Rigging Tool

 

The Rigging tool window

The process of creating a rig involves placing and adjusting sets of prototype objects. These prototype objects are attached to joints that compose character skeleton, and then used to generate the actual rig. While the rig itself is generated automatically, its quality depends on the quality of the prototype. Creating a good prototype requires choosing right positions for its elements.

Every instrument for creating and managing prototypoe objects is located on the Rigging tool panel. It be enabled by selecting Rigging tool from the Objects menu.

The following page provides detailed description for every tool that can be found on the Rigging tool panel.

Add rig element

Clicking this button creates a new set of prototype rig elements and binds them to the selected joint. Created elements are described in the Setting Up Prototypes section of the Creating Rigs page.

Additional point in Axis

This group of parameters controls the position of the additional point controller.

Axis

The XY and Z radio buttons allow you to set an axis on which the additional controller is lying

Position of the third controller on the X (left), Y (middle) and Z (right) axes. The rigid body is hidden from view

Global and Local

These radio buttons define whether the axis on which the additional controller is lying should be Global or Local

Orthogonal to joint fold

When this option is enabled, the third controller will be placed at the bending axis between the main selected joint and its parent joint. Used for creating limbs such as arms and legs

An additional point controller lying on the bending axis between two joints

This option only works when character limbs are bended by default (so the bending axis can be calculated). If the limbs for a straight line, it will not work. In this case, it is recommended to use joints to slightly bend the limbs.

When this option is selected, axis for the additional controller cannot be specified

Offset

This parameter determines the distance between the third controller and the two other ones

Prototype rig elements can be viewed in the Outliner window. There, you can edit their properties such as mass for rigid bodies.

Creation Settings

This group of parameters controls what kind of prototype rig elements are created when the Add rig element button is clicked

Only box controllers

If this option is enabled, only box controllers will be created for selected joints. Can be used for rigging parts of the character that do not require physics (such as fingers, hair, cloth etc.)

Multiple create

When this option is enabled, proto elements are created for every selected joint. This way, you can create sequences of elements, which is useful for rigging things like limbs or tails.

If a joint has multiple child joints, only one of them should be selected for this option to work

Mirror create

If this is enabled, controllers and rigid bodies will be created symmetrically for both sides of the character(enabled by default). This option only works when joints are properly named (see the Creating Rigs chapter)

Two fields below this option are used to set the text strings for symmetrical joints. The left field sets the string for the joints at the left side of the character (“_l” by default), while the right field is used for the joints at the right (“_r” by default)

Other functions

Union to hinge

Used for connecting joints (described in the Knees and Elbows section of the Creating Rigs chapter)

Delete rig elements

Deletes selected rig element(s). Hot key for this function is Del

Add point controller

Creates a new point controllers. For this function to work properly, a rigid body should be selected. Newly created point controller will be linked to the selected rigid body.

Bind/unbind parent

Can be used to create or break hierarchical links between rig elements

When elements of the rig are binded, they are connected on the level of physics simulation, so moving the child element will influence its parent.

When elements are unbinded, they are not linked in this way. Forward Kinematics will still work for them in this case, but Inverse Kinematics will not.

Delete proto objects after create

If this option is enabled, all proto rig elements will be deleted when an actual rig is created

Create rig

Clicking this button converts all proto rig elements to parts of an actual rig and links them to the character skeleton. The proto elements may be deleted after this conversion, or they might be kept (for example, if you want to be able to make adjustments to your rig), depending on the Delete proto objects after create option

Close

Closes the Rigging tool window

 

See Also

Creating Rigs

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