Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating control skeletons for the arm, part of 3ds Max: Character Rigging.
Next, we're going to move on to the character's arms. We're going to get a little bit more technical in this chapter, and we're going to set up an IK FK switch so you can transition between forward and inverse kinematics on the characters arms. Now we're just going to set it up for the arms on this character but you can use the exact same technique for the legs if you so desire. So when we set up IK and FK switching, we actually have to create a couple of additional skeletons. So we have our arm here, and we want that to work in either FK, forward kinematic or IK, inverse kinematics.
So we're going to set up two skeletons. One for FK, one for IK and then we are going to have the actual deforming skeleton which is this, its transition between those two. So, we are going to have two control skeletons that are controlling our main skeleton. So, the first thing we need to do is create some additional bones that match the bones in the arm. So, I'm going to go ahead and select the bicep, the forearm and the wrist of this left arm. And then I'm going to hit Ctrl+V to clone and I'm going to clone this as a copy. And leave the name the same, we'll change that in just a bit and hit OK. Now when I do that, you see that, well, yeah, I kind of have a copy, but it's completely overlayed by the original and it's also still in the hierarchy of that original. So if we go into our scene explorer, you'll see that I have these bicep, forearm, and wrist, the new ones are actually connected to the shoulder.
The shoulder is their parent. Now, we want to actually completely separate these out from the rig. So, I am going to go ahead and select that bicep and I am going to unlink it and that brings it out to the root of the hierarchy. And so now, we have three bones here that are completely outside of our character's hierarchy. So I'm going to go ahead and move that one up just so we can see it but we'll move it back later. And to make this bone appear a little bit different so that way, I don't confuse it with the other bones, I'm going to do a few things. I am going to select them all and let's go ahead and change the color to a lighter blue so that we don't get them confused.
And I am also going to through and take off the fins and make the buns a little bit narrower so that again we don't confuse them. So, I am going to go ahead and cut the width of these in half. So that way we can instantly spot the difference between the two. So now that I have this colored, let's go ahead and rename it. Now this is not going to be a bone which deforms the mesh, it's simply there to control other bones. So we're going to call this control skeleton, so we're going to give this a prefix of CS for control skeleton underscore, and then just the name so this is the left bicep.
And then I'm also going to append an FK appendix to that so I know that this is the forward Kinematics skeleton. So, again, let's go ahead and change this to CS, left forearm, FK and CS for Control Skeleton, left wrist, FK. So now that I have these, I can copy them. So I'm going to go ahead, and double-click on them, select the whole hierarchy and again, clone them using Ctrl+V.
So again, I'm going to copy these down. And I'll put this one down here, and again we're just positioning these so you can see how this works, we'll go ahead and put them back into place a little bit later. So again these need to be renamed; Left bicep IK, Left forearm IK and wrist. Okay. So now that we have these in place we can use them to start controlling our main skeleton.
So remember, what we're doing here is we're creating two separate skeletons that are not going to deform the mesh, but they're just going to control the other skeleton.
- 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