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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.
Now that we have the lower body skinned using Smooth Bind, let's go ahead and do the upper body using Interactive Skin Bind. Now, this is just another way to bind skin to a skeleton, and it's a little bit more interactive, that's why they call it Interactive Skin Bind, and it has a few more tools that we can use and so let's go ahead and take a look at this. So, we're going to go ahead and just select our Spine_Root, and then Shift+Select our torso. Under Skin > Bind Skin, instead of Smooth Bind we're going to do Interactive Skin Bind.
Let's take a look at some of the options for this. And just like with Smooth Bind we're going to bind to the joint hierarchy, we're going to bind to the closest in hierarchy, and then we're going to create a Volume Type. Either it's going to be a Capsule or Cylinder. Capsules tend to work better and you'll see in just a bit. And then maximum number of influences, and again, I'm going to dial this back down to 3, because it's a fairly simple skeleton, and then let's go ahead and just bind the skin.
So, as you can see this little object comes up here and that's the interactive in Interactive Skin Bind. So, if I select a joint, let's go ahead and select the left shoulder. How this works is that it creates a little capsule around the joint that controls how much of the skin is affected by that joint. I can go through my skeleton and adjust my initial skin weighting using this. So, I can grab the capsule and move it up or down.
So, I have a left and right, I have basically my move tools here, but probably the more interesting things are these little red circles. If I left-click and grab those, I can make them bigger or smaller and that will probably more than anything, allow me to dial-in exactly how these bones affect my mesh. So, if I wanted to I can click at the very top, I can stretch or squash them.
So, for example, if I wanted to I could stretch this, and then scale it down, so that I have a little bit more control over how it affects the elbow joint, and then I can click on the left elbow and again affect that. I can stretch it, squash it, affect it however I want and I can just start moving through the skeleton and affecting this. So, if I wanted to I could also start with the torso. I can select these and you notice how these are a little bit different.
But again, we can select these ends here. We can also again, make them bigger, smaller. If I want to move them I can, I can grab these sides here, move them. If I want to rotate them, I can grab this little rotate glyph here, and again, I'm just trying to dial this in and get it affected. And you can see here, there's a little more of a rotate, we have a move here and we can also stretch and scale these.
The process for this initially is to just go through and adjust each one of these capsules to get a rough idea as to how your weighting works, and then once we do that, then we can go through and fine-tune it using other methods.
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