Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating hand skeletons, part of 3ds Max: Character Rigging.
Now once we have the arm bones in place, it's time to draw the hand skeleton. Now, this is probably the most detail work that you'll have to do with drawing a skeleton. So, I'm going to go ahead and give you the overview of it but some of the detail work you'll have to do yourself, cause it does take a little bit of time to do that. So typically we draw the hand skeleton from the top view and then we adjust it in our other views. So let's go into a top view and basically what we want is we want one hand bone per finger.
And then additional joints for each joint of the finger. This is a four fingered hand, so we're going to need a total of four fingers and a thumb. So let's go ahead and start with the fingers. Now one of the things is that we'll probably have to reduce our bone size because our fingers are so small. So we're going to go into bones here, and before we draw any of these, I'm just going to go ahead and reduce that width to point 2, rather than 1.0. We're going to make these fairly thin just so that they'll fit into the fingers.
And it looks like these fingers are about a quarter of the diameter of the forearm so that should be about right. So lets go ahead and start. I'm going to go ahead and hover over this wrist bone. Left click, drag. And then I'm going to find the knuckle of that pinkie from the top view and then another click for each joint and then one at the end and then right click the end. Now if we look at this from a perspective view.
You'll see that it's not quite aligned exactly into the finger, we are going to have to adjust this. But let's go ahead and just get all of the fingers in place, and then we'll go ahead and adjust it all at once. So I'm going to go ahead and go bones again. Hover over the wrist, create another hand bone here. Find the knuckle, and then each individual joint and again, right-click to add. And let's just go through, and do this with all of these.
And again, placement should be reasonably precise but we are going to adjust these later. So, you don't have to be super precise about this. Okay. So now I've got the fingers in place, now the thumb is going to be a little bit different, because it is rotated a little bit more. So I want to make sure I get one right here for the base of the thumb and then this joint and then the end of the thumb. So something like that, and again we can always adjust these later. And that's exactly what we're going to do right now.
So let's go into our perspective view and I'm actually going to go ahead and turn on shading here so we can see this in kind of an x-ray view, and this is where x-ray comes in really handy because one of the things about x-ray is that it hides the wires on the opposite side of the character. So you can really see what you're doing, it makes it much easier. And you could see here that this particular joint is a little bit low. So, let's go ahead and just go through and adjust the pinky and a few others, and then go from there.
So, let's go ahead and take this one, and basically, I want to go ahead and move this up. And again, I'm just working my way down the chain here. One of the things I'm looking at is how much is this intersecting the mesh here. And you can see I've got just a little bit above the mesh. If I can get that for all of the joints I should be pretty good and again just make sure that we get that. And then if you want we can also move them over just a little bit to get them centered down, this finger here.
Okay. So let's do one more. Let's do this finger and you can see that this one comes. Actually all of them are coming in pretty low, so let's go ahead and adjust this. Again, bring it up. And so one of the things you can do is you can see how my axis, I can see how that's actually almost intersecting that edge loop that goes down the middle and that's actually another good guide for this when you're working in a perspective window like this. And so again, we can just go through all of these bones, and adjust them.
So, I'm just doing this very roughly, okay and let's do the index finger. And again, I'm just trying to get this fairly centered. In fact, if you want you can look at it from the side here. And again, you want to get that last angle just about right. So, with these end ones, I want to make sure that this last bone is kind of around the middle edge loop there. So, I'll go ahead and leave you for the fine tuning of this. So, let's go ahead and just get to the thumb and see what this looks like. And obviously, this is off by quite a bit. So, let's go ahead and move this bone down, all the way down. And if you see from the top here, we may have to move it over just a bit. I'm trying to get this aligned with that thumb there. So this one isn't quite as long as I want it to be. So, I want to make sure that I'm in bone edit mode, not just bone move mode here because when I'm in bone edit mode I can actually move and adjust these. So before I was actually just moving the bones, but now I can actually kind of move them a little bit more precisely here. So now that I'm in bone edit mode let's get these set up the way that we want. And again I'm trying to look at this line here going down the center of this thumb and that's really where I want to align it from this view.
And then from this view here, you want to make sure that you got this pretty aligned. So, this is the rough process obviously we can tweak this a little bit more. But go ahead and position your bones and then name descriptively and color the joints.
- 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