Sometimes you might need to supply a pre-existing character rig with additional parts: tools, weapons or other objects. These objects are often referred to as props. For props to correctly interact with the character body, they have to be integrated into the rig itself. This page describes how it can be done.
You should start with importing the props into the scene.
To do this:
1. Select Import Fbx/Dae → Add model from the File menu.
2. Select a file (in FBX or Collada format) containing the prop.
3. After this, the prop should appear in the scene:
We recommend to use props that are already rigged and skinned to one or several Joints. Otherwise, you won’t be able to properly animate it.
However, if a prop is not intended to be animated (for example, being a single rigid object), you can try to add joints directly in Cascadeur:
1. Select Add → Joint from the Commands menu.
A new joint will appear in the scene.
Now, you’ll need to attach the prop mesh to this joint. To do this:
2. Select the mesh.
3. Go to the Outliner window.
4. Hold down the Left Mouse Button.
5. Drag the mesh object on top of the joint you’ve created.
Doing this will parent the mesh to the joint.
Keep in mind that at the moment Cascadeur does not support skinning. Therefore, this method can only be used for props that do not have to bend or otherwise deform.
Now you’ll need to parent the prop to the character.
If the prop in question is just a mesh and you don’t intend for it to be animated in any way, you can simply attach it to an appropriate joint as described above and ignore the following steps.
Now that the prop(s) is in the scene, we’ll need to attach it to the character.
Since you’ve imported the prop from an external file, it is not a part of the character’s joint hierarchy.
1. Select the joint associated with the prop:
If there are more than one joint, select the one at the start of the chain.
3. In the Outliner, use the Left Mouse Button to drag the joint on top of another joint:
In this example, we attach the prop to ‘weapon_r’: a joint specifically intended for attaching props.
Joints like this are found in every standard Cascadeur character.
However, using them is not strictly required: a prop can be just as well attached to any other joint.
After this, the prop will be parented to this joint.
Which joint should be selected as the parent depends on the body part to which you’d like to attach the prop. For example, if the prop is supposed to be held in a hand, use a joint associated with that hand.
Once the prop is attached to the character, it can be rigged so it could properly interact with the character’s body. Before doing this, however, you’ll need to add the prop’s joints to the Rig Info. Otherwise, Cascadeur rigging tools won’t recognize them.
1. Select every joint in the prop.
2. Go to the Outliner panel and find the Rig Info object.
3. Hold the Shift key and add the Rig Info to the selection.
4. Select Rig Info → Add joints from the Commands menu:
Now everything is ready for the rigging.
See Rigging Props - Setting Up Prototypes to learn how to create prototype objects for the joints in the prop.
After prototypes are set, you’ll need to add a Center of Mass
See Rigging Props - Centers of Mass to learn about this stage.
Once this is done, you can re-generate the rig by clicking the Generate rig button:
The end result should be something like this:
This is how props can be added to Cascadeur characters.