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Controlling knee direction

From: Character Rigging in Maya

Video: Controlling knee direction

Now let's go ahead and control the knees of the character. As you can see, I've got the hips in place here, but when I bend the character, I don't really have any control over knee direction, and we can do that by creating another rigging control. Now I already have the icon in place here and it's just this little set of arrows, and it's just kind of visual reference. We are doing this just so that it looks good and it communicates whatever information we need, and I've named this L_KNEE.

Controlling knee direction

Now let's go ahead and control the knees of the character. As you can see, I've got the hips in place here, but when I bend the character, I don't really have any control over knee direction, and we can do that by creating another rigging control. Now I already have the icon in place here and it's just this little set of arrows, and it's just kind of visual reference. We are doing this just so that it looks good and it communicates whatever information we need, and I've named this L_KNEE.

I want another one for the right knee, so let's go ahead and just duplicate this now. I'm going into my front viewport here and I am just going to do Edit > Duplicate, and move that one over, so that it's pretty much over that right knee. And I'll go ahead and rename it, R_KNEE. I want to Freeze Transformation, set everything to 0, and then I also want to change the color to green. So now we have green for the right side, blue for the left side, and everything should be pretty much in place.

So now I have this all set up and ready to go, we can start constraining knee direction. Now we did this once before and we do it using the IK handle and it's called a Pole Vector constraint. So the easiest way to get to these IK handles is just to go into the Outliner, and you'll see that under the L_FOOT here, we have an IK handle for the left foot, but the one that we actually want is the left ankle control, which is under the heel. And what this does is this controls the chain that goes from the hips to the ankle.

Now once we've located that, we can now set up our constraint. Now remember, we need to select this last, so, I'm going to select my L_KNEE control and then Ctrl+Select that left ankle. And I want to make sure that that's selected last, so you can see it's here. And then under Constrain, we are going to do a Pole Vector constraint. And that's all we need to do. Now once we've done that, you can see now I'm controlling my knee direction.

So, if I bring this down, you can see that this controls the direction of my knee. I'm going to go ahead undo my way out of this, and let's do this one more time, just so that we can get the process down. So again, I'm going to select the R_KNEE, and then on my R_FOOT under the R_HEEL, I'm going to Ctrl+Select the right ankle. And again, that's the one that I want, Constrain > Pole Vector, and we should be good to go.

So now again, this controls that. There we go. So now we have controls for pretty much the entire lower body of the character. We've got the feet, the hips and the knees, all under control for our character.

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This video is part of

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Character Rigging in Maya

63 video lessons · 7556 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 1m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
  2. 8m 21s
    1. Understanding the basic rig
      2m 53s
    2. Rigging theory
      2m 15s
    3. Organizing with layers
      1m 44s
    4. Naming conventions
      1m 29s
  3. 37m 11s
    1. Using the Joint tool
      7m 4s
    2. Modifying joint attributes
      6m 47s
    3. Creating the lower-body skeleton
      6m 45s
    4. Creating the spine skeleton
      5m 57s
    5. Creating the arms
      3m 38s
    6. Creating hand skeletons
      4m 41s
    7. Mirroring joint chains
      2m 19s
  4. 22m 0s
    1. Working with inverse kinematics (IK)
      5m 56s
    2. Understanding IK solvers
      6m 33s
    3. Blending between inverse and forward kinematics (FK)
      4m 52s
    4. Using spline IK
      4m 39s
  5. 21m 3s
    1. Point constraints
      7m 56s
    2. Aim constraints
      5m 10s
    3. Orient constraints
      4m 38s
    4. Pole vector constraints
      3m 19s
  6. 37m 6s
    1. Setting up IK
      4m 15s
    2. Setting up foot controls
      5m 59s
    3. Keeping rigs organized
      2m 51s
    4. Hiding unused attributes
      3m 37s
    5. Creating a hip control
      3m 55s
    6. Controlling knee direction
      3m 2s
    7. Creating spine controls
      4m 37s
    8. Controlling forward kinematics on the arms
      6m 20s
    9. Creating a master node
      2m 30s
  7. 28m 11s
    1. Working with set-driven keys
      4m 38s
    2. Creating custom attributes
      3m 54s
    3. Wiring joints to custom attributes
      8m 2s
    4. Creating an FK/IK switch
      4m 35s
    5. Setting up elbow controls
      2m 5s
    6. Hiding and showing controls
      4m 57s
  8. 24m 46s
    1. Creating simple eyes
      6m 58s
    2. Rigging non-spherical eyes
      7m 49s
    3. Attaching eyes to the skeleton
      3m 18s
    4. Applying blend shapes
      6m 41s
  9. 42m 31s
    1. Binding skin using Smooth Bind
      3m 28s
    2. Testing skin using animation
      4m 36s
    3. Pruning small weights
      3m 53s
    4. Painting skin weights
      5m 47s
    5. Editing skin weights in the Component Editor
      6m 1s
    6. Mirroring skin weights
      2m 2s
    7. Using Interactive Skin Bind
      3m 36s
    8. Refining skin on the upper body
      2m 3s
    9. Using skeletons to create a jaw
      3m 22s
    10. Refining jaw weighting
      7m 43s
  10. 47m 20s
    1. Setting up a control panel
      2m 27s
    2. Limiting controller motion
      6m 15s
    3. Rigging basic facial controls using set-driven keys
      2m 31s
    4. Rigging the jaw using set-driven keys
      4m 22s
    5. Rigging pupil controls
      3m 29s
    6. Controlling eye direction
      3m 21s
    7. Controlling eyelids with expressions
      5m 44s
    8. Using expressions to rig mouth controls
      8m 1s
    9. Creating a smile/frown control using expressions
      8m 56s
    10. Finishing up the facial rig
      2m 14s
  11. 6m 42s
    1. Cleaning up the rig
      2m 25s
    2. Testing the rig
      4m 17s
  12. 25s
    1. Goodbye
      25s

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