Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating shoulder controls, part of 3ds Max: Character Rigging.
Let's go ahead and set up the controls for the character's shoulders. We want to make sure that the character can shrug his shoulders in other words, lift them up and down. So, I have these controls here, and let's go ahead and wire them in to the skeleton. We're going to start with the left shoulder. Now for this, we're actually going to use IK, so before we do that though, I want to go ahead and set up my pivots so that everything is aligned. So I'm going to select my controller align, I'm going to align to this bicep bone. Now I don't need to worry about orientation here so I just want to align the pivot point of this object to the base of that bicep bone.
So basically, I want it right here but when I do that, you can see that when I turn on my geometry, that's really kind of, it's not really easy to grab. So what I'm going to do is go into my Hierarchy panel, and just do effect object only and I am going to move the spline back while leaving the pivot at that point. So now, when I select this object, the pivot itself is at the point that I want.
Now, we're going to use this to control IK, actually. So we need to set up an ik chain for this one bone. So I'm going to go ahead and select the shoulder bone, the left shoulder bone. Go into Animation > IK Solvers, let's do a limb solver and then we're going to go from the shoulder to the base of the bicep and we're just creating an IK chain. So when I do that you can see that I can move this up and down. And that moves the shoulder up and down and allows us to move the shoulder exactly the way we want, which is up and down to shorten shoulders, or we can move them back and forth to push the shoulders forward and back.
So now all we have to do is constrain this object's position to our control. So, we go animation, constrain, position constrain, and I'm going to constrain it to this shoulder control. So now the position of that IK handle, is managed by this control. So when I select this control, I can now move it up and down and I can shrug my shoulders or move them however I want. Now, this IK chain, we need to name this descriptively.
So, I am going to go IK_leftshoulder and then let's go ahead into Manage Layers and we are going to put that in the IK control here. And then we can also take our shoulder controls and make sure they're in the control layer as well and then I want to take this, this shoulder control, and make sure it's also the right color. So I'm going to just click on this, and let's give it that, kind of that light blue color that we.
Use for the left side of the character. So let's do this one more time on the other side. We're going to select the shoulder controller, we're going to align to this intersection here, which is the base of the bicep, make sure we're aligned and positioned and again, we want to move this back go I'm going to go back into my hierarchy panel, affect object only, move it back so it's aligned. In fact if we want to, we can go into our side view and make sure that that's exactly aligned or pretty exactly aligned back into our perspective view here turn that off.
Now we need to set up an IK control. So select the shoulder bone > animation > IK Solvers. Let's use a limb solver. Connect to the bicep, there's our IK handle. Let's go ahead and make sure we name it. IK underscore right shoulder and then animation constrain position and we're constraining it to this object here so now when I select this object I control the shoulder, very cool. So, again, we just need to set the color of this, so let's go ahead and select color, we're going to make this kind of a light green color and there we go.
So, there's our basic shoulders, and we also have our hip and spine controls as well, so as you can see, we're really coming pretty far with our character, we've got a lot of the rig done. Now the next step is to move on to the arms and the hands
- 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