The Quick Rigging Tool won’t work for non-humanoid characters, so you’ll have to manually create every element of the rig.
To create rig controllers, you’ll need a model with a skeleton made up of Joints, and a mesh skinned to these Joints. Scenes in both FBX and DAE formats are supported.
Rigs in Cascadeur include special Rigid Bodies (blue ellipsoids) that facilitate physically accurate behavior for the character.
One rig element includes:
The Additional Point handels the rotation for the corresponding element of the rig.
To conveniently control rotation with the Additional Point, it is important to choose an appropriate axis for it to lie on.The axis can be selected on the Rigging tools panel at the left side of the window.
The axis can be set either in world space, or in local space (i.e. the object’s own coordinate system).
You can also set the distance to the Additional Point from the corresponding Main Point. In most cases, the best option for placing the Additional Point is making it face upward or forward. It is also important to make sure the Additional Point does NOT lie on the line between the Main and the Direction Point.
It is important to create rig elements in the right order, as this is what defines their hierarchy. At the same time, the hierarchy of the rig elements can be different from the joint hierarchy!
We recommend to start creating the rig from the character’s pelvis, or from the joint at the top of the list in the Outliner. Such a joint, however, should also be a part of the character’s body.
Here are examples of such joint in various models:
Look how for this model, fist joint in the hierarchy are the Frog and D_Root joints - but these joints are not parts of the character and thus should not be included in the rig.
So before anything else we should create rig elements for the spine.
The character’s head includes multiple joints for controlling jaws, eyes, ears and other parts of the face. When you create a controller for the head, it is important to select the particular joint that controls the head’s rotation as a whole.
If the character is symmetrical, it’s enough to only rig the limbs on one of the two sides. Then, we can easily mirror them.
Usually, a limb only bends across one of three axes. To set a bending axis:
Oftentimes, smaller elements such as fingers or ears do not contribute to the character’s mass or physical behavior in a significant way. This means that in order to simplify the physical rig - and to improve physics tools’ performance - you can forgo creating Rigid Bodies for body parts like these. These elements can be rigged with just Box Controllers.
If your character has a long tail that includes a high number of Joints, it would be convenient to create a Spline Controller for it.
Such a controller would allow reducing the number of points you’d need to control the tail while fully retaining its flexibility.
Important note: the distance between the joints will change a little as they follow the spline.
Create rig elements for the tail. When you do this, you can actually skip some of the joints to reduce the amount of controllers. *creating a rig element for every joint in the chain makes using a Spline Controller somewhat pointless.
Before we can mirror the character’s limbs and then finalize the rig, we need to set masses for the character’s body parts.
Masses of various body parts would influence the position of the Center of Mass and the character’s physical behavior.
You don’t have to be too precise with masses. Estimating approximate values for various body parts should suffice. Similarly. the sizes of the Rigid Bodies should roughly match the borders of the 3d mesh.
Now we need to mirror rig elements we’ve created for the limbs. First of all, we’ll have to set a general mirroring plane fitting for this particular character. This is necessary so we could correctly mirror animation poses later, when the rigging is complete.
Next, we can set a mirroring plane for individual elements. Usually - but not always - such a plane would coincide with the general plane.
Now, the rig is almost complete and we only need to do one little detail: we wanted to make all three toes on the dinosaur’s paw controllable with only one controller.
This is not always required, but there are times when such a solution can be quite convenient.
Currently, our rig includes Rigid Bodies and Point Controllers for the middle toe, while two others only have Box Controllers. To make all three toes work together, we need to set these Box Controllers as children of the main toe.