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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.
Now that we have one arm built, we can use that to create the other arm. My character is modeled symmetrically, and this will only work if you've modeled your character symmetrically. And also the other thing that we need to make sure of is that the character is centered to the world. All we have to do to create a second arm skeleton for the right arm is to mirror the left arm. And we do that very simply by doing Skeleton > Mirror Joint.
The first thing I need to do is select the joints I want to mirror, so I am going to start at the left clavicle. I'm not going to select here, I'm going to select here at the left clavicle, and then I am going to flop those over to the other side. Let's go under Skeleton > Mirror Joint and select the options here. And let's get everything arranged so we can see it. We have a couple of options here, one is, how do we want to mirror? Do we want to mirror across XY, YZ or XZ? Now the easiest way to figure this out is to figure out which way the joint is pointing.
In this case, if I look at my little gizmo here, you can see that it's actually pointing along the X axis, so the two left over are Y and Z, so that's what it's going to mirror across. And then Mirror function, Behavior or Orientation; in this case we're doing right to left, or left to right, we want to keep that at Behavior. In terms of replacement names, we can actually search and replace names. So if you notice here in my naming scheme, I always have an _L or an _R to determine left and right.
If I want to, I can search for _L and replace it with _R for right, and let's go ahead and hit Mirror, and boom, there it is. Once we have this mirrored, you can check this. We can see that that's Shoulder_R, so, my rename did work. And let's go ahead and just check, make sure that our placement is accurate. Those hands look pretty good, and it looks great. Now we have a basic skeleton in place for our character.
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