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Essential Skills in Character Rigging by Nicholas B. Zeman

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Chapter 3

Joints and Joint Orient

3.1 What Is a Joint?

In character rigging and setup, you will hear the term “joint” or “bone” often. As far as the terminology goes, they are essentially one and the same, the difference being the various software packages and how they like to label them. Since we are using Maya primarily for this book, we will use their terminology, which is “joint.”

A joint is a transform node, and like any transform node it has a particular point in space where it is located. Each joint has a World position coordinate. But joints differ from transform nodes in that they are a special type of object and have extra properties that are used when constructing “skeletons,” which are hierarchical construction of multiple joints ...

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