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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.
In addition to keeping your rigs organized, you'll also want to start restricting how the rigs operate. And what we can do is hide those attributes that were not going to be used in controlling the character. Now this foot is a great example. I have a couple of controls for this foot, so I have, for example, the foot control here, and this control allows you to move or rotate the foot. But if we go to the other control here, let's say a toe control, well, you don't really want to move that, because that's going to move along with the foot.
And this really should only rotate along one direction, in other words, the foot is only going to move up and down. We are not going to twist the foot left or right, or anything like that. So, in order to make the rig more understandable and easier to use, we want to hide those attributes that we don't want the animators to touch. So let's go ahead and select this left toe here, and we're going to hide those attributes that we don't want the animators to touch. So I'm going to go ahead and select the Translate nodes, and we can right-click over those, and the first thing we want to do is lock them, so that way they're not animated.
We can do the same here, we can just left-click and drag, and right-click and lock everything, but Rotate X. And Rotate X is what moves that toe up and down. So when I select this toe, I can't rotate it except around the direction that I want to, and I can't move it. So that really restricts how this operates. So when the animator comes to this particular part of the character's body, they will know that all I can do is rotate this along X. Now if we want to make this even more clear, we can start hiding attributes, so I can left-click and drag over Translate, right-click and do Hide Selected.
We can do the same for these attributes as well, again, left-click and drag, right-click, Hide Selected. So now when I select this left toe control, all I can do is rotate along X and that makes it very clear to the animator or whoever else is using this rig. Now there are times when you may accidentally hide an attribute that you want to show later. So let me show you another way to do this where you can actually hide and show attributes at will.
And that's found under Window > General Editors, and it's called Channel Control. And this is just a nice little interface that allows you to see exactly which attributes are hidden and locked. So these are Keyable and Locked, so if I select my left toe here, you will see that Rotate X is the only keyable parameter. If I wanted to rotate around other axis, I could scroll down this hidden list here, select what I want and then just click this Move button and that moves them over.
And you can see here, how they are now visible. We also have a Locked panel here, and again, I can select those and move those to the unlocked. And again, you can see how it does the exact same thing as lock and unlock in the Channel Box. So, what we can do is now we can restrict or control exactly which parameters the animator can use. So go ahead through the rest of your foot rig and hide and lock those parameters that you don't want the animators to touch.
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