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 tools panel.
To open this panel, click the Rig mode button on the Toolbar:
If the character already has a rig attached, this rig will be deleted when you enter the Rig mode, and replaced with corresponding Prototype objects, which you can then edit.
Also, when the Rig mode is enabled, the character will be reset to the default pose (usually the T-pose for humanoid characters).
Animation and the Timeline will not be available, but they won't disappear. Once you leave th Rig mode, animation data and the access to the Timeline will be restored.
Clicking this button opens the Quick Rigging Tool: a dedicated instrument for quickly creating humanoid rigs.
This group contains tools for creating and removing prototype rig elements.
Add rig element
Clicking this button creates a new set of prototype rig elements and binds them to the selected joint.
To learn about creating rigs, see our How to rig in Cascadeur tutorial.
Box size multiplier
Increases the size of the prototype Box Controller.
The value can change from 1 (no increase in size) to 20.
If this is enabled, a separate set of prototype rig elements is created for every selected joints.
This group of parameters controls the position of the additional point controller.
The X, Y 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
This parameter determines the distance between the main point controller and the additional point.
Prototype rig elements can be viewed in the Outliner window. There, you can edit their properties such as mass for rigid bodies.
Delete rig elements
Deletes selected rig element(s).
This tab contains settings for creating mirror copies of prototype objects.
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.
As shown in the example, Straighten to hinge offsets the Rigid Bodies without moving their respective Joints. Because of this, using it might affect the way these Joints bend.
Use this option with care and only when necessary.
Union to hinge
Creates a Hinge Connection.
1. Select Additional Points for several rig elements.
2. Click the Union to hinge button.
This will create a hinge connection along with a Direction Controller (link) for the hinge.
Makes the hinge orthogonal to the line that connects the Main Controller with the Main Direction Controller (in case it is not).
1. Select both of the hinge controllers.
2. Click the Ortho hinge button.
Straighten to hinge
Allows you to manually set the bending axis in case it wasn’t correctly defined by the software.
1. Select both points around the hinge connection.
2. Move/rotate the selected points to set a new direction for the Direction Controller.
3. Once you have an appropriate direction, click the Straighten to hinge button.
Changing the bending axis can offset Rigid Bodies in relation to their respective Joints.
This in turn might lead to abnormalities in animation, so use this function with care and only when necessary.
This panel contains functions for creating additional rig elements.
Prototype center of mass
Creates and removes additional Centers of Mass.
To create a center of mass:
1. Select a prototype rigid body
2. Click the Add button
This option is used for rigging Twist Bones.
To rig a twist bone:
1. Select the twist bone
2. Create a box controller for it (enable Only box controller and click Add rig element)
3. Select this box controller
4. Select the bone from which the twist bone should receive its rotation
5. Click the Add button
Prototype fulcrum group
Adds or removes selected points to a Fulcrum group.
Points combined into a fulcrum group behave like a single point. This is useful when the character’s feet have a complex structure and multiple points and rigid bodies. Combining these multiple points into one fulcrum group produces more natural behavior, especially with tools like AutoPhysics.
Used for creating curves for controlling joint chains.
This feature is described in greater detail on the Spline IK page.
Adds or removes the Root constraint to the selected objects.
This feature is described in greater detail on the Root constraint page.
This set of functions is used for creating and removing additional parts of the character skeleton.
Creates and removes additional Point Controllers.
To create a point controller:
1. Select a Rigid Body.
2. Click the Add button.
The newly created point controller will be linked to the selected rigid body.
To remove a Point controller:
1. Select a Point Controller you’ve previously created.
2. Click the Remove button.
Add and removes additional Box Controllers
Additional box controllers are not used for controlling rotations and animating the character, like regular box controllers would be. These are helper objects that are used for more clearly visualizing the trajectories of the regular box controllers to which they are linked.
To create an additional box controller:
1. Select a rig element
2.-Click the Add button
A new Box Controller should appear. This controller will be linked to the rig element you’ve selected.
To remove an additional box controller:
1. Select a Box Controller
2. Click the Remove button
This works only for Box Controllers you’ve created with the Add button. If you need to delete a regular Box Controller (or any other element of the rig), use the Delete rig element button instead.
The same tab can also be used to disable an existing additional point:
1. Select the point.
2. Click the Remove button.
After this, the selected point will no longer act as an additional controller, and will not influence the character mesh in a way an additional point would.
This feature is mostly used for rigging heels.
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.
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.
Sets an object from which the point controller would receive the directions of the coordinate axes for the Manipulators in the Local mode.
1. Select two rigid bodies.
2. Click the Add button.
3. Choose the rigid body from which the direction will be transfered.
Contains various options for working with JSON files
Imports rig data from a JSON file (saved by the previous option) and applies it to the character.
Saves existing rig elements to a JSON file. This file can later be used to apply rig data to a character.
Set hierarchy by joints
If this option is enabled, the hierarchy of an imported rig is changed to coincide with the hierarchy of the joints.
If it is disabled, the hierarchy from the .rigcasc file (the file containing imported rig) is used instead.
If this is enabled, the rig imported from a JSON file is applied only to the selected joints.
If this option is enabled, the pose in the scene is ignored, and the pose from the JSON file is used instead.
If it is disabled, the pose in the JSON file is ignored instead; the proto components are applied to the pose in the scene.
If you re-save the JSON file with this option disabled, the pose in the file will be overwritten with the pose from the scene.
Use this when the character pose in the JSON is different from the one in the scene, and you don’t want to mix them.
Here you can set the plane of symmetry for the character. Required for the Mirror Tools to work properly.
If this option is enabled, AutoPosing controllers are generated along with the rig (meaning you can use AutoPosing immediately after the rig is finalized).
Otherwise, AutoPosing controllers will be generated only once the corresponding Edit Mode is enabled.
Clicking this button converts all proto rig elements to parts of an actual rig and links them to the character skeleton.