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Rig it Right! Maya Animation Rigging Concepts

Book Description

Rigging a character can be a complicated undertaking. Move from a bi-pedal character to a quad- or poly-pedal and, well, things just got real. Where do you begin?

Unlike all of those button-pushing manuals out there, Rig it Right! breaks down rigging so that you can achieve a fundamental understanding of the concept, allowing you to rig more intuitively in your own work. Veteran animation professor Tina O’Hailey will get you up and rigging in a matter of hours with step-by-step tutorials covering multiple animation control types, connection methods, interactive skinning, BlendShapes, edgeloops, and joint placement, to name a few. The concept of a bi-ped is explored as a human compared to a bird character allowing you to see that a bi-ped is a bi-ped and how to problem solve for the limbs at hand. After you have moved beyond basic bi-pedal characters, Rig it Right! will take you to a more advanced level where you will learn how to create stretchy rigs with invisible control systems and use that to create your own types of rigs.

    • Hone your skills every step of the way with short tutorials and editable rigs that accompany each chapter. (17+ rigs!!)
    • Read "Tina’s 10 Rules of Rigging" and build the foundational knowledge needed to successfully rig your characters.
    • Visit the companion website (www.focalpress.com/cw/ohailey) and expand your newfound knowledge with editable rigs, exercises, and videos that elaborate on techniques covered in the book
    • Coffee is not required – but encouraged.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction
    1. Basic Rules of Rigging
    2. Taking Control of Your Outliner/Hypergraph/History
    3. Introduction to Nodes
    4. How to Find the Transform and Shape Nodes
    5. Looking Under the Hood
  8. Part I: Basic Concepts
    1. Chapter 1. Props, Pivot Points, Hierarchies
      1. Zero-ing Out
      2. Using Group Nodes to Hold Animation
      3. Making Children
      4. Lock What Isn’t Going to be Animated
      5. What to Do If You Have Hidden Attributes and Want Them Back
      6. Pushing the Concept
    2. Chapter 2. Deformers
      1. Non-Linear Deformers
      2. Changing Deformation Order
      3. Lattice
      4. Cluster
      5. Super Toothbrush
      6. Other Deformers
    3. Chapter 3. User Controllers
      1. One-to-one Controllers
      2. Connection Editor
      3. To Limit the Controllers
      4. Adding More Animator’s Controllers
      5. A New Type of Connection: Constraint Connections for Translate, Scale, Rotate
      6. Clean-up Time
      7. Adding Scale to Our Rig
    4. Chapter 4. Utility Nodes and Custom Attributes
      1. Utility and Low/High Resolution Switch
      2. How Do We Create a Custom Attribute on an Existing Controller?
      3. ENUM
      4. “One to Many” Connections
    5. Chapter 5. Joints
      1. Joints are Tricky Things
      2. Orient Joints
      3. Character With a Skeleton: Googly-eyed Puppet
      4. Check Your Joint Rotational Axis
      5. Creating the Right Arm the Easy Way
      6. Simple IK Arm
      7. Waist Control
      8. Main Move for the Character
      9. Interactive Skinning
      10. Them Eyes
      11. Cleaning Up
      12. Scale
      13. Jaw Controller
      14. Head Controller
    6. Chapter 6. Blendshapes and Set Driven Key
      1. Hooking a Controller Up to a Blendshape
      2. Blendshape Weights
      3. Adding Controllers
      4. Set Driven Key
      5. Set Driven Key to do Automatic Corrective Blendshapes
      6. Set Driven Key to Drive a Forward Kinematic Tentacle
      7. More Advanced Controller Setup
      8. Extra Effort
  9. Part II: The Biped
    1. Chapter 7. The Biped
      1. The Leg
      2. The Spine
      3. Joint Orientations
      4. The Arms/Wings
      5. Orient Joints
      6. Hands/Feathers
      7. Clavicle
      8. Mirror Wings
      9. That Bone’s Connected to the Other Bone
      10. Helper Joints
      11. Finishing Up
    2. Chapter 8. Skinning
      1. Pipeline 1: Creating Proxies Manually then Skinning the Low-res Geometry
      2. Skinning
      3. Skinning the Bird
      4. Mirror Skin Weights
      5. Painting Skin Weights
      6. Creating Proxies
      7. Joint Adjustment
    3. Chapter 9. Upper Body, Lower Body, Root: Always Have a Cha-cha
      1. Upper_Body_CNTRL and Lower_Body_CNTRL
      2. Root_CNTRL
      3. CNTRL Hierarchy
    4. Chapter 10. Feet and Knees: Simple, Group-based, and Joint-based Feet
      1. Peel Heel
      2. Toe Tap
      3. Tippy Toe
      4. Main Foot Movement
      5. Locking Them Down Boss
      6. Adding Controls for the Animator
      7. The Knee
      8. Cleaning Up
    5. Chapter 11. Spines: FK, Spline, SDK (Set Driven Key)
      1. FK Spine
      2. Set Driven Key Spine
      3. Spline Spine
    6. Chapter 12. Arms, Elbows, and Clavicles: Single-chain, Triple-chain with Wrist Twist (SDK or Cluster)
      1. Functionality
      2. IK/FK Switching Methods
      3. Not All Arms are Created Equal
      4. Down to Rigging that Arm: The Abstracted Steps
      5. Single Chain Method
    7. Chapter 13. Hands: SDK, SDK and Keyable CNTRLS
      1. A Simple Set Driven Key
      2. To Clean Up that Rig
    8. Chapter 14. Eyes, Blinks, and Smiles
      1. Joints
      2. Groups
      3. Fancy-smooshy Eyes
      4. Where to Put the Look at Controller?
      5. Blendshapes and Referenced Files
      6. Back to Blendshapes
      7. Blinks
    9. Chapter 15. Master CNTRL and Scale-able Rigs
      1. Main_CNTRL to Move and Rotate the Whole Character
      2. Main_CNTRL to Scale the Whole Character
      3. Scale Unskinned Geometry (eyes etc.)
      4. Problem Solving
      5. Bulletproofing
      6. Animating the Rig
      7. The End of the Beginning
  10. Part III: Advanced Topics
    1. Chapter 16. OMGimbal Lock
      1. What is Rotational Order?
      2. What Does it Look Like When You Lose an Axis of Freedom?
      3. What Rig is More than Likely Going to Hit Gimbal Lock?
      4. What Can We Do to Avoid Gimbal Lock?
      5. What Does it Look Like When You Have Flipping Issues?
      6. What Can We Do to Avoid Flipping Issues that are Animation Issues?
      7. What Can We Do to Avoid Flipping Issues that are Rigging Issues?
    2. Chapter 17. Advanced Controls
      1. Control Systems and How They are Hooked Up
      2. Control Systems and How They are Represented Visually
      3. Transform to Component Set Driven Key
      4. Transform with Multiple Shape Nodes
      5. Hidden Proxies as Controllers
      6. Controllers Driving Other Controllers
      7. GUI Control Systems
    3. Chapter 18. Stretchy
      1. Stretchy Skin
      2. Clusters
      3. Joint Balls Driven by a Joint System
      4. Lattice Skinned to Skeleton
      5. Stretchy Skeletons
      6. What about IK Chains?
      7. Auto Blendshapes to Make Pleasing Silhouettes
      8. All of the Above (Osipa)
    4. Chapter 19. Broken Rigs and Dangly Bits
      1. Breakable Rigs (Independently Movable Skeletal Sections)
      2. Detachable Parts
  11. Epilogue: Happily Ever After
  12. Index