Maya 2011 Essential Training
Illustration by Maria Reñdon

Rigging the character to the scooter


Maya 2011 Essential Training

with George Maestri

Video: Rigging the character to the scooter

Now, the whole goal of this project is to actually get the dog on the scooter and have him ride the scooter. So we've got the dog already. Let's bring in the scooter and finish out the process. So we're going to go ahead and instead of Open, we're actually going to use a new function here and that's called Import. Now, I have saved out the scooter that we were working with. I just called it Scooter_Final. It should have everything we need in it. So let's go ahead and import Scooter_Final.
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 34s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. A note on screen resolution
      1m 50s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of the Maya interface
      7m 42s
    2. Working with files and Maya projects
      2m 27s
    3. Navigating viewports
      5m 56s
    4. Reviewing the Viewport menus
      6m 28s
    5. Configuring safe frames and grids
      3m 21s
    6. Selecting objects
      4m 33s
    7. Using the Move tool
      3m 48s
    8. Rotating and scaling
      4m 31s
    9. Manipulating pivots
      3m 59s
    10. Understanding the Channel Box
      5m 36s
    11. Working with the Attribute Editor
      2m 28s
    12. Using the Hotbox
      2m 59s
    13. Working with marking menus
      3m 6s
    14. Customizing the interface
      3m 36s
  3. 59m 25s
    1. Creating polygonal objects
      6m 28s
    2. Working with polygonal components
      4m 42s
    3. Selecting polygonal components
      5m 44s
    4. Working with Soft Select
      7m 3s
    5. Using the Extrude tool
      6m 47s
    6. Keeping faces together
      2m 42s
    7. Extruding along curves
      3m 27s
    8. Using the Polygon Bevel tool
      4m 14s
    9. Smooth and subdivision surfaces
      7m 6s
    10. Blocking out a character body
      11m 12s
  4. 36m 6s
    1. Working with edge loops
      3m 27s
    2. Inserting and offsetting edge loops
      3m 38s
    3. Symmetrical modeling techniques
      5m 53s
    4. Combining objects
      3m 50s
    5. Using the Polygon Bridge tool
      2m 7s
    6. Connecting components and splitting polygons
      2m 48s
    7. Poking and wedging faces
      2m 49s
    8. Working with polygon booleans
      3m 17s
    9. Modeling with nonlinear deformers
      4m 54s
    10. Modeling with lattices
      3m 23s
  5. 1h 18m
    1. Introducing NURBS modeling
      5m 3s
    2. NURBS primitives
      5m 54s
    3. Using the NURBS curve tools
      5m 7s
    4. Creating Bézier curves
      1m 59s
    5. Creating text
      3m 51s
    6. Manipulating NURBS curves
      4m 13s
    7. Refining NURBS curves
      4m 16s
    8. Offsetting NURBS curves
      2m 31s
    9. Editing NURBS surfaces
      7m 3s
    10. Refining NURBS surfaces
      7m 22s
    11. Using NURBS Revolve
      7m 31s
    12. Using NURBS Loft
      4m 11s
    13. Using NURBS Extrude
      6m 0s
    14. Using NURBS Planar
      4m 47s
    15. Stitching NURBS surfaces
      8m 52s
  6. 35m 53s
    1. Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces
      5m 57s
    2. Creating curves on a surface
      3m 53s
    3. Projecting curves on surfaces
      7m 2s
    4. Trimming NURBS surfaces
      3m 42s
    5. Using the NURBS Fillet tool
      5m 31s
    6. Sculpting NURBS and polygonal surfaces
      5m 52s
    7. Converting NURBS to polygons
      3m 56s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Working with the Outliner
      4m 58s
    2. Grouping objects
      4m 2s
    3. Creating hierarchies
      4m 17s
    4. Duplicating objects
      4m 51s
    5. Understanding the Hypergraph
      3m 32s
    6. Working with Hypergraph connections
      2m 31s
    7. Hiding and showing objects
      2m 12s
    8. Creating layers
      4m 2s
    9. Working with selection masks
      2m 57s
  8. 40m 18s
    1. Overview of renderers
      3m 24s
    2. Understand the basics of materials
      6m 15s
    3. Creating and applying maps
      5m 13s
    4. Using bitmaps as texture
      2m 59s
    5. Working with the Hypershade window
      5m 12s
    6. Working with mental ray materials
      6m 57s
    7. Using displacement and bump mapping
      3m 14s
    8. Using the Ramp Shader
      2m 36s
    9. Using the 3D Paint tool
      4m 28s
  9. 30m 14s
    1. Texture-mapping NURBS surfaces
      5m 46s
    2. Projecting textures onto surfaces
      4m 0s
    3. Texture-mapping polygonal surfaces
      7m 0s
    4. Applying UV mapping
      8m 11s
    5. Using the UVW Editor
      5m 17s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Creating joints
      10m 2s
    2. Deforming a mesh using the Skin tool
      5m 2s
    3. Creating IK handles
      6m 48s
    4. Creating blend shapes
      5m 39s
    5. Rigging nonlinear deformers
      2m 36s
    6. Finalizing the character
      4m 45s
    7. Rigging the character to the scooter
      6m 24s
  11. 1h 5m
    1. Working with the Timeline
      4m 16s
    2. Creating and adjusting keys (keyframes)
      5m 4s
    3. Editing keys
      3m 13s
    4. Modifying keys in the Graph Editor
      5m 47s
    5. Modifying keys in the Dope Sheet
      2m 51s
    6. Creating breakdown keys
      2m 28s
    7. Animating objects along paths
      5m 54s
    8. Animation playback using Playblast
      3m 10s
    9. Animating with constraints
      6m 16s
    10. Creating animation cycles
      8m 25s
    11. Using set-driven keys
      6m 13s
    12. Adding sound to animations
      2m 24s
    13. Finishing the animation
      9m 45s
  12. 1h 2m
    1. Lights and lighting types in Maya
      7m 29s
    2. Adding depth-map shadows
      4m 13s
    3. Using Raytrace shadows
      3m 28s
    4. Understanding the basics of cameras
      7m 14s
    5. Adding depth of field
      6m 31s
    6. Adding Bokeh using mental ray
      4m 33s
    7. Using motion blur in Maya Software Renderer
      4m 10s
    8. Using motion blur in mental ray
      3m 5s
    9. Raytracing reflections and refractions
      4m 41s
    10. Interactive rendering with IPR
      3m 33s
    11. Lighting a scene
      8m 29s
    12. Batch rendering
      4m 53s
  13. 25s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Maya 2011 Essential Training
9h 8m Beginner Jun 01, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Maya 2011 Essential Training, George Maestri demonstrates the tools and feature set in Maya, as well as the skills necessary to model, texture, animate, and render projects with this deep and robust piece of 3D animation software from Autodesk. This course takes an in-depth tour of Maya's interface, including navigating and manipulating objects in 3D and customizing the workspace. The course also covers object creation and modeling basics, shading and texturing, surface mapping techniques, character rigging, and lastly, rendering and final output. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Getting familiar with the Maya interface
  • Organizing scenes
  • Creating hierarchies
  • NURBs modeling for solid objects
  • Adding color to models
  • Applying bitmap textures
  • Working with mental ray materials
  • Polygonal modeling for characters and organic objects
  • Deforming with the Skin tool
  • Setting up lights and cameras
  • Creating realistic effects such as depth of field
  • Working with the Timeline
  • Creating animation cycles
  • Batch rendering
  • Rendering with the mental ray engine
3D + Animation
George Maestri

Rigging the character to the scooter

Now, the whole goal of this project is to actually get the dog on the scooter and have him ride the scooter. So we've got the dog already. Let's bring in the scooter and finish out the process. So we're going to go ahead and instead of Open, we're actually going to use a new function here and that's called Import. Now, I have saved out the scooter that we were working with. I just called it Scooter_Final. It should have everything we need in it. So let's go ahead and import Scooter_Final.

Now, what that does is it brings the contents of another scene into your scene. Now, when we import, we can import Maya files. We can also import other types of files, such as FBX or OBJ. So if you're bringing in other types of geometry, you do it here, but we're just using Maya files. So let's go ahead and bring in Scooter_Final.mb. There it is. So since we have placed everything in the center, you can see that everything is pretty close and I plan for this to have it actually pretty close in size.

All we have to do now is position the dog on the scooter. So I'm going to go ahead and take my dog's body and I'm going to go into my Side viewport. Let's go ahead and just do some positioning here. I'm going to go ahead and move it, just so his rear end is kind of on that seat. Now, the thing is is that his legs aren't bending here, but that's okay because when he is riding this, his feet are just going to be solid to the scooter itself.

So I really don't need to rig his legs for this individual scene. Now if you're going to use this dog somewhere else, yeah, you'd have to rig his legs. But for this, let's just go ahead and do this. So I'm going to go ahead and just select vertices of the body and just move his legs. I'm literally just going to model him so that his legs are in place. It's kind of a hack way to do it, but it works really well. Sometimes when you're in production, the shortest distance between the two points is the best methods.

So all I had to do is just kind of model him so that his feet are on the scooter. So go back in Object mode, and there he is. He is pretty much on the scooter. Now, I could probably do a little bit more tweaking here, maybe set him down on the seat a little bit, but for now that's pretty good. Now, I also need to get his hands onto the handlebars. That's pretty simple. So all I need to do is just move those gloves down so that they fit the handlebars. Now, he does need to be grasping these handlebars.

For the scene I have, he is not going to take his hands off those. So again, I'm just going to do some very simple modeling. Now, I could do this in one of two ways. I could just model a hand this close and do a blend shape, or I can just very simply model it into place. So I'm just going to go ahead and rotate some of these vertices and literally just get his hand on that handlebar. I'm going to go ahead and select this edge loop here, double-click on this. I'll go ahead in here and rotate that.

Again, I'm just trying to position this so that his hand is there. Very simple. Let's go ahead and do the same thing for his other hand. So I'm going to go ahead and select this hand and move it down and onto that handlebar, maybe move it out a little bit. There we go. Pretty much what I want. Again, I'm just going to go ahead and do just a really quick modeling of his hands.

So I'm just going to grab those vertices, rotate them, and move them down. Then for this one here, I'm going to go ahead into Edge mode here. Double-click on this edge, and then rotate that as well. So there we go, very simple. His hands are now on the handlebars. But we still have a problem, because he is not attached to the scooter. If I were to grab this main node of the scooter and move it, well, the scooter is just going to drive off without him.

We don't want that to happen. Also, when I rotate the handlebars of the scooter, I want his hands to be stuck to those handlebars as well. So let's go ahead into this and do some work in the Outliner. So I've got my Scooter locator. Underneath this locator is everything that comprises that scooter. So what I want to do is take my body of my character, middle-click and drag, and place it underneath that locator. So now when I select this locator, he is moving with the scooter.

So all I have to do is animate this locator and he will animate with it. But I still need to figure out the handlebars. Well, the handlebars are really just a separate locator. They are just this locator to which everything in the handlebars is connected. So if I go down here, you'll see that I've got this locator here called Steering. Underneath that are all the shapes that comprise the fender and the steering columns and the headlights and everything.

So all I need to do with this is just, again, just another little hierarchy trick. I need to grab both gloves, which are actually in the body right now, and middle-click and reconnect them and put them underneath that Steering locator. So now when I select that, notice how it selects the gloves. Now when I steer this, his hands will go with it. Very simple. So now he is all set and ready to go.

So now we've got-- we can move the scooter, we can steer the scooter, and we can turn his head, so that he looks at us as he drives the scooter. So now that we've got all of this set, we're ready to animate our scene.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Maya 2011 Essential Training .

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Q: The Chapter 2 exercise file dog_reference.mb appears blank when opened in Maya. I can't see the dog image. What do I do?
A: Make sure you are working with the most current version of the exercise files for this course from the site. Try downloading the files again. If the image still doesn't appear, make sure the project folder is set to the matching (Chap02) folder in the exercise files.
Also check to make sure you have "hardware texturing" enabled under the viewport's Shading menu.
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