Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Mirroring arm skeletons, part of 3ds Max: Character Rigging.
So now we have all of our left hand bones in place and named. So let's take a quick look at that. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in here and let's just take a look at the naming scheme for that first set of index fingers. So, we've got bone left index 00, 01, 02, 03, and then the end is not going to be a deformed one so it's going to be ND for non-deformed index end. So now that we have all of these in place, we can mirror the left side over to the right.
Now we've done this before but let's go ahead and refresh the process here. So all you have to do is select all of the bones on the left side here so I'm going to go ahead and start with this left shoulder bone, double click on it, that should select the entire bone chain and then we mirror it using the bone tools so go into Animation > Bone Tools and we have a mirror option. So when we mirror it, we want to make sure that we mirroring across the left-right axis. In this case, that is the x-axis and then we also need to make sure we know which bone axis to flip. So if it's on why, notice how this biceps bones comes up above the arm, which really isn't what we want. So let's go ahead and switch it to Z and that should put it in the right place. So let's go ahead and click OK and when we do that we get the bones. But the bones are the wrong color so let's go ahead and change them to green because we are using the color scheme of green is on the right. So I'm going to go ahead back to that shoulder bone, double click and let's go ahead and go into our color and then select a green color for these. So now these are colored properly and now come the tedious task of renaming all of these bones. So if we want, we can left click on this, and you'll see that 3ds Max has renamed it with the exact same name as the other one, but it's just put the word mirrored in parentheses behind it. Now we can go through and actually rename all of these from scratch and type a lot or we can let Max do the work. So let's go ahead and select just this bone, and we're going to do a little bit of a test. We're going to use a tool called Rename Objects. So I'm going to go into rename objects here. And this window allows us to rename objects according to a set series of parameters. So, if we want, we can work on the selected objects, in this case just this one bone, or we can pick by clicking through the scene. So let's do it by selected objects and now what we can do is we can give it a base name that gets inserted before anything else. We don't want that, but we do want a prefix cause remember this is called BN_L. So our prefix for the next batch is going to be BN_R, R for right. So we're going to go ahead and create a new prefix. We're going to unclick base name and our prefix is going to be BN_R. And then, we are going to remove these first four digits here. So basically, we are removing those first ones and replacing them with BN_R and we can do that on the end as well. We can remove the last digits that have the word mirrored.
Now, I've already counted those and it's ten digits for the word mirrored and the parentheses. So, if we remove those last ten digits we should be able to rename this exactly the way we want. So, let's go ahead and just keep this one bone selected and let's do our little test here. Let's hit rename and there it goes. So goes BN_R that's our new prefix. We've removed the old prefix shoulder and then we've just chopped off the last ten digits which are the word mere, great.
So this works all we have to do is double-click on the next bone, select everything. Make sure all of these are the same and hit Rename and bingo, it's all done. So this one is good, right bicep, right forearm, right wrist, right index, zero, zero everything should be in place. So rename objects can be a very handy tool, particularly when working with complex skeletons such as this. So, once we have our skeleton in place, we can now start adding controls to our character.
- 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