Placing the Torso and Head Joints
1. Begin in a front view and select Skeleton | Joint Tool.We
are not going to create a joint to account for each and every
segment of the spine. We are just adding enough joints to give
us a pretty good range of motion on the torso. You can now
begin to place the joints that will represent the spine.
2. Begin at the center of the torso between the hips and place the
first joint. Hold down the Shift key and create another joint
above the first, just below the hips. Holding down the Shift
key will keep the joints running in a perfectly straight line.
3. Still holding the Shift key, create another joint right at the
navel and another midway between the navel and the base of
sternum. Continue by creating one at the base of the sternum,
another joint midway up the sternum, and then one at the base
of the neck (see Figure 13-12). Starting at the first joint at the
bottom of the chain, name them pelvis, spine_1, spine_2,
spine_3, spine_4, spine_5, and spine_6.
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Chapter 13: Character Rigging
Figure 13-11
4. Select pelvis and then choose Modify | Freeze Transforma-
tions. The pelvis should now have zeroed coordinates,
meaning that the translations of the selected object (or joint in
this case) will replace its world space x, y, z coordinates with
zero values. What does that mean exactly? Well, think of it this
way: You can move the joint wherever you want in 3D space
and then return it to its default position by typing 0 for the x,
y, z translation values.
This is a very effective means of being able to return the joints
to their original positions once controllers are attached, as we
will see later in the chapter.
5. Rotate to the side view and position the joints as shown in
Figure 13-13.
Select pelvis and then Modify | Freeze Transformations.
The pelvis should once again have zeroed coordinates.
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Chapter 13: Character Rigging
Figure 13-12
6. Create a joint about midway up the neck and then another at
the base of the jaw just below the ear. Create one more joint at
the top of the head. Name the new joints neck, head, and
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Chapter 13: Character Rigging
Figure 13-14
Figure 13-13
7. Select neck and Shift-select spine_6. Hit the P key or choose
Edit | Parent to parent the joint.
8. Create a joint right about where the jaw meets the ear. Now
place one more at the chin. Name them jaw and jaw_end.
Select jaw and Shift-select neck_2, then hit P to parent jaw
to neck_2.
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Chapter 13: Character Rigging
Figure 13-16
Figure 13-15

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