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Hand Rigging Tutorial?

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 I am SO close to understanding how to use this character rigging set up that I can see it in my sleep, but I'm STILL falling a bit short when it comes to getting the hands to work as expected. Is there a soup-to-nuts tutorial on how to get the joints properly aligned, situated and placed correctly for reasonably accurate animation? For some reason, when I build the rig and begin to set up the joints...something happens with the rotation of the joints. To be more precise, when I try to move the components, it seems to only move the bones, but none of the parent nulls...so I have been trying to build the components, then change to the hierarchy view so that I can move, rotate and set up the joints byway of the parent null. Long story short...it's not consistently working and give me some pretty terrible results. Anything to help me with this would be INCREDIBLY appreciated!

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1 minute ago, digitvisions said:

 he is using the term components so i presume he is using character object.

Yea thats what I thought, was just checking.  I wonder if when he adjust the rig is he doing both stages, Components and Controllers? 


@munkittrickSend me your model and il take a look at it in the character rigging tool process.



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Yes, I'm trying to learn how to use the character builder object. I can actually build a pretty good rig from scratch, but I saw this used in the demo for R20 and the updates made the weighting almost a one-click operation. I'm actually just working on a generic model, so I didn't actually save the work. I'll set one up tonight and drop the file here later. As for the components and controllers, Yes. I start by building the rig core and appendages. Once all of the components are in place, I often bind the rig to check the natural, unmodified weighting. More often than not, the component alignment is NOT accurate to the placement and I get a wide range of oddities in the weighting. I don't modify the controllers simply for the fact that modifying ANY of them prior to binding creates a nightmarish discombobulation of flow from one joint to the next. In fact, after I rig the component view, I will sometimes move to the "component hierarchy" to verify placement of the components, but what I seem to find, in almost EVERY case, the base joint for each of the fingers has moved a sizeable distance from the parent null...making for some very odd looking joint movements. Instead of a nice elbow transition, I get what almost looks like and off-center pivot giving a joint bend region a very wide area that looks to be bending around an obstacle placed in the area of the elbow...as if you were to try and wrap your arm around an invisible cylindrical tube. I'll try to get a representative project file up later today.

I really, REALLY appreciate you guys! This is the only place where I truly feel like the community cares about their peers without making them feel like they might never understand this amazing software. after 5 years of using this package (and subsequent updates), I finally feel like I'm getting a well-rounded understanding of its true potential. I am sincerely grateful!

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Another quick question, if you don't mind. Would you think that creating a very low poly mesh (sub 10k total polys) smoothed by a subdivision surface tag would be best OR would it be more advantageous to use a higher poly model (more than 35k polygons) without the sub-d tag and dial the phong angle up for maximum mesh smoothness would be better for a short form animation? In my own experience, I've discovered that a character with around 15k polygons works well for cloth deformations with the higher poly mesh than the phong "blended" look can provide. Just curious of your thoughts.


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10 hours ago, munkittrick said:

I can actually build a pretty good rig from scratch

Thats good to know, this way you already know how the joints should align so many your finding some oddities iv not noticed.  I dont rig and animate exclusively, I spend more time making assets for that process.


5 hours ago, munkittrick said:

Would you think that creating a very low poly mesh (sub 10k total polys) smoothed by a subdivision surface tag would be best OR would it be more advantageous to use a higher poly model (more than 35k polygons) without the sub-d tag

As sub d dont aid in the rigging process as the extra polygons are not taken into account so your always weighting the cage mesh I rig and rely on the cage mesh.  Its a balance act iv found.  10k is where my range is and aften im at the higher end of 7k just for the body, but this depends on the detail and type of character.    Main thing is there is enough supporting loops for limbs.



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