Rigging Tools

 

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:

1. Click the Rig mode button on the Toolbar:

Note:
If the character already has a rig attached, this rig will be deleted when you click the Rig mode button.

 

Quick Rigging Tool

Clicking this button opens the Quick Rigging Tool: a dedicated instrument for quickly creating humanoid rigs.

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.

Only box controller
If this is enabled, only a prototype Box Controller is created for the select joint(s).

Box size multiplier
Increases the size of the prototype Box Controller.
The value can change from 1 (no increase in size) to 20.

Multiple create
If this is enabled, a separate set of prototype rig elements is created for every selected joints.

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.

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).

Mirror Group

This tab contains settings for creating mirror copies of prototype objects.

Note: These settings have nothing to do with Mirror Tools.

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).

Original and Mirrored
These fields are used for setting the differential parts in the names of the joints.
These differential parts are required for the rigging tools ro distinguish the 'original' joints which you are planning to rig manually, from the 'mirrored' ones, for which prototype objects are generated automatically, using the 'original' objects es a template.

See Mirroring to learn more about using these options.

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
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 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:
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.

Spline IK
Used for creating curves for controlling joint chains.
This feature is described in greater detail on the Spline IK page.

Root constraint
Adds or removes the Root constraint to the selected objects.
This feature is described in greater detail on the Root constraint page.

Additional Actions

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

Point controller
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.

Additional box
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.

Custom additional point
Designates a user-selected Point Controller as an additional point.
1. Select a Point Controller.
2. Click the Set button.

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.

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.
1. Select two prototype elements.
2. Click the Add button.
3. 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.
1. Select two rigid bodies.
2. Click the Add button.
3. Choose the rigid body from which the direction will be transfered.

Rig File Actions

Contains various options for working with JSON files

Export
Saves existing rig elements to a JSON file. This file can later be used to apply rig data to a character.

Import
Imports rig data from a JSON file (saved by the previous option) and applies it to the character.

To selected
If this is enabled, the rig imported from a JSON file is applied only to the selected joints.

With T-pose
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.

Character Mirror Plane

Here you can set the plane of symmetry for the character. Required for the Mirror Tools to work properly.

Generate rig

Clicking this button converts all proto rig elements to parts of an actual rig and links them to the character skeleton.

 

See Also

Rigging Tutorial

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