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Testing skin using animation

From: Character Rigging in Maya

Video: Testing skin using animation

Once we've bound the skin to our skeleton, we need to adjust and fine-tune the weighting of each vertice so that the skin behaves naturally. Now the best way to do this is to create a test animation where we put the character through its paces, and that way we'll see where the extremes are and can adjust our vertex weights accordingly. So let's go ahead and set our time slider to frame 1, and I'm going to make sure that we have Auto key turned on, and I'm going to go ahead and set keyframes for each of these objects here.

Testing skin using animation

Once we've bound the skin to our skeleton, we need to adjust and fine-tune the weighting of each vertice so that the skin behaves naturally. Now the best way to do this is to create a test animation where we put the character through its paces, and that way we'll see where the extremes are and can adjust our vertex weights accordingly. So let's go ahead and set our time slider to frame 1, and I'm going to make sure that we have Auto key turned on, and I'm going to go ahead and set keyframes for each of these objects here.

So I'm going to go Animate > Set Key. Remember this is the S key. So I'm going to go ahead and set a key here for the left foot, select the right foot, and set a key for that, select the hips, set a key for that, and maybe one for the toe of each foot as well. Now we're going to move forward on the timeline a little bit. Let's go to frame 5 here which is about four frames up, and I'm just going to take the hips and just move them down.

Now you can see when I move those hips down, already we have a little bit of an issue where the character's heels are lifting off the floor. So I'm going to go forward another four frames and bring those hips back to normal. The easiest way to do that is to select the key on frame 1, right-click, Copy, let's go forward to frame 9, right-click, Paste. So now he bends down, stands up. Let's also do the situation where he puts his leg out.

So we want to test the extreme of this hip when the leg is extended out to his left. So again I'm going to go ahead and set a keyframe at frame 9. Let's go forward another four frames here and I'm going to bring that leg up and maybe even rotate that foot so that it's a little bit more realistic. And again just put that up, and you can see here that I am creating some situations that I don't want.

I don't want this dent to happen in his hip. So when I get to actually weighting those vertices, I will have a good example to fix. And again, we can go ahead and take that foot, copy that keyframe, and maybe place it back down by his side. And maybe what we can do at this point is also tap his foot. So I'm going to set a keyframe for his toe, rotate that up, and then bring it back down again.

In fact, we can either bring it back down, but I know that back down is zero, so I'm going to type in 0 there. So now he taps his foot. Now we also need another situation where he is basically bending his foot up. So, for example, if he were running that would be an important one. So again I'm going to set a keyframe here for the left foot at frame 26, move forward a bit, and put that leg into the position I want. Now notice how this joint is flipping, the reason it's doing that is because we have this knee control, and when the knee goes in front of that control it's going to flip.

So all I have to do is just pull that out in front of the character and it should snap into place. So now he puts his leg up, let's go ahead and put his leg back. Let's go to frame say 34, put his leg back maybe even rotate that foot a little bit, so that maybe this is the last step of a run or something like that where he's got that nice extension. And again, we're looking for strange deformations in this upper body here.

And then let's go ahead and just put this back to normal. So we're going to take the keyframe from frame 1, copy it, and then just paste it here towards the end. Again, this is not critical in terms of where you put the keyframes or anything, you just want to make sure that you lock in the default pose, and then return back to that at the end. So now I have a set of conditions for this geometry, and by stepping through all of these conditions I can fine-tune the weighting of this character's skin, and make sure that it behaves naturally.

And we'll be doing that in the next few lessons.

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This video is part of

Image for Character Rigging in Maya
Character Rigging in Maya

63 video lessons · 7557 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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