Rig Structure


Rig is a set of components that make possible creating character animations. A rig is, in essence, a virtual 3d skeleton made up of controllers that enable - or simplify - working with character poses.

Every character in Cascadeur always includes a rig. An object without a rig can still be animated, but possibilities for animating it are much more limited. Also, physics tools such as Ballistic Trajectories can only be applied to rigged characters.


No animation can be created without defining several key poses. This page lists tools available for editing character poses, complete with links to more in-depth articles.

Character rig is made of elements known as controllers. By adjusting positions of these controllers, user can move body parts of a character, thus changing the pose. Controllers are separated into several types, each suited best for a particular task. To create your animations fast and efficiently, it is essential to use different types of controllers. This can be done by switching between Edit Modes.


Edit Modes


Each Edit Mode makes visible and available for editing one particular type of controller.

You can select edit modes by clicking buttons on the dedicated panel on the Toolbar:

Panel for selecting Edit Modes on the Toolbar


Available edit modes are:


View Mode only shows the model itself with no controllers. Point Controller mode is the main mode for editing poses Box Controllers are generally used for adjusting fine details such as fingers or cloth parts
Joint Mode shows character armature Physics Mode makes visible physical elements of the rig Mesh Mode is used for working with meshes


Note: Every editing mode can be fully customized by enabling and disabling checkboxes in the Visible (which defines what types of objects are visible) and Selectable (defines object types available for editing) menus.





Manipulators are tools used for adjusting character poses.

Manipulators can be selected on the dedicated panel on the Toolbar. Along with manipulators, this panel also includes several other tools.

Panel for selecting Manipulators on the Toolbar


1. Selection tool

2. Translate Manipulator

3. Rotate Manipulator

4. Scale Manipulator

5. Global/Local mode switch

6. Tail mode switch




Translate Manipulator


Used to move selected object along coordinate axes. To move an object, place mouse pointer over an axis (doing so will highlight the axis yellow), hold Left Mouse Button and move the pointer.

The square between two axes represents coordinate plane formed by these axes. Use it to move the object along corresponding plane.

Place mouse over the circle at the center of the tool and hold Left Mouse Button to freely move the object around the screen space.


Hot key: Q

Note: pressing Q a second time will select a previously used manipulator; this way you can quickly switch between selection and editing tools



Rotate Manipulator


This manipulator is used to rotate selected objects across coordinate axes. Axes are represented as circles.

To rotate an object, place mouse pointer over a circle representing corresponding coordinate axis, hold Left Mouse Button and move the pointer.


Hot key: E

Rotation is performed across a pivot point which can be set manually. By default, the center of the selected object is used as a pivot point (if multiple objects are selected, pivot is assigned to the one with the highest position in the object hierarchy).



Scale Manipulator


This tool changes the scale of selected objects.

It should be noted that during scaling Cascadeur tries to preserve distances between selected objects (this is true for every kind of editing, actually)


Hot key: none

Like rotation, scaling is performed in relation to a pivot point which can be set manually.



Using Manipulators


Holding Ctrl while using a manipulator on an object will make the object move ten times slower than normally. This can be used to position objects with greater precision.


You can select a part of a manipulator by clicking it with Left Mouse Button. You can select any part of a manipulator - an axis, a coordinate plane or the circle at the center - but only one at a time.

When manipulator is selected like this, hold Mouse Wheel and move mouse pointer across the Viewport window to move selected objects. If an axis or a coordinate plane is selected, the object will move along it; if the central circle is selected, you can move the object freely in the screen space.


You can also adjust the visual size of the manipulators in the Viewport window. To do this, drag any part of the manipulator while holding Ctrl and Right Mouse Button.



Local and Global Mode


Every manipulator described above can operate in either Local or Global mode.

In the Global mode objects are moved, rotated or scaled in the world coordinates that are always the same for every object in the scene.

In the Local mode, on the other hand, transformations are applied to objects in relation to object's own local coordinates that depend on the current positions of said object.

Operating mode is set for every manipulator simultaneously.

Hot key: (tilde)



Tail Mode


This option adds "tail" effect to object rotation: when an object is rotated, all its child object rotate with it, like a tail.

This tool also can work in either local or global mode, which can be set independently from the Manipulator operating mode (see adove).

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