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Rigging set ups

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Rigging set ups

Im not sure this is the right place for this, but if its not I guess it will be moved.

So here goes,

Im having a bit of a dilema at work on a number of things and wanted to seek some fellow animators advice.

Firstly Heal Lock (reverse foot ) versus Toe lock.

From my experience you can either drive your characters legs from the heal or the toe, but not both. I have seen reverse foot set ups that claim to be able to do both, but usualy when you rotate the leg from the toe, in the Y axis (or horizontal plane) it renders the heal lock in acurate because the heal is no longer situated above its control.

Because of this for me it comes down to a dissision to drive from either the heal or the toe. I find that it is more natural to drive from the toe so my rigs allways have a toe lock rather than a heal lock. I wanted to know what other animators prefered.

Also when it comes to controls being automated, such as a foot roll, or the automation of hip roll. I would like opinions on this. I think that having such features in place simply takes control away from the animator, and as such is a negative development.

We are currently developing a rig which tries to balance it self by altering its pelvis position depending on where its legs are. I have to admitt I am praying that I can turn the stupid thing off.

I would be gratefull for your feed back

thanks in advance

ezromation's picture

websiteEzromation blog/doodlesDeranged Scratchings

websiteEzromation blog/doodlesDeranged Scratchings

Okay, I rigged it up and I see your problem. You are animating directly on the bones, which you should not be. Create a nurb control shape to fit the foot in, call this "foot_ctrl". Move the pivot point of foot_ctrl to the heal. Now group RF_Heel to itself, call this new group "RF_HeelGroup". Run a parent contraint (with "maintain offset" on) from foot_ctrl to RF_HeelGroup. The foot_ctrl will now control all overall rotations and translations through space and it will pivot and rotate at the heel. The reason you WANT the pivot at the heel is because the foot won't rotate correctly in air if it placed anywhere else, you'll end up counter animating (just take my word on this). So now you're asking "how do I get my ball, toe, heel rolls?" and the answer is with set driven keys.

select the foot_ctrl
then go to modify --> add attribute

just go ahead and use the default settings and name the "toeRoll" "ballRoll" and "heelRoll"

you will now see these new attributes in the foot_ctrl channel box

Now you are going to load the foot CTRL into the set driven key editor as the "driver" and select toeRoll, then Load RF_Toe as the "driven"

Now I am going to assume you know how to make a set driven keys, you are going to set keys for toeRoll at "0 and 10" and the RF_Toe at rotateX 90 or -90 depending on your orientation.

Rinse and repeat the same process for the ball and hell roll, you can even add a "toeTwist" and "ballTwist" set driven key to get those rotateY pivoting you were talking about.

FYI this is pretty much standard foot set up as far as pivots and controls go. Not to say that there aren't other ways, but for example this is what we more or less use at Lucas Arts.

I also uploaded an example of the set up:
Character Animator - Lucas Arts

Thanks Matt, thats great.

Thanks for taking the time to put that down for me.

My rigging skills are a bit basic, so this looks like it will be very useful to me.


websiteEzromation blog/doodlesDeranged Scratchings

I am not sure what you are talking about with the toe roll not working with heal roll. Most rigs these days work from the heal, ball, and toe. As far as any sort of rigging automation, I would stay away from it like the plague. You're an animator, animate it. At work we are always asking our TDs (much to their frustration) for MORE things to control and nit pick. But anything that is automated is going to look... well, automated.
Character Animator - Lucas Arts

Ok so here is where I got my reverse foot set up from

and what Im saying is, if I take this set up and rotate from the ball of the foot, in the horizontal or Y axis, the heal control is no longer alined which I think is useless.

Yes there are controls for the toe, ball of foot and heal, but the toe control has the same problem as the ball of the foot. If you rotate from the toe in the horizontal axis both the ball of the foot and heal control come out of alinement and will not work accurately.

If you were only to animate the toe and ball of foot in the X and Z rotational axis I can see that this rig would work. In other words this rig will work if you want to drive from the heal, which I think is a bad way to work. I think driving from the ball of the toe is the better way to work.

I hope this makes it clearer, discussing rigs over the internet always gets a bit invoved. If anyone knows where I can find a better set up please let me know. Bare in mind I work in games, so if its massively complicated, it may take to long for me to set up with in the time frame I have to build characters.

Thanks for the feed back. Im glad Im not the only one who thinks automated controls are a bad idea.

websiteEzromation blog/doodlesDeranged Scratchings