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Character rig overview: Full character

From: Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Video: Character rig overview: Full character

Now let's take a look at the full character rig. I'm going to open a scene called Full Char.ma, which is our full character. Now as you can see, this character is very close to the other character that we had. In fact, it's just a more complex version. As you can see, the character has full geometry. In other words, his geometry deforms. So for example, if I select the foot here, you can see that his geometry deforms.

Character rig overview: Full character

Now let's take a look at the full character rig. I'm going to open a scene called Full Char.ma, which is our full character. Now as you can see, this character is very close to the other character that we had. In fact, it's just a more complex version. As you can see, the character has full geometry. In other words, his geometry deforms. So for example, if I select the foot here, you can see that his geometry deforms.

The character also has full hands. So instead of those mitten hands, we have a three-fingered hand. So for example, we could select the index fingers here and rotate them. So this gives you a lot more control over hand gestures and that sort of thing. Now the most important change to this character is in the facial controls. I've given him a full face with full control over that face.

So if you want to move the head, it's still pretty much the same. So you just select this ring and you can rotate it and you notice this HEAD control rotates with the character. The controls themselves manipulate various portions of the face. So the lower part of face, in other words, the mouth is the lower part of the controls. The upper part is the eyes. So let's start with the Mouth controls. All of these controls are translations, so if you select this, all you have to do is hit W or select your Move tool in order to manipulate these.

Now these all manipulate in X or Y or in a single dimension. So if I select the jaw control, which is labeled here as jaw, you can see how if I move this up or down it opens and closes his jaw. If I move it left and right, you can see how it actually biases that so you can get some left-right jaw motion. So if you wanted him to chew for example, you can do left-right type motion. I'm going to go ahead and undo that. Let's move over to the next one called Dial and that's short for Dialogue.

And now these are most of the phoneme shapes that we used for lip sync. Now this will be used in combination with the jaw as well as some other controls. But let's take a look how this works. If you move this control to the right, you can see he goes into an 'oh' sound. If you move it to the right and all the way into the bottom, that 'oh' closes down to an 'ooh'. If you move it straight up, it kind of just neutralizes. Now the other side of this starts with the consonant sound or CH, kind of that smile.

And then as you move down, those lips close and it kind of tightens up, so you can get like an M or B or P. So simply by moving this through two dimensions, you can get probably about 80% of the dialogue controls that you want. If you can see these move from -1 to +1 as we go along this. And now if we want to center this out, all we have to do is select both of these, type 0, and that centers it out.

The next one is the Smile control, and this is pretty straightforward. If you move it straight up, he smiles; move it straight down, he frowns. And then we can control that. If you move it up to the left, he kind of gives a half grin on either side or a half frown on either side. And again, the center of this is 0. So if I select these two translations, I can set those to 0. Now along the bottom are two special phonemes. one is F, basically F or V, and that's where the lip is tucked underneath the top teeth, so for the F or the V sound.

Now another cute little trick is if you move that in the opposite direction, he kind of gives a little pall, which could be useful. And again, the center of this is 0, so I'm just going to 0 that out. The Shhh sound is basically just kind of, well, it's this shape here. Now this is a pretty strong shape. You may not use this too much, but it's there in case you need it. Now the next ones are Sneer and Grrr, and they kind of do the opposite on the top and bottom lips.

So the Sneer kind of controls the muscles around the nose that lift up the lips into a sneer, so you can do left sneer, right sneer, or you can go in the middle. And again, the center of that is 0. Grrr actually activates what are called the corrugators, which kind of give you that fear or kind of that concern, fear, anxiety type of emotion. And again, that biases to left and right.

Now along the top we have the eye controls. Now the first one here is these big circles with what are basically the eyelids. So I can select one or both of these. So let's select one and you can see I can lower that eye, but it doesn't go all the way down. In order to do a full blink, you have to grab the one on the bottom and pull that up to give a full blink. Now if you want to, you can just grab both of these and pull them down and grab both of these and pull them up for a full blink.

Or you can do any combination of these to give kind of some cockeyed look. So if you want him to kind of do one up, one down, that sort of thing, you have the control to do that. Now in the center of this is the pupil control. So I'm going to go ahead and Shift+ Select both of these and then move those. And as you can see, it just gives him left, right, up, down, and just gives him eye direction control. And again, you can do these separately if you want or you can select them and do them together.

Now the one here is just called Eyes_ Wide and that kind of gives him that surprised look. So if you're going to just do a surprise type of action, you can do that there. And then the last one are the Brow controls and these are very similar to the dialogue and the smile control. In that, each corner is a different type of-- So if you want him to lift his brow, make a worry brow is here, an angry brow is here, and these actually work in opposite. So if you want to do both worry, you have to kind of select them separately and put them down, so that way you get anger or if you want to out them out to the side, then you can get worry, and so on.

But again, all of these bias back to 0. So all I have to do is just type 0 to get them back to center. So those are the basic controls of the full character. Now we're not going to be using this character until a little bit later in the course. I am kind of saving him for when we actually do dialog and lip sync and facial animation. For the first part of the course, we're mostly going to be working with the simple rig. But if you want, you can use this rig instead of the other rig.

The control names are all the same and really the only difference for those exercises are going to be the way that you pose the hands.

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This video is part of

Image for Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

65 video lessons · 10084 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 22m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
    3. Character rig overview: Simple character
      6m 19s
    4. Character rig overview: Full character
      7m 30s
    5. Using other rigs
      48s
    6. Using screen drawing tools for Windows
      3m 9s
    7. Using screen drawing tools for the Mac
      2m 14s
  2. 23m 47s
    1. Creating strong poses
      3m 27s
    2. Creating custom MEL scripts to help pose characters
      4m 39s
    3. Using layers to select characters
      1m 10s
    4. Learning the basics of posing characters
      10m 7s
    5. Creating stock poses
      4m 24s
  3. 25m 11s
    1. Understanding forces and character motion
      2m 13s
    2. Understanding drag
      5m 51s
    3. Working with secondary motion
      5m 33s
    4. Bringing the character to life
      4m 21s
    5. Refining the animation
      7m 13s
  4. 39m 30s
    1. Keyframing initial poses
      4m 21s
    2. Creating the blocking pass
      7m 42s
    3. Moving holds
      5m 27s
    4. Animating weight shift
      4m 21s
    5. Animating pose to pose transitions
      7m 46s
    6. Animating a wave
      9m 53s
  5. 42m 15s
    1. Analyzing a walk
      5m 43s
    2. Setting up a character for a basic walk
      1m 22s
    3. Animating a walk: The feet
      5m 55s
    4. Animating a walk: The lower body
      8m 23s
    5. Animating a walk: Making the cycle symmetrical
      3m 10s
    6. Animating a walk: Working with the spine
      5m 59s
    7. Animating a walk: Arm motion
      7m 28s
    8. Animating a walk: The head
      4m 15s
  6. 24m 15s
    1. The importance of the passing position
      4m 52s
    2. Working with foot placement
      3m 50s
    3. Adding character to a walk: Contact position
      5m 10s
    4. Adding character to a walk: Passing position
      3m 20s
    5. Adding character to a walk: Finalizing
      7m 3s
  7. 52m 27s
    1. A run in four poses
      2m 39s
    2. Animating a run: The first pose
      4m 31s
    3. Animating a run: The second pose
      7m 17s
    4. Animating a run: Mirroring the basic poses
      10m 59s
    5. Animating a run: Hip and foot motion
      5m 12s
    6. Animating a run: The upper body
      5m 2s
    7. Animating a run: Left arm motion
      5m 31s
    8. Animating a run: Right arm motion
      4m 39s
    9. Animating a run: Cycling the animation
      6m 37s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Animating blinks
      7m 56s
    2. Animating changes in eye direction
      5m 6s
    3. Animating a head turn
      4m 35s
    4. Working with audio
      3m 38s
    5. Overview of mouth controls
      2m 44s
    6. Animating vowels
      15m 14s
    7. Animating consonants: B, D, and G
      7m 2s
    8. Animating consonants: F, M, and S
      8m 22s
    9. Animating lip sync: Assigning phonemes
      10m 43s
    10. Animating lip sync: The head
      9m 44s
    11. Animating lip sync: The body
      5m 10s
  9. 55m 55s
    1. Creating the main poses
      4m 18s
    2. Blocking poses to dialogue
      7m 1s
    3. In-between blocking pass
      3m 27s
    4. Animating moving holds
      5m 19s
    5. Creating weight
      6m 19s
    6. Adding secondary motion
      10m 0s
    7. Animating dialogue
      8m 12s
    8. Finalizing the animation
      11m 19s
  10. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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