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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Maya
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Modelling & Rigging a Cartoon Parrot in Maya: Part 10

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

1. Preparation for Skinning

Step 1

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

Open Maya
Open Maya

Step 2

Being in the perspective viewport, go to Shading > X-Ray Joints and check on its option box.

Shading  X-Ray Joints
Shading > X-Ray Joints

Step 3

Go to Window > Outliner command.

Window  Outliner
Window > Outliner

Step 4

In the Outliner window, select all joints hierarchy.

Outliner
Outliner 

Step 5

Deselect all left side’s feathers joints.

Deselect all
Deselect all

Deselect the right side’s feathers joints also. 

Deselect the right sides feathers joints
Deselect the right side’s feathers joints

Deselect the feathers of the head.

Deselect the feathers of head
Deselect the feathers of head

And deselect the feathers of the tail.

Deselect the feathers of tail
Deselect the feathers of tail

Step 6

Select joints, body and legs poly meshes excluding all feathers poly meshes.

Select
Select

2. Applying Smooth Bind Command

Step 1

With joints and poly meshes selected, go to Skin > Bind Skin > Smooth Bind and click on its option box.

Skin  Bind Skin  Smooth Bind
Skin > Bind Skin > Smooth Bind

Step 2

In the Smooth Bind Options window, set Bind to as Selected joints, Normalize Weights as Interactive, Max influences as 4. Turn off Maintain max influences option. Click on Bind Skin button.

Smooth Bind Options window
Smooth Bind Options window

Step 3

With R_bn_feather_Three_c01 and its nearest three feathers poly meshes selected, go to Skin > Bind Skin > Smooth Bind command.

Skin  Bind Skin  Smooth Bind
Skin > Bind Skin > Smooth Bind

Step 4

Following the same way, keep selecting and binding feathers with their respecting joints and so on.

Keep selecting and binding feathers
Keep selecting and binding feathers 

Step 5

In this way, the right side’s feathers’ binding has been completed. 

The right sides feathers binding
The right side’s feathers’ binding

Step 6

Following the same way, bind the left side’s feathers with their respective joints. 

Bind the left sides feathers
Bind the left side’s feathers

Step 7

In the same way, I did skinning of the tail’s feathers. 

Skinning of the tails feathers
Skinning of the tail’s feathers

Step 8

Following the same way, complete the skinning of head’s feathers also. 

Skinning of the heads feathers
Skinning of the head’s feathers

Step 8

With R_bn_Shoulder_Root01 and L_bn_Shoulder_Root01 joints selected, select rotate tool and rotate them in Y direction. You will see, the feathers follow the rotation of the joints.

Y direction
Y direction

3. Creating Box Control Curves

Step 1

Create a poly box mesh on the perspective viewport’s grid.

Create a poly box mesh
Create a poly box mesh

Step 2

Go to Create > CV Curve Tool and click on its option box.

Create  CV Curve Tool
Create > CV Curve Tool 

Step 3

In the CV Curve Tool settings window, turn on Curve degree 1 Linear radio button.

CV Curve Tool
CV Curve Tool

Step 4

Enable Point Snap button on status buttons bar panel.

Point Snap
Point Snap

Step 5

With all corner vertices of the poly box selected, press Enter key to finish the command.

Enter key
Enter key

Step 6

Delete the poly box. Now, you will see only the box shape curve for control curve.

Delete the poly box
Delete the poly box

Step 7

For creating custom shelf, click on Custom tab.  

Custom tab
Custom tab

Step 8

Click on the Script Editor icon in the lower right corner of the window to open the Script Editor window.

Script Editor
Script Editor

Step 9

In the Script Editor window, select curve -d 1 -p -7.419313............. script text line as shown in the following image.

Script Editor
Script Editor

Step 10

With the script selected, press and drag middle mouse button and drop it inside the blank custom shelf bar. When asked to choose either MEL or Python option, select MEL

MEL
MEL

Step 11

After placing the MEL script, click on the corner arrow button and select Shelf Editor command.

Shelf Editor
Shelf Editor

Step 12

In the Shelf Editor window, write BoxCurve in Tooltip text box and BCC in Icon Label text box. Click on Save All Shelves button.

Shelf Editor
Shelf Editor

Step 13

With Shift and Ctrl keys pressed, go to Modify > Freeze Transformations and Center Pivot to add these two in shelf panel bar.

Modify  Freeze Transformations
Modify > Freeze Transformations

Step 14

Following the same way, add Delete History command in the shelf menu. 

Delete History
Delete History

4. Creating Primary Control Curve

Step 1

Click on BCC shelf button for creating a box curve as shown in the image.

BCC shelf button
BCC shelf button

Step 2

With the box curve selected, click on Center Pivot (CP) shelf button to keep the pivot in the center of the box curve.

Center Pivot
Center Pivot

Step 3

Jump in the front view. With the box curve selected, click on Point Snap button on the status bar. With the middle mouse button pressed, drag it onto R_bn_Shoulder_Root01 joint to snap.

Point Snap
Point Snap

Step 4

Press F9 button for Control Vertices selection. Select the vertices of the box curve control and scale down as shown in the image. 

Control Vertices
Control Vertices

Step 5

The box control curve should be out of the parrot body mesh. So, unhide the parrot body mesh and place the box curve control as shown in the following image.  

The box control curve
The box control curve

Step 6

Following the same way, create another box curve with centered pivot. Place it on R_bn_Elbow_Root01 joint by using snap tool.

Create another box curve
Create another box curve

Step 7

Press F9 key and then put it outside of the mesh.

Press F9 key
Press F9 key

Step 8

Make a duplicate control curve of it and snap it with R_bn_Wrist_Root01 joint as shown in the following image.

Make a duplicate control curve
Make a duplicate control curve 

Step 9

In this way, you have created all primary control curves for the right wing. 

All primary control curves
All primary control curves

Step 10

Rename these control curves as R_CtrlC_Wing_a01, R_CtrlC_Wing_b01 and R_CtrlC_Wing_c01.

Rename control curves
Rename these control curves

5. Creating Driver Locators

Step 1

Go to Create > Locator command.

Create  Locator
Create > Locator 

Step 2

Snap the locator with R_bn_Shoulder_Root01.

Snap the locator
Snap the locator

Step 3

Create two more locators and snap these with R_bn_Elbow_Root01 and R_bn_Wrist_Root01 joints. Rename these locators as R_locDriv_Wing_a01, R_locDriv_Wing_b01 and R_locDriv_Wing_c01 respectively. 

Create two more locators
Create two more locators

Step 4

With all locators selected, go to the Channel Editor and type 0 in the Visibility text box. Press Enter key to hide the selected locators.

Channel Editor
Channel Editor

6. Creating Orient Locators

Step 1

Go to Create > Locator command.

Create  Locator
Create > Locator

Step 2

Following the same way, create locators and snap them with the respective joints. Rename the locators as R_Loc_Orient_Wing_a01, R_Loc_Orient_Wing_b01 and R_Loc_Orient_Wing_c01 respectively.

Create locators
Create locators

7. Applying Constraints

Step 1

First select R_Loc_Orient_Wing_a01 and then select bn_Hip_Root01 and bn_Tail_a01. Go to Constraint > Orient and click on its option box.

Constraint  Orient
Constraint > Orient

Step 2

In the Orient Constraint Options setting window, check on Maintain offset box and click on Add button to apply the orient command. 

Orient Constraint Options
Orient Constraint Options

Step 3

Following the same way, select R_Loc_Orient_Wing_b01 and R_bn_Elbow_Root01 and then apply Orient constraint. With R_Loc_Orient_Wing_c01 and R_bn_Wrist_Root01 selected, apply Orient constraint.

Orient constraint
Orient constraint

8. Parenting Control Curves

Step 1

First select R_Loc_Orient_Wing_a01 and then select R_CtrlC_Wing_a01. Press P key to make R_Loc_Orient_Wing_b01 as parent. Following the same way, parent R_CtrlC_Wing_b01 with  R_Loc_Orient_Wing_b01 and R_Loc_Orient_Wing_c01 with R_Loc_Orient_Wing_a01.

Parenting control curves
Parenting Control Curves

Step 2

For testing the orientation and parenting controls, unhide the parrot body mesh. Rotate R_CtrlC_Wing_a01 and check the orientation.   

Test the orientation
Test the orientation

9. Duplicating Controls For left Side

Step 1

With R_CtrlC_Wing_a01 selected, go to Edit > Duplicate command to make a copy of the selected control curve.

Edit  Duplicate
Edit > Duplicate

Step 2

Rename it as L_CtrlC_Wing_a01 and snap it with L_bn_Shoulder_Root01.

Rename
Rename

Step 3

With L_CtrlC_Wing_a01 selected, click on FT and Hist buttons in shelf menu bar to freeze the transformation. After that, delete the history.

Delete the history
Delete the history

Step 4

In this way, you have duplicated the required controls curves and snapped with root joints and locators.

Duplicating the curves
Duplicating the curves

Step 5

After completing the left side feathers, you can check its deformation.

Check the deformation
Check the deformation

10. Creating Auxiliary Controls

Step 1

For creating auxiliary control curves, first click on BCC button and then click on CP and Hist buttons for center pivot and delete history. In the vertex selection mode, scale down the control curve.

Creating auxiliary control
Creating auxiliary control

Step 2

Make three more duplicated box curves and then snap each of them with its corresponding shoulder joints. 

Make three more duplicated box
Make three more duplicated box

Step 3

With three indicated control curves selected, press Ctrl-D keys to make duplicate copies of the control curves. 

Press Ctrl  D key
Press Ctrl + D key

Step 4

Make another copy of the curve for each big feather control.

Make another copy of the curve
Make another copy of the curve

Step 5

Create ten box curves for every big feather. With all auxiliary control curves selected, click on FT and Hist shelf buttons. 

Create ten box curves
Create ten box curves

Step 6

Rename these curves as R_CtrlC_Shoulder_a01, R_CtrlC_Shoulder_b01, R_CtrlC_Shoulder_c01, R_CtrlC_Shoulder_d01, R_CtrlC_Elbow_a01, R_CtrlC_Elbow_b01, R_CtrlC_Elbow_c01, R_CtrlC_Wrist_a01, R_CtrlC_Wrist_b01, and R_CtrlC_Wrist_c01.

Rename
Rename

Step 7

Following the same way, create and rename the left side’s auxiliary control curves also.

Create and rename the left sides auxiliary control curves
Create and rename the left side’s auxiliary control curves

11. Creating Locators For Auxiliary Controls

Step 1

For creating locators for auxiliary controls, go to Create > Locator command.

 Create  Locator
Create > Locator

Step 2

With Locator tool selected, press and hold V key and click on R_bn_Shoulder_a01 joint to create the locator. Snap it with R_bn_Shoulder_a01 joint.

Press and hold V key
Press and hold V key

Step 3

Make three duplicate copies of the locator and snap each with R_bn_Shoulder_b01, R_bn_Shoulder_c01, and R_bn_Shoulder_d01 joints respectively.

Make three duplicate copies of the locator
Make three duplicate copies of the locator 

Step 4

In this way, you have created locators for all auxiliary control curves.

Auxiliary control curves
Auxiliary control curves

Step 5

Rename the shoulder’s locators as R_LocOrient_Shoulder_a01, R_LocOrient_Shoulder_b01, R_LocOrient_Shoulder_c01 and R_LocOrient_Shoulder_d01

Auxiliary control curves
Auxiliary control curves

Step 6

Rename the elbow’s locaters as R_LocOrient_Elbow_a01, R_LocOrient_Elbow_b01 and R_LocOrient_Elbow_c01.

Rename the elbows locaters
Rename the elbow’s locaters

Step 7

Rename the wrist’s locators as R_LocOrient_Wrist_a01, R_LocOrient_Wrist_b01 and R_LocOrient_Wrist_c01.

Rename the wrists locators
Rename the wrist’s locators

12. Applying Orient Constraint

Step 1

With R_LocOrient_Shoulder_a01 locator and R_bn_Shoulder_a01 joint selected, go to Constrain > Orient command.

Applying orient constraint
Applying orient constraint

Step 2

In this way, you have applied orient constrain to all locators and joints respectively. It’s time to parenting the auxiliary control curves with locaters. So, first select R_LocOrient_Wrist_c01 locator and then select R_CtrlC_Wrist_c01 curve. Press P key to make the last selected object as the parent.

Orient constrain
Orient constrain

Step 3

Follow the same procedure for all locators and curves.

Follow the same procedure
Follow the same procedure

Step 4

For parenting the curves, first select R_CtrlC_Wrist_c01 and then select R_CtrlC_Wrist_b01 curve. Press P key.

Parenting the curves
Parenting the curves

Step 5

Keep doing parenting towards the direction of R_CtrlC_Wing_a01 curve control. At last, select R_CtrlC_Shoulder_a01 and then select R_CtrlC_Wing_a01 and press P key.

Keep doing parenting
Keep doing parenting

13. Testing Completed Auxiliary Controls

Step 1

Select all auxiliary controls (R_CtrlC_Wrist_c01, R_CtrlC_Wrist_b01................. R_CtrlC_Wing_a01) one by one. 

Select all auxiliary controls
Select all auxiliary controls

Step 2

Select Rotate tool and rotate it in Y axis. You can see the result as shown in the following image.

Test the rotation

Check the rotation with different angles too.

Test the rotation
Test the rotation

Step 3

Following the same way, complete the auxiliary controls for the left side feathers also.

Complete the auxiliary controls for the left side feathers
Complete the auxiliary controls for the left side feathers 

This completes the making of feathers rigging controls.

Final test
Final test

Conclusion

In the next part of the tutorial, I will show you how to do the skinning of the rest of the parrot's body parts.

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