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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Maya
Cgi

Modelling & Rigging a Cartoon Parrot in Maya: Part 11

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

1. Creating Custom Attributes for Control

Step 1

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

Open Maya
Open Maya

Step 2

You'll need to isolate the control curves and joints. Go to Show > Polygons and turn off the check box to hide all polygons in the viewport.

Show  Polygons
Show > Polygons

Step 3

Select all R_CtrlC_Wrist, R_CtrlC_Elbow and R_CtrlC_Shoulder control curves. 

Select all curves
Select all curves

Step 4

With the control curves selected, click on Modify > Add Attributes command.

Modify  Add Attributes
Modify > Add Attributes

Step 5

In the Add Attributes option window, keep the Long name as Feather and turn on Displayable radio button. Click on Add button.

Add Attributes
Add Attributes

Step 6

Repeat the process. This time, keep the Long name as Fan and turn on Keyable button. Click on Add button.

Repeat the process
Repeat the process

Step 7

With the same control curves selected, write the Long name as Twist and turn on Keyable radio button. Click on Add button and then close the window.

Repeat the process
Repeat the process

Step 8

Now, you can see the added custom attributes in the Channel Editor as shown in the following image.

Channel Editor
Channel Editor

2. Connecting Custom Attributes with Joints

Step 1

You need to connect the custom attributes to the joint transform node. With R_CtrlC_Wrist_c01 selected, go to Window > General Editors > Connection Editor.

Window  General Editors  Connection Editor
Window > General Editors > Connection Editor

Step 2

In the Connection Editor window, you can see the R_CtrlC_Wrist_c01 attributes in the left side. With R_bn_feather_Three_c01 selected, click on Reload Right button to load its attribute to the right side.

Connection Editor
Connection Editor

Step 3

First select Fan custom attribute in the left side and then select rotateZ in the right side to connect them.

Fan custom attribute
Fan custom attribute

Step 4

Select Twist custom attribute in the left side and then select rotateX in the right side to connect them.

Twist custom attribute
Twist custom attribute

Step 5

Following the same way, connect the rest control curves R_CtrlC_Wrist_b01, R_CtrlC_Wrist_a01, R_CtrlC_Elbow_c01, R_CtrlC_Elbow_b01, R_CtrlC_Elbow_a01, R_CtrlC_Shoulder_d01, R_CtrlC_Shoulder_c01, R_CtrlC_Shoulder_b01 and R_CtrlC_Shoulder_a01.

Connect
Connect

3. Rigging Feather Fold Controls

Step 1

Go to Edit > Group command to create a null object. 

Edit  Group
Edit > Group 

Step 2

With the null object selected, go to Attribute Editor. Click on Display tab and check on Display Handle option.

Attribute Editor
Attribute Editor

Step 3

With the null object and the move tool selected, press and hold V key and then snap the null object to the R_bn_feather_Three_c01 as shown in the following image.

R_bn_feather_Three_c01
R_bn_feather_Three_c01

Step 4

With the null group object selected, go to Display > Transform Display > Local Rotation Axis.

Display  Transform Display  Local Rotation Axis
Display > Transform Display > Local Rotation Axis

Step 5

First select the null group object and then select R_bn_Wrist_c01. Press P key to make the null object as the parent of the bone.

R_bn_Wrist_c01
R_bn_Wrist_c01

Step 6

With the null object selected, check its rotation values in Channel Editor. There should be 0 value in all rotation axes.

Channel Editor
Channel Editor

Step 7

With the same null object selected, go to Modify > Freeze Transformations and click on its option box.

Modify  Freeze Transformations
Modify > Freeze Transformations

Step 8

In the Freeze Transformations Options window, keep only Rotate property turned on. Click on Freeze Transform button. 

Freeze Transformations Options
Freeze Transformations Options

Step 9

After applying the Freeze Transformations command, all rotation values become 0

Freeze Transformations command
Freeze Transformations command

Step 10

First select R_bn_feather_Three_c01 joint and then select the null object. Press P key to parent the null object.

R_bn_feather_Three_c01
R_bn_feather_Three_c01

Step 11

Without selected anything, press Ctrl-G key to make the group of the null object. Turn on Display Handle option as well.

Display Handle
Display Handle

Step 12

With the newly created null object selected, go to Display > Transform Display > Local Rotation Axes.

Display  Transform Display  Local Rotation Axes
Display > Transform Display > Local Rotation Axes

Step 13

With the null object selected, snap it with R_bn_feather_Three_b01 joint.

R_bn_feather_Three_b01 joint
R_bn_feather_Three_b01 joint

Step 14

With R_bn_Wrist_b01 joint and the newly created null object selected, press P key for parenting. 

R_bn_Wrist_b01 joint
R_bn_Wrist_b01 joint

Step 15

Do not forget to use freeze transform with the null object as I have done in the previous steps.

Freeze transform
Freeze transform 

Step 16

With the newly created null object and the R_bn_feather_Three_b01 joint selected in order, press P key to make the null object as the parent. 

R_bn_feather_Three_b01 joint
R_bn_feather_Three_b01 joint 

Step 17

Following the same way, do complete all feathers’ joints.

Do same with all joints
Do same with all joints

Step 18

Rename all null objects. With the first null object selected, rename it as Grp_R_feather_Three_c01.

Grp_R_feather_Three_c01
Grp_R_feather_Three_c01

Step 19

Rename the second null object as Grp_R_feather_Three_b01.

Grp_R_feather_Three_b01
Grp_R_feather_Three_b01

Step 20

In this way, rename all null objects as Grp_R_feather_Three_c01, Grp_R_feather_Three_b01, Grp_R_feather_Three_a01, Grp_R_feather_Two_c01, Grp_R_feather_Two_b01, Grp_R_feather_Two_a01, Grp_R_feather_one_d01, Grp_R_feather_one_c01, Grp_R_feather_one_b01 and Grp_R_feather_one_a01 respectively.

Rename
Rename

4. Creating Feathers' Middle Controls

Step 1

Create four circles. Put them all between the feathers as shown in the following image.

Create four circles
Create four circles

Step 2

Rename these circles as CC_FeatherMiddle_a01, CC_FeatherMiddle_a01 and CC_FeatherMiddle_a01 as image shown.

Rename these circles
Rename these circles 

Step 3

With all CC_FeatherMiddle controls selected, go to Modify > Freeze Transformations.

CC_FeatherMiddle
CC_FeatherMiddle

5. Parenting Feathers' Controls

Step 1

Select CC_FeatherMiddle_a01 curve and R_CtrlC_Wing_a01 selected in order, press P key.

Select CC_FeatherMiddle_a01
Select CC_FeatherMiddle_a01

Step 2

First select CC_FeatherMiddle_b01 and then R_CtrlC_Wing_b01. After that, select CC_FeatherMiddle_C01 and then R_CtrlC_Wing_c01 as shown in the following image.

Select bones
Select bones

Step 3

With all three feather middle control curves selected, select Rotate X, Rotate Y, Scale X, Scale Y, Scale Z and Visibility inside the Channel Box.

Channel Box
Channel Box

Step 4

Do right click. Select Lock and Hide Selected options in the popup menu. 

Lock and Hide Selected
Lock and Hide Selected

6. Creating Expressions For Feathers' Controls

Step 1

Go to Window > Animation Editors > Expressions Editor command.

Go to Window  Animation Editors  Expressions Editor command
Go to Window > Animation Editors > Expressions Editor command.

Step 2

In the Expression Editor window, turn on By Expression Name radio button as shown in the following image.

Expression Editor
Expression Editor 

Step 3

Write FeatherSpread_Expression as the Expression Name and type // inside the Expression box. Click on Create.

 Expression Name
Expression Name 

Step 4

You can see the created expression in the Selection objects list.

Selection objects list
Selection objects list

Step 5

With the FeatherSpread_Expression selected, write //Feather Section A, //Feather Section B and //Feather Section C in the Expression text area. Click on Edit button.

FeatherSpread_Expression
FeatherSpread_Expression 

Step 6

With the Grp_R_feather_Three_b01 group selected, copy and paste Grp_R_feather_Three_b01.rz = in the expression text area.

Write expression
Write expression

Step 7

With CC_FeatherMiddle_a01 curve selected, copy and paste CC_FeatherMiddle_a01.rz. Click on Edit button.

Write expression
Write expression

Step 8

Following the same way, create the following expression under //Feather Section A.Grp_R_feather_one_a01.rotateZ = CC_FeatherMiddle_a01.rotateZGrp_R_feather_one_b01.rotateZ = CC_FeatherMiddle_a01.rotateZ + 0.6Grp_R_feather_one_c01.rotateZ = CC_FeatherMiddle_a01.rotateZ + 0.5Grp_R_feather_one_d01.rotateZ = CC_FeatherMiddle_a01.rotateZ + 0.3;. Click on Edit button.

Write expression
Write expression

Step 9

Under Section //Feather Section B, write as Grp_R_feather_Two_a01.rotateZ = CC_FeatherMiddle_b01.rotateZGrp_R_feather_Two_b01.rotateZ = CC_FeatherMiddle_b01.rotateZ + 0.6Grp_R_feather_Two_c01.rotateZ = CC_FeatherMiddle_b01.rotateZ + 0.5;. Click on Edit button.

Write expression
Write expression

Step 10

Under the last section //Feather Section C, write Grp_R_feather_Three_a01.rotateZ = CC_FeatherMiddle_C01.rotateZGrp_R_feather_Three_b01.rotateZ = CC_FeatherMiddle_C01.rotateZ + 0.6Grp_R_feather_Three_c01.rotateZ = CC_FeatherMiddle_C01.rotateZ + 0.5;. Click on Edit button.

Write expression
Write expression

Conclusion

With every upcoming part of the tutorial, the rigging process is becoming more complex. The rigging of a bird is always a complex task for riggers. I will show each and every step of wings rigging process. 

In the next part of the tutorial series, I'll start making the wings' fold controls.

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