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Character Rigging in 3ds Max

with George Maestri

Video: Welcome

Learn how to rig your 3D characters for realistic motion and animation with 3ds Max.
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  1. 1m 34s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 4m 57s
    1. Prepping the model for rigging
      1m 42s
    2. Setting up layers
      2m 1s
    3. Naming schemes
      1m 14s
  3. 42m 21s
    1. Drawing the leg chain
      8m 6s
    2. Adding bone fins
      2m 46s
    3. Mirroring the leg chains with bone tools
      4m 53s
    4. Positioning the hip bone
      3m 57s
    5. Drawing the spine
      7m 35s
    6. Positioning arm bones
      3m 53s
    7. Creating hand skeletons
      6m 37s
    8. Mirroring arm skeletons
      4m 34s
  4. 20m 47s
    1. Positioning the foot control splines
      5m 47s
    2. Setting up inverse kinematics (IK) chains
      3m 43s
    3. Rigging the heel and toe controls
      3m 15s
    4. Rigging the main foot control
      4m 45s
    5. Controlling knee direction
      3m 17s
  5. 20m 16s
    1. Configuring the main control
      5m 24s
    2. Setting up the spine
      5m 59s
    3. Head and neck controls
      4m 1s
    4. Creating shoulder controls
      4m 52s
  6. 34m 45s
    1. Creating control skeletons for the arm
      4m 23s
    2. Constraining the control skeletons
      3m 37s
    3. Setting up the forward kinematics (FK) skeleton controls
      4m 38s
    4. Setting up the IK skeleton controls
      3m 35s
    5. Wiring up the FK/IK switch
      9m 23s
    6. Making controls appear and disappear
      9m 9s
  7. 30m 41s
    1. Setting up the wrist control
      6m 22s
    2. Setting up finger FK controls
      5m 44s
    3. Getting the fingers to curl
      2m 19s
    4. Creating a control pane using attributes
      4m 57s
    5. Controlling finger spread
      5m 38s
    6. Rigging the thumb
      5m 41s
  8. 24m 16s
    1. Applying the Skin modifier
      4m 32s
    2. Adjusting envelopes
      6m 0s
    3. Fine-tuning vertex weights
      6m 32s
    4. Advanced weighting tools
      4m 28s
    5. Mirroring weights
      2m 44s
  9. 45m 39s
    1. Understanding morph targets
      3m 7s
    2. Setting up a single-axis slider
      5m 19s
    3. Wiring parameters to control blinks
      4m 51s
    4. Setting up multiple-axis controls
      1m 51s
    5. Connecting parameters using Reactor
      6m 23s
    6. Creating a jawbone
      4m 14s
    7. Skinning the head
      5m 49s
    8. Controlling the jawbone
      5m 49s
    9. Controlling eye direction
      4m 14s
    10. Finalizing the face rig
      4m 2s
  10. 20s
    1. Next steps

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Character Rigging in 3ds Max
Video duration: 0s 3h 45m Intermediate


3ds Max is a powerful 3D application with great rigging tools. This course covers the complete workflow for rigging characters for realistic motion and animation. Author George Maestri shows how to prep your model, draw a skeleton, and add controls: foot and leg controls, hip and spine controls, and controls that allow the animator to toggle between inverse and forward kinematics (IK/FK). Plus, learn to how to skin your character, and create hand and face rigs that allow for greater control over delicate hand movements and facial expressions.

Topics include:
  • Setting up layers
  • Drawing and positioning bones in the skeleton
  • Rigging foot controls
  • Creating hip and spine controls
  • Setting up IK and FK skeleton controls
  • Wiring the IK/FK switch
  • Rigging hands
  • Skinning characters
  • Setting up single- and multiple-axis face controls
3D + Animation
3ds Max


Hi, I am George Maestri and welcome to Character Rigging in 3ds Max. 3ds Max is a very powerful 3D application, and it has a lot of great rigging tools. We're going to take a look at these and create a complete rig. We're going to start by setting up our model and getting it ready for rigging. Then we're going to draw the character's skeleton. After that, we'll start adding controls to that skeleton. We'll start off with leg and foot controls, then move on to hip and spine controls, and then finally, we're going to create FKIK controls, which will allow us to switch between forward and inverse kinematics.

After that, we'll create a very complete hand rig. And after that, we'll skin our character to our skeleton. And finally, we'll create a face rig that has both single access and multiple access controllers for complete control over your character's facial expressions. So let's get started with Character Rigging in 3ds Max

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Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

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