Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Controlling knee direction, part of 3ds Max: Character Rigging.
Now we have our foot controls in place. But we also need to control other parts of the character, such as the knee direction. So if I move my foot, you'll see that the knee pretty much always faces forward. And if I move my hips, you'll see that again, the knees are just basically pointing all in the same direction. So we can use what's called the swivel ankle to actually change these. Now, I already have two controllers in place here. They're called left knee direction and right knee direction.
So we're just going to use these as our targets for the knee. Now, the first thing I want to do is, I want to align these to the knees. So I want to get these pretty much centered. So I'm going to use my align tool. I'm going to select the first one. And I'm going to select a line, and we're going to align it to the knee here. So I want to make sure that I align it all in x, y, and z, and we're going to align to pivot points. Then hit OK, and then I'm just going to go ahead and side that back out along the Y direction and now it's pretty much centered to that knee.
And let's do the same for this other one. We're going to select it, hit align, click on the knee here. And again, make sure all of these are set properly, hit OK. And again, just move that back out. So now that we have these in place, we can use these as our knee controls. Now we can control the knee direction at the IK handle. So I'm going to select my left IK handle here and go into the motion panel. And I'm going to expand this so you can see this a little bit better.
Now in this panel you'll see that we have an IK solver plane and a swivel angle. Now, that swivel angle, if I, for example, move my hips down, and we select this IK handle tool, you'll see that the swivel angle is really the direction of the knee. Now, I can control it here, but the more important way to do it is to actually pick a target. But, before I do that, I'm going to set my hips back to normal. And then we're going to select this again.
And instead of dialing in the swivel angle here, I'm going to pick a target. And that target's going to be the left knee control. So once I have this, you can see that I can control the direction of the knee. So again if I bend the character's knees a little bit, you can see this a little bit more clearly. So if I move this left or right, we get a really nice knee control. So let's go ahead and do the other side. I'm going to select my right foot IK control here. And under IK Solver properties we're going to select a target for the swivel angle.
And click on that right control. So now, I've got great control here. So we can have the character do the shimmy. We can have the character do the Charleston. So now we've got the lower body pretty much wired up and we can move on to the spine 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