Viewers: in countries Watching now:
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.
The final constraint we're going to look at is called the Pole Vector constraint, and it allows you to point IK chains at an object. It's kind of similar to an Aim constraint, but for IK chains. Now I have a very simple setup here. In fact, this is very similar to the one that we used for the Point constraint, and I actually have two objects here. I have two circles that are actually constraining the top and bottom of this IK chain.
Now if I want, I can further constrain this chain to point at this object, so let's say, for example, this was the leg of a character and this was the knee. And I want to control the direction of the character's knee. I can do that using the Pole Vector constraint. Let's set this up the way that we setup any other constraint, we'll select the constraining objects first, and then we Shift+Select the constrained object last, so the IK handle is selected last. We go into Constrain > Pole Vector, and let's go and take a look at the options here.
We only have one option and that's the weight of that, do we want to turn this on or off? Well, we're going to obviously want to leave this on, so let's go ahead and just add that. And notice how this creates this little line here that tells you that this IK chain is constrained to this object. So now when I select this object, you can see that it moves to point at the object, and it really is only moving along that one axis. It's only really moving along the Y axis, so even if I put this forward or up or down, or something like that, it's not going to affect it much, it's really this left-right motions.
So if I wanted to I could move it this way and it's really just the motion in this plane that creates the rotation of that chain. Now if you want you can leave this the way it is, or you can add in something a little bit more interesting here. We can actually make this a child of the object that's already controlling the final position of this. So if we want to, we can go into our Outliner, and you'll see that I have my locator, this circle here, nurbsCircle2 is the one for the top of the chain, nurbsCircle1 is the one that's controlling the bottom of the chain.
Now if I take this locator and middle click and drag it over nurbsCircle1, you'll see that it becomes a child of that, and now when I move this, it moves along with it. But more importantly, when I rotate that object, I can actually rotate the knee. In all practical purposes, I now have one object that is completely controlling the lower half of this character. I have my NURB circle, which I can move up and down to position this, and if I rotate this along Y, I can control the direction of the character's knee as well.
So as you can see, Pole Vector constraints can be very handy in controlling the direction of a joint chain, and we'll be using these a lot later.
There are currently no FAQs about Character Rigging in Maya.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.