapped to the "root" joint for ease. Ideally with the skeleton set up transforming the potisions of the joints should replicate movement of a real one.

The next step is creating handles to move the skeleton with. The first one I start with is an IK Handle on the leg, I attach this to the skeleton which will allow me the bend the leg at the knee when the handle is manipulated. Next I create a Nurbs circle and manipulate it to the shape of a foot, snapping it to the heel joint, creating the controllers is essentially this process repeated over and over, creating nurbs circles and parenting them to the correct joints with either the parenting tool or the constraint parenting tool (which limits movement to allow for a realistic and logical animation set up). There are exceptions such as the handles for the hands which are made of CV Curves, but the principal for attaching them is the same. Once all the handles are attached I test each of them to make sure they work properly.

With the handles built and attached all thats left to do it "clean up" their attributes. This means lock and hiding anything that might interfer with the animation., essentially only leaving attributes that will be adjusted for animation. This is done quite simply by selecting the attributes that you longer with to be effected going to edit and clicking lock and hide. This is important for adjusting things such as the elbow and hip movement.

There were a few problems that cropped up whilst creating the handles such as the IK Handles in the legs bending the wrong way and making sure this were parented correctly, these were minor problems that were easily fixed though. With the Skeleton, handles and cleaning up complete next it's time to bind the skeleton to the skin to allow me to move my model.process complete

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