good rigging practices

Hey guys, Angela and I have come up with a list of good/helpful rigging practices….

1. Make sure to freeze transformations and delete history on any controller curves before constraining them to joints/IKs.

2. Types of constraints:

a) point constraints affect translation

b) orient constraints affect rotation

c) parent constraints affect both translation and rotation

d) aim constraints are usually used for the head and/or the eyes; they affect where the   geometry/joint is pointing

This tutorial done by a former RPI student shows how constraints work, starting at 4:30

(If you’re looking for help with a basic rig, you can also watch other tutorials on his channel, he has quite a few).

3. When rigging IK arms and legs, make sure the IK tool is set to RP Solver instead of SC solver. Also, when you have made the IK, the white arrow around the rotate solver should be pointing backwards for the arms and forwards for the legs.

4. Keep the outliner organized (joints should be in a “joints group”, control curves should be in a “control group”, etc.)  Make sure to label everything so that you can remember what it is (ie, label left_shoulder, left_elbow, left_wrist, NOT joint1, joint2, joint3).

5. You can test your rig by binding skin and detaching to fix any issues.

6. IK Splines should be used for a character’s spine and tail (if applicable). Not sure if a tutorial on this was done in class, if not I will be doing one in the near future.

7. If you are using smooth bind, make sure you have the correct settings. Usually “bind to” will be set to “selected joints” and “skinning method” will be set to “dual quaternion”. For our purposes, max influences should be set to 4-5 max, you can probably get away with less.

good modeling practices

Hey guys,

Silvia asked us to come up with a list of good modeling practices that you should all be using for the current assignment and in general. Here’s what Angela and I have come up with so far. (Sorry this is a little late, we were having some difficulties with the blog.)

1) Delete the history every so often (This can be found under Edit >> Delete by type >> History). If your working with a deformer that you want to keep, you can also choose to delete Non-deformer history instead. Doing this will make Maya run a lot faster.

2) Model in quads. All faces should have 4 sides; if you make 5 sided faces (or greater), you will have a very bad time when you start texturing or animating your model.

3) (Similar to #2) Vertices should be 4-star (meaning they are connected to 4 edges). If you have vertices that are 5-star or greater texturing, etc will not be fun.

4) Get rid of extra random vertices by using the Delete Edge/Vertex option (found under the Edit Mesh menu). You can also select all the vertices on your model and use the Merge Vertices tool (Edit Mesh >> Merge).

5) If you’re making a symmetrical model, you can model half of your object and then mirror it (Mesh >> Mirror Geometry). Select the option box to make sure that you’re mirroring in the right axis. Your mirrored geometry can be merged with the half you modeled by selecting the “Merge with the original” checkbox.

6) Switch often between modes 1 and 3 (subdiv proxy mode) to see what your model will look like when you convert it to subdivisions.

7) If you want to merge vertices between 2 separate objects, you need to combine them into 1 object first. To do this, select both meshes and use the “Combine” option under the Mesh menu.