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.
Now let's go ahead and create the hand skeleton. Now the hand is probably the most complex part of the character. And I've tried to make this a little bit simpler by doing a three fingered hand, rather than a four fingered hand, but the process is pretty much the same for any hand. What you want to do is take a bone from the wrist to the knuckle, and then one for each knuckle of the finger, so we are going to do 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 bones per finger, and then also the thumb.
So the best way to start this is to go into the top view. So I am going to go into my top view here. Let me go ahead and turn off Grid so we see this a little bit more clearly. Again, I want to draw from here to this knuckle, and then each of these knuckles. Now what I've done is I've actually surrounded each of these knuckles with three edge loops, so we want to aim for that center edge loop. So let's go ahead and select our Joint tool, click on the wrist, highlight that, place one joint right around that knuckle, another one at this one, one more and then one at the tip.
Hit Enter, looks pretty good. Okay, so let's just keep going. I'm going to do one here for this middle finger, again, one at the knuckle, and then each joint in the finger, and one more for the tip. Hit Enter, select the Joint tool again, and let's just keep going. And there's our index finger, and again, we are trying to make sure that these go down the center of the finger as much as possible.
Now the thumb is a little bit different. The joint kind of goes sideways a little bit. So I've got a joint here, as that thumb hits the fleshy part of the hand, so somewhere around here, and then one for each joint again. So we are going to select the Joint tool. I'm going to put a joint right about here, one here, here, and then again, at the tip of the thumb, hit Enter. We've got the joints basically laid out, but only laid out from the top view.
We still need to adjust them in 3D, so that they go through the fingers at the proper place. The easiest way to do that is to go into either a front view or a perspective view, or both, just however you need to work in order to get these aligned properly. I'm going to work in the perspective window and just show you some of the basic techniques. I am not going to tweak this entirely, but let's just show you some of the workflow for this. So let's go ahead and look at the pinky.
I've got X-Ray turned on. One thing you might also want to turn on is Wireframe on Shaded, which will give you a little bit better view as to where the detail is, and where you need to have these working. Now I know that bones are aligned from a top view, so all I really need to do is to move these bones down or up in order to get them in the center of the finger. That's probably the most key part of doing this. So, typically I will just hit my W key, but I'm just going to be working in the vertical axis.
Also notice, how these fingers are kind of curving up just a little bit, but that's really just to give kind of a nice flair to the fingernails on the character. So let's go ahead and do this one more time. Again, you probably only will have to move these up or down to adjust them, because they are adjusted in the X-Z axis, we are just moving them along Y and again, for this index finger. And again, you may need to spin this around just to make sure that it's working.
And if you can look at the thumb, we can see the thumb is totally off here. Now I am just doing a very rough tweak of this. So you may spend a little bit more time than I'm doing to getting this right. But again, you can see what the process is. We get it correct from the top, and then we try and tweak it from the other directions. Now if you look at this here, this thumb is a little bit off, you can see I can move it there.
So those are some of the basics of how to get a hand skeleton blocked out and tweaked. Now I'm going to leave it up to you to fine-tune the positioning of your bones and also go ahead and name these appropriately.
There are currently no FAQs about Character Rigging in Maya.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.