Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Positioning the hip bone, part of 3ds Max: Character Rigging.
Now that we have the legs and the lower half of the character in place. Lets go ahead and start working on the hips and the spine. Now the key thing about the hips is that they need to be positioned properly in order for the character to animate properly. So, lets take a look at how to do that. I'm going to go ahead into, actually my side view and we're going to draw a bone. So you're going to go to my create panel here, go into systems Bones. And I want to make sure I don't have any bone fins turned on and let's go ahead and draw a simple bone.
So you'll notice that typically I get an arrow. But if I hover over a bone, I'm going to get this cross and if I click on that you'll see that what happens is that, the bone will extend from the bone I've hovered over. And that's not what we want to do. We want to draw a separate bone that's not connected. So I want to make sure that I just hover slightly over the top of the thigh, and then just draw a short bone. Something about that length and then right-click to end. So I'm going to have actually a short two bone chin, then I'm going to select the bottom part of this.
Let's go ahead and rename this. We're going to call this Hip. And now we have to position this. So actually I'm going to jump out to my perspective view here and let's go into our layers and turn off our geometry. I just want to see the bones here. So I'm going to go ahead and turn off that layer and zoom in. Now I want the hip to be exactly in between the two legs from the front. But from the side, I want this to actually align with the top of this thigh.
And the reason I want this to align is that if it's too far forward or back, this will act more as a lever and it will actually move the thigh as the hip rotates and this will cause unwanted deformation in animation. We don't want that, we want this aligned exactly to this. Now, I can try to eyeball this, but the easiest way to really align this is to use the Align tool. So, let's go ahead and select Align and then click on one of the thigh bones here, and what this does is it brings up our Align Selection option.
Now what we can do is we can align this according to any number of parameters. In this case we want to align our pivot points. So I'm going to select pivot and pivot and you'll see that we've got this kind of aligned along these pivots and then we can align x, y or z. So, if all of these are on, you'll see that it's snapping to the top of that bone that I've selected. But if I turn off my z position you'll see that this bone snaps back to center.
Now, in addition to this, we can also align things such as orientation and scale, but we're not going to do that this time. We'll probably do it later. So let's go ahead and select OK and now we've got this bone exactly aligned the way that we want. So if we look at it from the front view, the bone is centered between the two legs and it is aligned to the top of both thighs. So this will make for a very good hip joint. Now one thing I want you to do before we go on to the rest of the spine, is we need to connect everything together.
So let's go ahead and use Select and Link. And we're going to link each of these thigh bones to the hips. So this way, the hips are the parent and the thighs will be the children. So now we have a center of gravity for our character. Now once we have this in place, we can move on to drawing the rest of our spine.
- 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