Rigging Tool

 

The process of creating a rig involves placing and adjusting sets of prototype objects. These prototype objects are attached to joints of the character's skeleton and are 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 prototype objects is located on the Rigging tool panel. It can be enabled by selecting from the Objects menu.

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.

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 bent by default (so the bending axis can be calculated). If the limbs form 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 main point controller and the additional point.

Character Mirror Plane

Sets the plane of symmetry for the character. Required for the Mirror Tool to work properly.

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

Mirror Group

This tab contains settings for mirroring objects.

Create mirror object

Creates mirrored prototypes.
For this option to work, joints with prototypes attached should be selected beforehand.
Mirrored prototypes are created for the joints on the opposite side of the character. This opposite side is determined by the Mirror Plane option.

Mirror Plane

Defines the plane used for creating mirrored elements.
Note: Mirror plane is placed at the position of the parent of the selected object.

Local joint position

Enabling this option binds mirrored prototypes to the joints. Can be used when positions of the character's limbs are not fully symmetrical.
Note: For this option to work properly, primary axes of the joints on the opposite sides of the character (like the left and the right arm, for example) should face opposite directions. In Maya, this can be achieved by using the Mirror function: Behavior option.

 

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).
See Mirroring to learn more about naming symmetrical joints.

Hinge Actions

These optioons are used for creating Hinge Connections.

Union to hinge

Used for creating Hinge Connections.
Clicking this button places the two Point Controllers at the same place, which Cascadeur recognizes as the marker for creating a hinge connection. The hinge itself is created when the rig is generated (after you click the Create Rig button).
This button also creates a Direction Controller for the hinge.

Ortho hinge

Clicking this button places the points that mark a Hinge Connection at the right angle to the edge connecting the main point controller with the main direction point controller.
Should be used after manually adjusting positions of the hinge to make sure the hinge would be generated properly.

Main Actions

This panel contains functions for creating additional rig elements.

Prototype center of mass

Creas and removes additional Centers of Mass.
To create a center of mass:

  • Select a prototype rigid body
  • Click the Add button

This option can be used when your rig requires more then one center of mass (for example: one for the character and another for the weapon the character holds).

Twist

This option is used for rigging Twist Bones.
To rig a twist bone:

  • Select the twist bone
  • Create a box controller for it (enable Only box controller and click Add rig element)
  • Select this box controller
  • Select the bone from which the twist bone should receive its rotation
  • Click the Add button

Add point controller

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

Add additional box

Clicking this button creates an additional bpx controller for the selected proto element.

Delete rig elements

Deletes selected rig element(s).

Additional Actions

This set of functions is used for creating and removing additional parts of the character skeleton.

Additional joint

Used for attaching and detaching joints to the selected proto element.
Using this option, you can assign an element of the rig to control joints other than the ones it is attached to by default.

Additional parent

Adds rig parts to the hierarchical selection.

  • Select two prototype elements
  • Click the Add button
  • Choose which one will be the parent

Now when you select an object and all its children (by double-clicking it), the additional parent and all its children will also be selected.

This only affects selection. The elements of the rig are not connected in any other way.

Custom rotation

Sets an object from which the point controller would receive the directions of the coordinate axes for the Manipulators in the Local mode.

  • Select two rigid bodies
  • Click the Add button
  • Choose the rigid body from which the direction will be transfered

Other functions

Create JSON File

Clicking this button allows you to save a JSON file with the description of the rig you've created.

This file can be used for automatically rigging characters that use the same skeleton (this is done by selecting Import → Create from rig data from the File menu)

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 further adjustments to your rig), depending on the Delete proto objects after create option

 

See Also

Rigging Tutorial

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