Setting Up the Biped Guides
To help you make the skeleton’s rig proportional to your setup, you can load a rig-building guide. After you set up the guide as you like it, you can create a biped rig based on this guide, as described in.
You can create either a regular human biped guide or a biped dog leg guide, which is the same as the biped except that it has 3-bone legs that are angled like an animal’s — good for fantastical humanoid creatures!
The guides can also be used as a starting point for different rigging styles, and technical directors can write their own proportioning script to attach their rig to the guide.
Biped guide: Set up its size and proportions to match your character, then create a rig for your character based on this guide.
Drag any of the red cubes to resize the different parts of the body. If you use symmetry, you can resize the limbs on both sides of the body at the same time
Drag any of the little cubes on the yellow splines to define the volume of the character’s envelope (geometry).
Legs of biped dog leg guide. The biped dog leg guide is the same as the biped once except that it has 3-bone legs that are angled like an animal’s.
Loading the Biped Guides
To load the biped or biped dog leg proportioning guide
1. Do one of the following:
- Choose Create > Character > Biped Guide from the Animate toolbar.
- Choose Create > Character > Biped Dog Leg Guide from the Animate toolbar.
2. In the Biped or Biped Dog Leg Guide dialog box that appears, select the Guide Style and the type of Symmetry, as described here.
To set the guide style
• Select Skeleton Structure and Volume to create a complete guide that includes volume controls (displayed as yellow splines with small manipulator cubes) which you can use to define the body’s volume.
When you later create the rig from this guide, you use these controls to define the volume as set on the Skin page of the Make Biped or Make Biped Dog Leg dialog box (see).
• Select Volume Controls Hidden to hide these yellow deform splines, but still have them available in the guide’s structure. In the explorer, you can find them in a group called DetailedGuide, under the biped guide model.
To set the guide’s symmetry
• Select Full Symmetry so that when you manipulate any cube, the corresponding cube on the opposite side of the body is manipulated in the same way. This makes it quick and easy to set up matching proportions for both sides of the body at once.
• No Symmetry means that there are no constraints between the cube controls on the opposing sides of the body, allowing you to manipulate each part of the body independently.
• You can also have just the Upper Body or Lower Body be asymmetrical, meaning that you can manipulate the cube controls on those portions of the body independently.
3. Click OK in the dialog box and the guide is created.
4. Move the red manipulator cubes to proportion the limbs to match the character’s envelope.
5. If you created volume controls, translate the cubes on the yellow splines to match the volume of the character’s envelope. These proportions are used when you create the Skin controls for the rig, as described in.
Biped guide is resized using the envelope geometry as a reference point.
Drag the red cubes on the guide to the same proportions as the limbs, spine, and head of the envelope.
Drag the small cubes on the yellow splines to define the volume of the envelope.
There are also small yellow triangles on the fingers and the thumb called FingerBlades. Rotate the triangle on each finger and the thumb to set the plane of the fingers that will be created in the rig.
After you’ve set up the proportions of the guide for the character, you can create a rig from it, as described in.
Duplicating or Deleting Objects in the Guide
To customize your rig, you can duplicate or delete some of the red placement cubes in the guide and the resulting rig will have only the elements you want. For example, if you have a character that needs a three-bone neck instead of a two-bone version, you can select the tip of the head, duplicate it, and move it upwards. Or if your character doesn’t need all its fingers, you can delete the appropriate finger control cubes in the guide.
These are the control cubes that you can duplicate:
• Head control cube can be duplicated n times for more head length.
• Neck control cube can be duplicated n times to create a jaw or snout.
• SpineBase control cubes can be duplicated 3 or more times to create a tail.
• FingerTip control cubes can duplicated to create more finger joints.
These are the control cubes that you can delete:
• FingerTip can be removed down to two cubes, which draws one-bone fingers.
• Entire fingers can be removed by deleting their control cubes. These fingers will not be created in the rig.
To delete bones, you branch-select the root of the unwanted (such as a finger) bone in the guide and delete it. The roots of the bones, however, are hidden so here’s how you do it:
To find and delete the roots
1. Select one of the bones you want to delete.
You cannot delete bones in the feet: only a three-bone foot is currently supported in the rig.
2. Open an explorer and press F to find the selected element.
3. Branch-select the root node for this bone and then delete it.
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