Rigging (Skeletons and Joints) - March 13, 23, 25, 27 - 2009

Reminder: Monday 3/29 class will be in LANG 213 computer lab
Lang 213 (Valentine's Day eve is 2/13) LANG HALL Monday

  1. Link to get to the online Maya 2009 Learning Resources - Tutorials - Getting Started with Maya - Character Setup - Lesson 01: Skeletons and kinematics materials. You can study this material anywhere and then later comme to the UNI SCC labs to practice Maya.
  2. Go look at the tutorials online

  3. Study Lesson 01 - on Wednesday, March 25th we got to and started the Creating joints. We stopped in the Creating joints (Chapter 3 of Lesson 01: Skeletons and kinematics). We stopped where the left leg was used with the Skeleton > Mirror Joint option box to be mirrored across the YZ plane to create the right leg. We left off at #10 Click the Mirror button and were just ready for the next step which is to create a joint chain for the spinal column. Why did we mirror across the YZ plane and not the XZ plane or the XY plane?
  4. In Creating Joints, the Kinematics Category preferences are set to 0.4 for the Joint Size setting. The default is 1.0, so just for fun you might want to try using the default Joint Size and then throw away the resulting Joint Chain (left leg skeleton) and start over with the 0.4 size. You will definitely see why for this practice lesson that the 0.4 Joint Size is better.
  5. Here is a copy of the Skeleton scene file that you can download and open up in Maya to practice the exercise with, just in case you have trouble finding the GettingStarted folder in the SCC labs. The CharSetup folder is inside of the GettingStarted folder. You do NOT need to find and set the GettingStarted directory as your Maya project! All you really need is this Skeleton.ma scene file.
  6. Here is where the CharSetup folder is on my 307 ITT office computer. It should be similar in the SCC labs. C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya2009\GettingStarted\CharSetup is the folder that contains Skeleton scene file for this tutorial lesson.
  7. Window > Hypergraph: Hierarchy command was used to rename the Joints in the Joint Chain of the left leg skeleton. Instead of Joint1, Joint2, Joint3, Joint4, Joint5 they were renamed leftHip, leftKnee, leftAnkle, leftFoot, and leftToe. It was mentioned that in the world of Maya 3D modeling and rigging characters, there is an extra joint that is NOT connecting two bone structures. Nobody has a joint on the tip of their thumb or fingers. Nobody has a joint at the very top of their skull. Nobody has a joint at the tip of any of their toes. Unless they are a virtual character rigged with a skeleton in Maya, that is!