Game Character: Animation Friendly Rig

I am continuing to work through the production pipeline of creating a game character. Having finished the modelling stage, I moved onto the next step: rigging.

Initially I had hoped to create a skeleton in Maya and then create a rig. However, as I have not used Maya before, this proved extremely difficult, frustrating and I was running out of time. So, in order to be able to finish this pipeline this Trimester, I have instead created a custom CAT in 3DsMax. This was much more efficient as I have worked with CAT rigs before.

I began by adding a CAT parent.01Then I added a hub bone (the pelvis) and some legs. The CAT system is really effective because if you create one leg in full you can simply copy and “paste mirror” for the other leg.

02I then continued to add bones for the rest of the body. Including all the finger bones and an additional bone for her bag. I made sure to colour the bones in a way that makes it easy to see what is what: the left side is pink, right side is green, central bones are blue and the bag is yellow.

13From here, I added up-nodes, gizmos and IK targets to allow for easy animation. Again, I made sure to keep the same colour system. 08I like to make sure that the controllers are larger than the model, so that there will be no issues when animating (such as being unable to find a finger gizmo).

07I created extra gizmos around the knee and elbow up-nodes, so they are easy to see and grab. Additionally, I used squares for the knees and circles for the elbows, as I have had issues in the past when they get mixed up.

I added text to the hand IK targets and made them slightly brighter shades of green and pink so that they are easy to find and use.

11Finally, I added a rectangle gizmo to the shoulders. These will help to see what position the shoulders are current in (as horizontal is the neutral or starting position).

12Finally, my custom, animation-friendly rig is finished and ready for me to use.

06

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