Character Rigging in Maya
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating an FK/IK switch


From:

Character Rigging in Maya

with George Maestri

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Video: Creating an FK/IK switch

Now that we have our hands wired up, let's go ahead and continue doing some more advanced controls by setting up an FK/IK switch for the arms. Now, the first step is to actually create an object that turns IK on and off. Now, I have created these little arrow icons and we can use those to actually turn FK and IK on and off. So all we have to do is basically just move these left and right along the X axis.
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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 13s
    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 42s
    7. Mirroring joint chains
      2m 20s
  4. 22m 1s
    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 40s
  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 7s
    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 38s
    8. Controlling forward kinematics on the arms
      6m 20s
    9. Creating a master node
      2m 30s
  7. 28m 12s
    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 36s
    5. Setting up elbow controls
      2m 5s
    6. Hiding and showing controls
      4m 57s
  8. 24m 47s
    1. Creating simple eyes
      6m 59s
    2. Rigging non-spherical eyes
      7m 49s
    3. Attaching eyes to the skeleton
      3m 18s
    4. Applying blend shapes
      6m 41s
  9. 42m 33s
    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 2s
    6. Mirroring skin weights
      2m 3s
    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 21s
    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 30s
    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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Watch the Online Video Course Character Rigging in Maya
4h 37m Intermediate Feb 16, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Character Rigging in Maya provides a basic introduction to rigging theory, and delves into the details of how to create professional, realistic 3D characters. Instructor and animation veteran George Maestri shows how to combine Maya's skeleton, inverse kinematics (IK), and constraint tools to create a basic rig for a character, and how to attach the character mesh to the skeleton using Maya's skinning tools. The course also explores advanced rigging controls such as IK switches and facial animation and how to create a control panel to manipulate the character's expressions. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the basics of rigging
  • Creating skeletons
  • Modifying joint attributes
  • Working with inverse kinematics and constraints
  • Rigging characters
  • Using Maya's new HumanIK skeletons/rigs
  • Setting up an FK/IK switch
  • Creating custom facial rigs
  • Binding skin using Smooth Bind
  • Painting and editing skin weights
  • Using expressions to rig a character's mouth controls
  • Controlling eye direction
  • Finalizing a rig
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
George Maestri

Creating an FK/IK switch

Now that we have our hands wired up, let's go ahead and continue doing some more advanced controls by setting up an FK/IK switch for the arms. Now, the first step is to actually create an object that turns IK on and off. Now, I have created these little arrow icons and we can use those to actually turn FK and IK on and off. So all we have to do is basically just move these left and right along the X axis.

So the first thing we need to do is actually find the IK handle for the hands or the arms. So in this case, I am going to select the IK handle for the left arm, and we're going to scroll down and the control that we want is IK Blend. We want this to go between 0 and 1, as this moves left and right, and we can do this again with the set-driven key. So I'm going to go in Animate > Set Driven Key > Set, and the Driven is going to be the IK Blend parameter, and the Driver is going to be this object that's called Left FK-IK.

And we're going to use the X Translate to flip the switch. So I'm going to go ahead and Load Driver, X Translate, and right now, this is at 0 and my IK Blend is also at 0, I believe. So let's make sure. So let's go ahead and select our handle for the arm, and IK Blend is at 0, so let's go ahead and hit Key. You can see that it shows up in red, that means it has a keyframe attached to it.

And now, all we have to do is move this over, and let's just go ahead and move this to 1, and then select our IK handle on our left arm, set IK Blend to 1. Now again we can set a Key. So now as this goes between 0 and 1, you'll see that the IK handle -- let's go ahead and close this, that the IK handle goes from 0 to 1.

In fact, you can see it turn on here. You can see it go brown when this goes to 1. So you can see we're switching on and off the IK, and that's pretty cool. Well, one of the things about this is that, while we can move this really anywhere, we need to rein this in just so that it moves only where we want it. So I'm going to go ahead and set my Translate to 0 here, and then for all of these other parameters, I'm going to go ahead and right-click and lock them, and then right-click again and hide them.

So all we have is Translate X. So that's all we can do. Then let's go ahead and limit its travel only from 0 to 1. So I'm going to go into the Attribute Editor, and then under L_FKIK, you see that Translate is the only value that can be animated, and we have what's called Limit Information. So we limit Translate here, and you'll see that under X, and this is only one that we can actually manipulate here, we can set a minimum, and a maximum for this.

So the minimum is going to be 0, the maximum is going to be 1. So now this only moves between 0 and 1. So the next thing we want to do is when we actually have IK on, we want to have a handle with which to actually move that arm joint, and this is going to be very similar to what we have here on the foot. So again, I have this object here already set in place, it's called L_HAND.

If we go into our Outliner, you'll see it's here, and we have our IK handle for our left arm. All we have to do is middle -click, drag it over L_HAND, and now when IK is on, we can move this left hand, and the skeleton will move. We turn IK off and we move this, well nothing much happens. But when we turn it on, you can see how it snaps to that IK handle.

So that's the basic way of setting up an IK/FK switch. We're going to do a little bit more on this in the next lesson.

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