Finishing the skeleton
Video: Finishing the skeletonOkay, 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.
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Get a thorough overview of techniques for creating characters for video games or real-time rendered applications. Author Chris Reilly covers low-poly modeling, texturing and animation, using 3D model and texture assets created in Maya and Adobe Photoshop. The course also includes an overview of Unity 3, including importing characters and making interactive animations with the Script Editor.
- Optimizing, extruding, and sculpting geometry
- Modeling a character's head and body
- UV-mapping the head and body
- Mirroring and texturing
- Setting up the skeleton
- Rigging the head and body
- Skin binding & weight painting
- Controlling animation with scripts in Unity
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.
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