Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a hip control, part of Maya: Character Rigging.
Now we are going to start moving up the body and actually create a rig for the hips of the character. Now the hips are really kind of the interface between the legs and the upper body. It's really where all of the upper body weight is transferred to the legs. So, I've created a hip control here. You can see I have selected it here, it's called Hips. And this is really just a curve, but I've made the curve a little pointy, so that way we can tell which direction the character is pointed.
Also, I've made the curve a little bit more 3D, so that when you see it from a side or a front view, you have a better clue as to which control to grab onto. So I'm going to go ahead and move this to the skeleton. I'm going to go ahead and hide my geometry, so that would make this little bit more clear. And I'm going to select my Hip Node and move it so that it is right here at the base of the spine. Probably the easiest thing to do is to just turn on Snap and move it so that it's snapped to that joint.
I'm going to go ahead and turn off Snap here. Now when I move this, you can see how my translations are now no longer 0, and for any control on a character, you really do want to keep everything at 0. This makes it very easy to return the character to a normal default state. So I'm going to keep this hip selected and under Modify, I'm just going to go Freeze Transformations. And that sets everything to 0. So now if I accidentally move this, I can get exactly back to where I want, just by putting 0 into the values.
So now, I wanted the root of the spine to this hip controller. And so the way that we do this is the way that we constrain anything. I select the hip, and then I Shift+Select this bone here. So let me show you this in the Outliner, just so you can see what we have. I have the HIPS selected first, Spine_Root selected second, and you can see that it's green, which means that it's the last thing that we have selected. And now all we have to do is add in a constraint. Well, first I'm going to add in a Point constraint to constrain position.
And I want to make sure that I have Maintain Offset clicked on. If you look at this Spine_Root, you'll see that the Translation is not 0. I want to make sure I maintain that offset. So let's go ahead and click Add, and when I do, these turn light blue, which tell me that it's constrained. And now when I select my HIP node, and now I can move the upper body separate from the feet, and this lower part of the skeleton controls the feet. Now one thing that the hips can't do is rotate the upper body yet, but we can fix that by adding in one more constraint.
And we are going to use an Orient constraint, so again, I'm going to select the hips first, Shift+Select Spine_Root second, Orient constraint, and again, I want to make sure I have Maintain Offset clicked on. Again, the rotate now turned light blue, which means they are constrained, and I've got this all working now. So I can now rotate my hips, and I can move them, and if I want to get everything back to normal, all I have to do is select the hips, highlight everything, hit 0 and we are back to normal.
Now again, we want to keep things organized, so in this case, I don't need to scale the upper body and I don't need to control visibility of this rig, so, I'm going to go ahead and select these, right-click, lock them, and hide them. So now all I have is translation and rotation. So let's turn on our geometry and you can see now we have our hips in place.
- Understanding the basics of rigging
- Creating skeletons
- Modifying joint attributes
- Working with inverse kinematics and constraints
- Rigging characters
- Using Maya's new HumanIK skeletons/rigs
- Setting up an FK/IK switch
- Creating custom facial rigs
- Binding skin using Smooth Bind
- Painting and editing skin weights
- Using expressions to rig a character's mouth controls
- Controlling eye direction
- Finalizing a rig
Skill Level Intermediate
1. Getting Started
2. Skeleton Tools
3. Inverse Kinematics
5. Creating Basic Rigs
6. Advanced Rigging Controls
7. Facial Rigging
8. Skinning Tools
9. Advanced Facial Rigging
10. Finalizing the Rig
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