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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.
Another important thing for character rigging is to maintain nice naming conventions. So, as you go through the rig you want to name things descriptively, and also create names that you can recognize. So, for example, in this character here, if I turn on my skeleton, I can go and you can see that all my skeleton joints are named appropriately. So I have elbow, shoulder, I also have left and right, clavicle left, spine, neck, and so on.
But if I go into my rig as well, you can see that I also have those sorts of naming schemes for my rig. Now one of the conventions that I use, now this may not be something that you want to use, but I always put my rigging naming conventions in upper case, and that is more of a bold way of saying this is the control that you use. So if you see a left elbow in your skeleton versus a left elbow in your rig, you'll know that there are differences between the two. Another important thing is to keep your names fairly short.
If you have really long names they are going to be hard to read sometimes when you're selecting them or when you're working with them, so try and keep them as short and as descriptive as possible. So as you go through a rigging process, you are going to be creating a lot of different objects. So as you create them, make sure you enforce your naming schemes.
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