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Finishing the skeleton

From: Game Character Creation in Maya

Video: Finishing the skeleton

Okay, so I have done some more work on my skeleton here. Let's just review what I have done so far. So in last video we did the spine and the ribs. I have also added in the arms, which are very similar to the legs. They just branch out from the spine joints that they are closest to. Let's take a closer look at the head here. So I have added in a joint for the neck and let's take a look at that in the Outliner. So we have got a joint for the neck coming out of that last spine joint and have one central joint for the head and after the head is going to come the joints for the antennas, the joints for the eyes and the joints for the mouth.

Finishing the skeleton

Okay, so I have done some more work on my skeleton here. Let's just review what I have done so far. So in last video we did the spine and the ribs. I have also added in the arms, which are very similar to the legs. They just branch out from the spine joints that they are closest to. Let's take a closer look at the head here. So I have added in a joint for the neck and let's take a look at that in the Outliner. So we have got a joint for the neck coming out of that last spine joint and have one central joint for the head and after the head is going to come the joints for the antennas, the joints for the eyes and the joints for the mouth.

So that way, as we rotate the neck all of that stuff will kind of move in unison. So the joints for the eyes are pretty simple, coming off of that head joint-- Let's switch to the Top view. This is a little bit easier to see. Let me click here. So I am just going to select that eye joint. And coming off the head joint I have one joint that's centered in the sphere that makes the eyeball and then one joint that comes actually to the pupil of the eye, and that's just going to make it easy to rotate around that centered joint so that the eye can kind of move in its socket and maybe tract back and forth like it's looking at something.

Now the mouth, this is kind of an interesting setup too. Let me maximize this Perspective view here just by hitting Spacebar and I am actually going to turn off my geometry layer so we can look a little bit more closely just at the skeleton. So coming off of this central head joint here, I have one joint that's going to control the upper jaw and then one joint that kind of builds out to the lip, a joint for the lower jaw, and again for the lower lip, and then I also have one fore the corner of the mouth and I am going to mirror that to work on the other side of the mouth as well.

We are a little bit constrained with the way that we can set up our skeleton because we are bringing this into Unity. Unity only supports bone animations, whereas with other applications in Maya you can use different techniques like blend shapes to do a mouth for example. So this is one technique that gives us a little bit more control over the mouth of the character. And finally just the antenna, this is pretty similar to one of leg or the arm joints. This is just going to let the antennas kind of flop back and forth maybe as he jumps up and down or something like that.

So we've got everything set up for this left side of the body and we need to go ahead and mirror these joints over to the opposite side. So I am going to go ahead and switch to the front view just by hitting Spacebar and I will go ahead and start mirroring these joints. So I am going to select this left hip joint and let's find that in the Outliner as well. Okay, so I have got the left hip joint and I want to mirror that to the opposite side. So I am going to go to the Skeleton menu > Mirror Joint with options.

So we want to mirror this across the YZ plane. So if we think about this, let's switch to Prospective view so I can demonstrate this a little more clearly. So if we think about the way that this character is oriented, we have got the y-axis coming up and down here and the z-axis coming parallel. So we would want the plane that's formed by the y and z axis. That's kind of the plane of symmetry. So we want to select that to Mirror across and we can also have Maya help us out with our naming conventions here.

So we can have basically Maya perform a Search and Replace with the names. So I could have it search for that _L and just replace it with _R. So that way I will keep all the same hip, knee, ankle and so forth for both sides of the skeleton. So let me just select that hip again and mirror across the YZ plane. So go ahead and do that same operation for all the rest of the symmetrical joints, so the arms, this one side of the mouth, and then the antenna is already done and that's pretty much for the skeleton.

Really the key to being successful when building a skeleton is thinking ahead for how the character is going to move and also how its geometry is going to deform.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Game Character Creation in Maya
Game Character Creation in Maya

40 video lessons · 8837 viewers

Chris Reilly
Author

 
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      39s
    2. What you need to know before watching this course
      1m 9s
    3. Understanding game asset creation
      1m 21s
    4. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 25m 35s
    1. Setting up scene folders (Maya and Unity)
      3m 58s
    2. Optimizing geometry
      3m 14s
    3. Using symmetry
      4m 8s
    4. Extruding geometry
      4m 19s
    5. Sculpting geometry
      4m 1s
    6. Importing reference sketches
      5m 55s
  3. 37m 14s
    1. Modeling the head and nose
      5m 34s
    2. Creating the mouth
      4m 28s
    3. Crafting the eyes
      5m 11s
    4. Building the body and a wing
      10m 11s
    5. Forming the limbs
      8m 5s
    6. Adding finishing touches
      3m 45s
  4. 36m 11s
    1. UV mapping overview
      2m 43s
    2. UV mapping the body parts
      9m 18s
    3. UV mapping the face
      7m 40s
    4. UV mapping wrap-up
      3m 44s
    5. Mirroring
      4m 57s
    6. Texturing
      2m 46s
    7. Normal mapping
      5m 3s
  5. 46m 21s
    1. Setting up the skeleton
      5m 19s
    2. Building the spine
      3m 39s
    3. Finishing the skeleton
      4m 32s
    4. Rigging the legs and feet
      8m 35s
    5. Rigging the torso
      3m 49s
    6. Rigging the arms and hands
      3m 35s
    7. Rigging the face and head
      5m 9s
    8. Rigging wrap-up
      2m 27s
    9. Skin binding and weight painting
      5m 26s
    10. Animating in Maya
      3m 50s
  6. 29m 9s
    1. Exploring the Unity interface
      3m 3s
    2. Importing character and animations into Unity
      5m 50s
    3. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person character controller
      7m 14s
    4. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person camera controller
      4m 4s
    5. Making read/write animations using UnityScript Editor
      4m 8s
    6. Controlling scripts with animation events
      4m 50s
  7. 19s
    1. Additional resources
      19s

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