Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up the spine, part of 3ds Max: Character Rigging.
Now let's go ahead and start wiring up our spine controls. Now we're going to do this pretty much the same way that he did for the hip control, we're going to use constraints. But for the spine we're just going to use orientation constraints because we don't want to effect the position of the bones. We want those all stuck together. So let's go ahead and go into this first spine control. So I'm going to go ahead and select that. And you'll see that while the position of this is not connected to this lower spine bone, so we need to align position here, so I'm going to use my align tool and align it to my object here but again, I don't want to align orientation.
I just align position along the pivot points, and go ahead and select OK. So now, we have got the position and so that's going to be the axis of rotation. Now, as you saw, the orientation of this bone was not aligned. Now let me show you very quickly what happens if we don't have those bones aligned when we set up our constraint. So if I select this bone here, the spine 01 bone, and constrain orientation to this controller, watch what happens. The spine bends over and it gets all weird. Now, if we wanted to, we could offset this by going down into this constraint and saying keep initial offset, but we need to be consistent with our rig, so if we start off by aligning all the orientations, we need to make sure that we do that throughout the rig. So, I'm actually going to go ahead and undo my way out of this. Get rid of that constraint and we need to again align the orientation of this pivot. So, I am going to go into the hierarchy panelm, Affect Pivot Only, Align and then make sure that we are aligning the axis. So, we can keep position aligned because it already is and hit OK. Now turn off Effect Pivot, and we should get a good orientation. So let's go ahead and select the bone, Constrain Orientation. There we go, so now, I've go rotation on this upper bone. But not position so if I move this, it doesn't move. So one of the things that I want to do is start building a hierarchy, as well as locking down the position of these controllers. So first off, let's go ahead and start building a hierarchy. I'm going to select this, and link it to the hip controller. So when the hip controller moves, that spine control moves as well. Now I also want to take the spine control and go into my curve editor and lock down the position controllers. So go ahead and select all of those, right click, lock and also we can lock scales so right click again, lock. So now I can't move this at all. All I can do is rotate it and so that will not confuse the animator and we'll make sure that the control moves exactly the way that we want. So now all we have to do is just do the exact same thing for each of these spine controls. So now we have to align the pivot of this control to this, so we can go into our hierarchy panel, Affect Pivet Only. Click on our align tool, align this. We want to make sure that we are aligning along orientation, click OK. Turn this off and we should be able to now do an orientation constraint. So I'm going to go ahead and select this bone. Animation > Constraints > Orientation Constraints. There we go. Now let's go ahead and link this controller to the spine. So now our hierarchy's going to be hips, spine, and then spine and then we also want to go ahead and lock down our controllers.
So I'm going to go ahead and select my position controllers in the curve editor, right-click, lock, scale, right-click, lock. There we go. So now, we've got two joints and if I want I can rotate this as well and just rotate the spine. So, one more to go, let's do this once more and we've pretty much got it memorized by now. Select the object, align position. But not orientation, so kind of remembers what we did before so we want to make sure that we're just aligning position okay.
Now, affect pivot align again and this time we're not aligning position but we're more concerned with orientation okay. Bone, constrain orientation. There we go, okay. Now all we have to do is link this in and freeze the controllers. So go back into our curve editor, select all the position controllers, lock them. Select the scale controller, right click, lock and there we go. So now we have all of these controllers in place. And again, let's go ahead and do a quick test of our rig and see that the spine controllers are moving, which is great.
Now one thing that I haven't done is actually set up my color scheme here. So let's go ahead and do that as well. I'm going to select all of these and let's go ahead and give it a color. So I want red for the middle. So let's go ahead and select the light red here, and now we've got a color that's a little bit more descriptive so the animator knows what he sees. So again, remember, orientation constraints make sure all the pivots are aligned and then link the skeleton in using a hierarchy and mark those parameters off that you don't want to use.
- 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