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Introducing Maya® 2011 by Dariush Derakhshani

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Skeletons and Kinematics

In your body, your muscles move your bones; and as your bones move, parts of your body move. Bones are your internal framework.

In CG animation, a skeleton is an armature built into a 3D model that drives the geometry when the bones are moved. You insert a skeleton into a CG model and attach or bind it to the geometry. The skeleton’s bones are animated (typically with rotations), which in turn move the parts of the geometry to which they’re attached. By using a skeleton, Maya allows bending and deformation of the attached geometry at the skeleton’s joints. A skeleton is, of course, useful for character work, but skeletons have many other uses. Any time you need to drive the geometry of a model with an internal system, ...

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