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Orient constraints

From: Character Rigging in Maya

Video: Orient constraints

When rigging, there are many times when you'll need to control the rotation or orientation of a joint or another object. For that we can use the Orient constraint. So let's take a look at this very simple joint chain here. We have a three joint chain and let's go ahead and constrain the middle joint of that chain. I'm going to create a constraining object, so that's going to be a NURBS circle, so I'm going to go ahead and select NURB circle, draw a very simple circle, and then just move that into place.

Orient constraints

When rigging, there are many times when you'll need to control the rotation or orientation of a joint or another object. For that we can use the Orient constraint. So let's take a look at this very simple joint chain here. We have a three joint chain and let's go ahead and constrain the middle joint of that chain. I'm going to create a constraining object, so that's going to be a NURBS circle, so I'm going to go ahead and select NURB circle, draw a very simple circle, and then just move that into place.

In fact, let's go ahead and snap this to that joint to make it precise. So I'm going to turn on Snap here, move that, so that it snaps to that joint and then turn off Snap again. In order to set up the constraint, it's a very familiar process by now, all we have to do is select the constraining object or objects, and then Shift+Select the constrained object last. And let's go, Constrain > Orient constraint, let's go ahead and take a look at our options here. Before an Orient constraint, we do want to make sure we turn on Maintain Offset, that's probably the easiest way to use that.

Particularly with joints, because joints always have to have the X axis pointing along the axis of the joint, and that can create some issues when you go to constrain them. So I'm going to go ahead and click on Maintain Offset, and hit Add. Now when you do that we get the constraint. Now I'm going to go ahead and click off of this and then just select the NURB circle, and as you can see when I rotate that circle, I can rotate the joint.

Now you have to be careful not to double select, so if I select the joint and the circle, and I rotate, you're going to get all sorts of havoc here. And that's because we're double-rotating, we're rotating the circle and the joint. We can eliminate the possibility of that problem by selecting the joint itself, going into the Attribute Editor, under Orient Constraint, and then go down to Lock Output, and make sure we have that turned on, so that way the joint can't rotate separately from the circle, and now the circle completely controls the rotation of this joint.

Now if you don't want to use offset, you can get it to work. Let me show you how this would work. I'm going to go ahead and select my circle, and let's go ahead and delete that circle. And we're going to go ahead and redo this. So let's go ahead and create another NURBS curve here, and position it in place. Now the problem with this is that, as you can see, the NURBS curve, it depends on how you create it as to where the X axis is pointing.

So in this case the X axis is pointing left and right, and in this joint the X axis is pointing straight down, so if I constrained orientation and turned off Maintain Offset, the joint is going to snap to the X axis of that circle. And that's not really what we want, so what we have to do is we're not going to use Offset, we have to make sure that the X axis of whatever it is your constraining, is pointed along at an appropriate direction.

So let's go ahead and delete this, and in this case I'm going to go ahead and create this circle in the side view. I'm going to go ahead and select my NURBS circle, make sure I have Snap turned off here, and then just go ahead and draw that. Now when what I draw it in a side view, the X axis is actually positioned properly along that circle. So all I have to do is rotate that circle into place. So let's go ahead and rotate it 90 degrees or actually in this case -90 degrees, and then just move that in to place, in fact, we can snap that to that joint.

So now I have a circle with the X axis pointing down, and I also have a joint with the X axis pointing down, so if I select my circle, Shift+Select my joint, do Constrain > Orient constraint, make sure Offset is off, now this is going to be aligned with that circle. I can just select the circle itself and we have that working without an offset. Orient constraints allow you to control the rotation of objects, and this can be used a lot in character animation and rigging.

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This video is part of

Image for Character Rigging in Maya
Character Rigging in Maya

63 video lessons · 8418 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 1m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
  2. 8m 21s
    1. Understanding the basic rig
      2m 53s
    2. Rigging theory
      2m 15s
    3. Organizing with layers
      1m 44s
    4. Naming conventions
      1m 29s
  3. 37m 11s
    1. Using the Joint tool
      7m 4s
    2. Modifying joint attributes
      6m 47s
    3. Creating the lower-body skeleton
      6m 45s
    4. Creating the spine skeleton
      5m 57s
    5. Creating the arms
      3m 38s
    6. Creating hand skeletons
      4m 41s
    7. Mirroring joint chains
      2m 19s
  4. 22m 0s
    1. Working with inverse kinematics (IK)
      5m 56s
    2. Understanding IK solvers
      6m 33s
    3. Blending between inverse and forward kinematics (FK)
      4m 52s
    4. Using spline IK
      4m 39s
  5. 21m 3s
    1. Point constraints
      7m 56s
    2. Aim constraints
      5m 10s
    3. Orient constraints
      4m 38s
    4. Pole vector constraints
      3m 19s
  6. 37m 6s
    1. Setting up IK
      4m 15s
    2. Setting up foot controls
      5m 59s
    3. Keeping rigs organized
      2m 51s
    4. Hiding unused attributes
      3m 37s
    5. Creating a hip control
      3m 55s
    6. Controlling knee direction
      3m 2s
    7. Creating spine controls
      4m 37s
    8. Controlling forward kinematics on the arms
      6m 20s
    9. Creating a master node
      2m 30s
  7. 28m 11s
    1. Working with set-driven keys
      4m 38s
    2. Creating custom attributes
      3m 54s
    3. Wiring joints to custom attributes
      8m 2s
    4. Creating an FK/IK switch
      4m 35s
    5. Setting up elbow controls
      2m 5s
    6. Hiding and showing controls
      4m 57s
  8. 24m 46s
    1. Creating simple eyes
      6m 58s
    2. Rigging non-spherical eyes
      7m 49s
    3. Attaching eyes to the skeleton
      3m 18s
    4. Applying blend shapes
      6m 41s
  9. 42m 31s
    1. Binding skin using Smooth Bind
      3m 28s
    2. Testing skin using animation
      4m 36s
    3. Pruning small weights
      3m 53s
    4. Painting skin weights
      5m 47s
    5. Editing skin weights in the Component Editor
      6m 1s
    6. Mirroring skin weights
      2m 2s
    7. Using Interactive Skin Bind
      3m 36s
    8. Refining skin on the upper body
      2m 3s
    9. Using skeletons to create a jaw
      3m 22s
    10. Refining jaw weighting
      7m 43s
  10. 47m 20s
    1. Setting up a control panel
      2m 27s
    2. Limiting controller motion
      6m 15s
    3. Rigging basic facial controls using set-driven keys
      2m 31s
    4. Rigging the jaw using set-driven keys
      4m 22s
    5. Rigging pupil controls
      3m 29s
    6. Controlling eye direction
      3m 21s
    7. Controlling eyelids with expressions
      5m 44s
    8. Using expressions to rig mouth controls
      8m 1s
    9. Creating a smile/frown control using expressions
      8m 56s
    10. Finishing up the facial rig
      2m 14s
  11. 6m 42s
    1. Cleaning up the rig
      2m 25s
    2. Testing the rig
      4m 17s
  12. 25s
    1. Goodbye
      25s

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