Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Configuring the main control, part of 3ds Max: Character Rigging.
With the lower body rigged, we can now move on to the upper body. We're going to focus mostly on the hips, the spine and the shoulders. Let's take a look at the controls that we have in the scene. Now I've gone ahead and done some of the work for you by actually creating these controls. So we have a control here called the CN hip, control for the hip. Then we also have additional circles here which are basically our spine controls. Up here, we have controls for the shoulders; and we'll be rigging those as well.
In addition, we'll also have head and neck controls. So a lot of this is going to be rigged using what are called constraints. And so, let's go ahead and set up the hips. And I can show you how those work. But before we do that, let's go ahead and hide our geometry so we can see exactly what we're doing. So I'm going to go in to manage layers and find my geometry layer and turn that off. So I'm going to go into my hips here. And you'll see that if I move my hips, you'll see that the pivot of the hips doesn't quite match up with the pivot of this hip bone. Now what we want to do is constrain the hip bone to that controller. In order for this to work though, all the pivots need to be lined up. So let's go ahead and use our align tool. I'm going to select my hip control, select my align tool and then click on the hip bone. That's going to ask me what I want to align. What we do want to align position in x, y, and z. And we want to make sure that we're clicked on pivot point, not center. So we want pivot points to be connected. And then, if we want, we can also orient our axis. But if I click on this, you'll see that well, the axis of the controller doesn't match the access of the bone.
So we want to fix that, but let's go ahead and align the position first. So I'm going to align position. And so now, this position is exactly the same as the position of the spine. Now we have to change the orientation. If we don't do this, the skeleton will flip around when we actually constrain it to this controller. So we're going to make sure that the orientation is set up properly. And he can do this by affecting just the pivot. So i'm going to go into hierarchy, effect pivot only and then go back to my align tool, click on the hip bone.
But in this case, we've already aligned position, we want to align orientation. Now notice how this flips around when I change that. So now, the orientation of this controller is the same as the bone. So I'm going to go ahead and select OK, turn off effect pivot. So now, this controller is in the right position and orientation. So now we need to set up our constraints. I'm going to select my hipbone. Going to animation constraints and you'll notice we have a lot of different constraints.
There are two that we're going to be working with the most are Position Constraint which restricts the position of an object and Orientation which restrains the rotation of an object. So we're going to start off with the Position Constraint, select that and you'll see this dotted line comes out and then I want to just hover over my control spline and click. You'll see that in the motion panel of that bone, we have an additional controller added, and that's called position constraint. Now you might not be able to read it here, but that's what it is. So if I select this Controller here, I can now move it and my skeleton will follow along, or the bone that I've actually constrained will follow along.
Now one of the nice things about Constraint is that it constrains the position of the object, but only the position of the object. So if I rotate this controller, the spine really does nothing. So, this is a little bit different than a hierarchy. If I go into our scene explorer, you'll see that the hip bone is here in the hierarchy and the hip control is here. So, they really at the same place in the hierarchy. So this makes it so, the animator doesn't have to dig through a hierarchy to get to this important control and that makes it very easy to animate.
Now, we still need to constrain rotation. So as you see when I rotate this, the hip doesn't follow along, but we really want that to happen. So I'm going to zoom in here just a little bit, select that hip bone and we're going to do one more constraint. So let's go to animation, constraints, orientation constraint, and then again, constrain it to this controller. And when I do that, you'll see that now everything rotates accordingly. So now we have pretty good control of our hips.
So we can move them and we can also rotate them. So as you can see, we're setting up these controls using constraints. So we're constraining position and orientation to make the bones follow the controls.
- Setting up layers
- Drawing and positioning bones in the skeleton
- Rigging foot controls
- Creating hip and spine controls
- Setting up IK and FK skeleton controls
- Wiring the IK/FK switch
- Rigging hands
- Skinning characters
- Setting up single- and multiple-axis face controls