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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Maya
Cgi

Creating a Magnum Mecha Character in Maya: Part 8

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this part of the tutorial, I'll show you how to create a complete rigging system for the robot.

1. Preparing the Robot for Rigging

Step 1

Open Maya. Open the file which was saved in the last part of the tutorial.

Open Maya
Open Maya

Step 2

Create a sky dome light and floor surface. With these items selected, create a new layer by clicking on Create a New Layer button under the Channel Editor.

Create a New Layer
Create a New Layer

Step 3

After creating the new layer, click on Visibility button to hide the contained elements.

Visibility button
Visibility button

Step 4

With all body meshes selected, go to Mesh > Combine command to combine selected meshes.

Mesh  Combine command
Mesh > Combine command

Step 5

With the combined mesh selected, go to Mesh > Separate command to separate the meshes.

Mesh  Separate command
Mesh > Separate command

Step 6

With all separate meshes selected, do a right click on the mesh to open the fly out menu. Select Assign Favorite Material > Lambert as shown in the following image.

Assign Favorite Material  Lambert
Assign Favorite Material > Lambert

Step 7

You'll need to mirror some deleted body parts after deleting the history.

Need to mirror
Need to mirror

Step 8

With all meshes selected, go to Edit > Delete by Type > History. Alternatively, you can press Alt-Shift-D key.

Edit  Delete by Type  History
Edit > Delete by Type > History

Step 9

With the foot of the robot selected, go to Edit > Duplicate Special and click on the option box.

Edit  Duplicate Special
Edit > Duplicate Special

Step 10

In the Duplicate Special Options window, turn on Copy radio button and set the value of Scale X to -1.00. Click on Duplicate Special button to apply duplicate command on the selected foot mesh element.

Duplicate Special Options
Duplicate Special Options

Step 11

You can see the mirrored right side foot as shown in the following image.

Mirrored right side foot
Mirrored right side foot

Step 12

Select the knee ball as shown in the following image.

Select the knee ball
Select the knee ball

Step 13

Go to Mesh > Combine command as shown in the following image.

Mesh  Combine command
Mesh > Combine command

Step 14

In this way, all leg parts have been duplicated.

All leg parts have been duplicated
All leg parts have been duplicated

Step 15

Following the same way, all right side's hand parts of the robo have been duplicated as well.All hand parts have been duplicated

2. Removing Unwanted Elements

Step 1

With the robo selected, go to Edit > Group. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl-G keys.

Edit  Group
Edit > Group

Step 2

In the Outliner window, rename the group as All_Meshes as shown in the following image.

Outliner window
Outliner window

Step 3

Select all group nodes as shown in the following image.

Select all group nodes
Select all group nodes

Step 4

You will see the one and only group as All_Meshes in the Outliner window.

All_meshes
All_meshes

Step 5

With all parts of the robo selected, go to Modify > Center Pivot command.

Modify  Center Pivot command
Modify > Center Pivot command

Step 6

Now, if you select any part of the mesh, you will see its center pivot as shown in the following image.

Center pivot
Center pivot

3. Creating Joints For Skeleton

Step 1

Jump in the side view. Go to Shading > Wireframe and turn on its radio button. Alternatively, you can press the 4 key on the keyboard.

Shading  Wireframe
Shading > Wireframe

Step 2

Go to Skeleton > Create Joints tool as shown in the following image.

Skeleton  Create Joints
Skeleton > Create Joints

Step 3

With the Joints Tool selected, create four leg joints from hip to toe as shown in the following image.

Joints Tool
Joints Tool

Step 4

Rename the joints as Left_Thigh_Jnt, Left_Knee_Jnt, Left_Heel_Jnt and Left_ToeTip_Jnt.

Rename the joints
Rename the joints

4. Mirroring Joints

Step 1

With Left_Thigh_Jnt selected, go to Skeleton > Mirror Joints option box.

Skeleton  Mirror Joints
Skeleton > Mirror Joints

Step 2

In the Mirror Joint Options window, turn on Mirror across YZ radio button and then write Left_ in Search for text field and Right_in the Replace with Right_ text field. Click on Mirror button as shown in the following image.

Mirror Joint Options
Mirror Joint Options

Step 3

After applying the Mirror command, you can see the renamed and duplicated mirrored joints in the Outliner window.

Mirror command
Mirror command

5. Creating Spine, Root and Head Joints

Step 1

With the Joints Tool selected, create 3 spine joints from hip to chest as shown in the following image.

Joints Tool
Joints Tool

Step 2

Create two more joints from chest to neck as shown in the following image.

Create 2 more joints
Create 2 more joints

Step 3

Jump in the front view. With the Joints Tool selected, create only one joint under the spine joints on the center of the grid as shown in the following image.

Joints Tool
Joints Tool

6. Parenting Joints

Step 1

For parenting the joints, select the spine joint followed by the bottom joint and then press the P key.

Parenting the joints
Parenting the joints

Step 2

You can see that the bottom joint is now the parent of the spine joint.

Parenting the spine joints
Parenting the spine joints

Step 3

Following the same way, select the neck joint followed by the chest joint and then press the P key.

Parenting the neck joints

Step 4

Rename the indicated joints as Root_Jnt, Hip_Jnt, Abs_Jnt, Chest_Jnt, Neck_Jnt, and Head_Jnt.

Rename the indicated joints
Rename the indicated joints

Step 5

Following the same way, create head joints in the side view and rename these as Head2_Jnt and HeadTip_Jnt as shown in the following image.

Create head joints
Create head joints

Step 6

In this way, the spine, root and head joints are completed.

The spine root and head joints are completed
The spine, root and head joints are completed

7. Creating Head and Fingers Joints

Step 1

With the Joints Tool selected, create 3 left hand joints from arm to wrist in the front view as shown in the following image.

Joints Tool
Joints Tool 

Step 2

Jump in the perspective view and then put the joints inside the hand mesh as shown in the following image.

Jump in the perspective view
Jump in the perspective view

Step 3

With the Joints Tool selected, create 3 left thumb joints from start to end as shown in the following image.

Joints Tool
Joints Tool 

Step 4

Jump in the perspective view and then move the created thumb joints inside the thumb mesh.

Jump in the perspective view
Jump in the perspective view

Step 5

Go to Shading X-Ray and turn on the check box as shown in the following image.

Shading  X-Ray
Shading > X-Ray

Step 6

With all thumb joints selected, reduce the Radius value to 0.25.

Reduce the Radius value
Reduce the Radius value

Step 7

Move the joints inside the thumb mesh properly and resize as well.

Move the joints inside the thumb mesh
Move the joints inside the thumb mesh

Step 8

Following the same way, create four joints for the index finger. 

Create 4 joints
Create 4 joints

Step 9

Move the joints inside the index finger mesh properly and resize as well.

Move the joints inside the index finger
Move the joints inside the index finger 

Step 10

Following the same way, create four joints for the middle finger and move the joints inside the mesh properly and resize as well.

Create 4 joints for the middle finger
Create 4 joints for the middle finger

Step 11

In the same way, create four joints for the small finger also and move the joints inside the mesh properly and resize as well.

Create 4 joints for the small finger
Create 4 joints for the small finger

8. Setting Up Orientation of Joints

Step 1

With the thumb root joint selected, click on Select by Components button followed by Select Miscellaneous Components button on status button bar.

Select by Components button
Select by Components button

Step 2

Now you can click on the thumb joint gizmo and rotate it in local axis as shown in the following image.

Click on the thumb joint gizmo
Click on the thumb joint gizmo

Step 3

Following the same way, click on Index joint's gizmo and then rotate it in one way local axis as image shown.

Click on Index joints gizmo
Click on Index joint's gizmo

Step 4

Hide the robot mesh and then orient the index finger joints as shown in the following image.

Hide the robot mesh
Hide the robot mesh

Step 5

Click on the middle and small finger joints gizmos and then rotate in the local axis as shown in the following image.

Click on the middle and small finger joints
Click on the middle and small finger joints

Step 6

Rename the hand joints as Left_Arm_Jnt, Left_Elbow_Jnt and Left_Wrist_Jnt.

Rename the hand joints
Rename the hand joints

Step 7

Rename the thumb finger joints as Left_Thumb_Jnt01, Left_Thumb_Jnt02 and Left_Thumb_Jnt03.

Rename the thumb finger joints
Rename the thumb finger joints

Step 8

Rename index finger joints as Left_Index_Jnt01, Left_ Index _Jnt02, Left_ Index _Jnt03 and Left_ Index _Jnt04.

Rename Index finger joints
Rename Index finger joints

Step 9

Rename middle finger joints as Left_Middle_Jnt01, Left_ Middle _Jnt02, Left_ Middle _Jnt03 and Left_ Middle _Jnt04.

Rename middle finger joints
Rename middle finger joints

Step 10

Rename small finger joints as Left_Small_Jnt01, Left_ Small _Jnt02, Left_ Small _Jnt03 and Left_ Small _Jnt04.

Rename small finger joints
Rename small finger joints

9. Mirroring Head Joints

Step 1

In the panel menu bar, go to Show > Polygon and turn on the check box to show all polygons in the view port.

Show  Polygon
Show > Polygon

Step 2

With left arm joint selected, go to Skeleton > Mirror joints option box.

Skeleton  Mirror joints
Skeleton > Mirror joints

Step 3

In the Mirror Joints Options window, turn on Mirror across YZ radio button and then write Left_ in Search for text field and Right_ in the Replace with text field followed by clicking on Mirror button as shown in the following image.

Mirror Joints Options window
Mirror Joints Options window

Step 4

In this way, all hands and fingers joints have been mirrored and renamed as well.

All hands and fingers joints have been mirrored
All hands and fingers joints have been mirrored

10. Parenting All Joints

Step 1

With Left_Thumb_Jnt01, Left_Index_Jnt01, Left_Middle_Jnt01, Left_Small_Jnt01 selected followed by Left_Wrist_Jnt, press P key to make the Left_Wrist_Jnt as the parent.

Parenting All Joints
Parenting All Joints

Step 2

You can see the result that the arm joint has now become the root parent.

You can see the result
You can see the result

Step 3

Following the same way, the parenting of hand joints has been done for the right side as well.

The parenting of hand joints has been done
The parenting of hand joints has been done

Step 4

With Left_Arm_Jnt and Right_Arm_Jnt selected followed by Chest_Jnt and then press the P key to parent them.

The parenting of chest joints has been done
The parenting of chest joints has been done

Step 5

Following the same way, select both Left_Thigh_Jnt and Right_Thigh_Jnt followed by Hip_Jnt and then press P key.

The parenting of hip joints has been done

Conclusion

In the next part of the tutorial, I'll show you how to create various controls for animation.

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