Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up the forward kinematics (FK) skeleton controls, part of 3ds Max: Character Rigging.
Before we wire in the automatic FK, IK switch control. Let's go ahead and set up the control rigs for both forward and inverse kinematics. Now, we are going to control the control rig. So, we are going to start with the FK rig, the forward kinematics rig and I have two controls here. One for the shoulder or the bicep, and the other one for the elbow or the forearm. And we want to control the orientation of this skeleton. Now I'm going to go ahead and hide my geometry so we can see this a little bit better. And so this is just a very simple constraint. So I need to take each one of these controls and make sure that it's snapped properly to the control skeleton. I'm going to select my bicep control, click on align, and then click on my control rig. And that will align this object to the control rank. And I'm going to, I want to make sure I align position N orientation. Now let me show you another trick here as to how to get things aligned. I'm going to actually align it this direction here, but you can see that this actual control is in the improper orientation. But we can fix that using the motion panel, so we go into pivot and affect object only. And I want to turn on angle snap and just rotate the object itself, but not the pivot, 90 degrees. And that gets it aligned exactly the way the we want. So let's go ahead and select a second one. Align to this. OK, and then effect object only. Make sure snap is turned on.
And then just rotate that 90 degrees. So this is just another way to do the exact same thing we did on the spine. So now that we have these in place, we can set up our orientation constraints. I want to select my forearm, go animation, constraints, orientation constraint, and select my forearm FK. And if we want to we can take a look at this. If we rotate this you can see that yes, it does still control our main skeleton. Great. Let's go ahead and do the same thing for the bicep.
Constraints, orientation constraint, and drop it on there. So now this one also controls. But, we still need to set up a hierarchy. So I want this to go along with this, so I'm going to select and link this. So, now when we rotate this it all moves together but I want this to actually be aligned with this skeleton. So we can do that in a couple of ways, probably the easiest one is just to position constrain it. Now I already have a shoulder controller that is placed at that same pivot so lets use that as our position constraint. So I'm going to select my bicep, animation constrain, position constrain, and we're going to constrain it to that shoulder. So now when the shoulder moves up and down.
My controls move up and down. And when my control rotates, the arm rotates. Well, it rotates to the point where the constraint allows it to, because right now it's at 50/50. Now, one of the things you're noticing is that this control skeleton really doesn't matter what position it's in. And it really doesn't. So if we want, we can move it into place here, or we can leave it high. Now, in order to keep our scene organized, we probably should create a layer for these so we can hide them. So, let's create a layer, and we'll call this, let's just call it CS for Control Skeleton.
And let's go ahead and select these. Which are now hidden in the Skeleton Deform layer and let's move them to the proper layer, to, CS. There we go. Okay in fact let's do the same for this one as well since we have this open. Let's go ahead and select. All of these. And again, just scroll down and put them in that CS layer. Okay, so now we've got all these in this layer. Great. Okay, so that's the first step in doing this.
We also need to set up a control skeleton for I K, and we'll do that in the next lesson.
- 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