Rigger Documentation

Rigging is one of the most important steps in creating animations. Rigger contains all the necessary elements for the creation of animator friendly rigs. This documentation will acquaint you with the interface of the plug-in and its main features. These functions are available to users with any experience. With the help of Rigger you can create a skeleton and controllers for characters of any type.

INTERFACE

The Rigger interface is designed in such a way that the necessary tools are at hand. FK, IK and IK Spline are 3 basic methods for skeleton animation. To provide the necessary functionality for the rig, these techniques can be combined.

To the right of each element is a button for setting parameters.

Under the settings buttons there are additional tools for rigging: the orientation of the bones, the tool for mass renaming and the button for skinning.

In the very right part of the plugin is an icon for creating menus, allowing you to control the character, the button for updating the initial poses and a button for calling the plugin settings. When you right-click on any icon, a menu with additional tools appears.

At the top of the plugin is a menu for quick access to the necessary elements (Create, Select, Cleanup, Skeleton, Constrain, Skin, Mesh, Help).

KINEMATICS

The character's skeleton consists of a hierarchy of bones. Bones can be animated using two methods: FK (Forward kinematics) and IK (Inverse Kinematics).

With the help of Forward kinematics, you move and rotate the bone or controller. This is useful for creating arc movements, for example, using FK, you can easily animate hand movements while walking.

With the help of inverse kinematics, you can move the IK Handle to animate the skeleton. Ik Handle controls all the bones between the root and final bone of the IK chain. This is useful when it is necessary to accurately position one object relative to other objects. Most often IK is used in the legs when walking, or when the hand is fixed at a certain point (for example, when the door is opened).

IK Spline is used to create soft deformations (indispensable for setting the back, tails, etc.).

FORWARD KINEMATICS

To create the FK, click 'FK' and draw a bone. Move it to the desired position relative to the model and press 'FK' again. Rigger automatically marks this bone as a controller, saves the initial pose and adds the 'Rotate Order' attribute.

FK Settings

In the FK settings, you can select one of 3 modes of forward kinematics: Classic, Shape and Bone. In Bone mode (by default), the bone is marked as a controller and is used later for animation. The color of the controller is determined using the 'Color' slider. Shape mode allows you to add a Shape Node to any object. There are 5 forms of the controller: Square, Circle, Cube, Sphere and Cross. The diameter of the controller is controlled using the 'Size' attribute. In the 'Classic' mode, an object of type NURBS Curve, placed in the group, is created. Depending on the 'Constraint' setting, a 'Parent', 'Point', 'Orient' or 'Scale' constraint is created for the selected object. For the 'Classic' mode, additional options are also available: 'World Oriented', 'Display Handle' and 'Animatable Pivot' (the bone moves under the controller and attributes added for the animation of the rotation center). To create an FK for an entire bones hierarchy, enable the 'On Hierarchy' mode.

Squash and Stretch Constraint

Preservation of volume in tension. To create 'Squash and Stretch Constraint', select the bone, right-click on the FK icon and select 'Squash and Stretch Constraint'.

Volume Constraint

Allows you to create a wavy effect for a whole chain of bones. The effect is controlled with the help of the attributes 'Volume', 'Position' and 'Fallof' on the root bone.

Delete FK

To delete the FK controller, select the bone, right-click on the FK icon and select 'Delete FK'.

INVERSE KINEMATICS

To create an IK, select one or more bones and click 'IK'. To switch the kinematics, select the bone or IK Handle and press 'Select> Switch IK / FK'. You can also change the 'Ik Blend' attribute by selecting the IK Handle. Depending on the kinematics, the color of the bones changes (blue by default for FK, yellow for IK). Select IK Handle and press 'T'. In this way, you can quickly control the attributes 'Twist' and 'Pole Vector' that are responsible for the rotation.

IK Settings

In the IK settings, you can enable 'Auto Stretch'. The attribute 'Limit Length' and 'Auto Stretch' is added to IK Handle. With 'Auto Stretch' enabled, the length of the IK chain is determined by the distance between the root bone and IK Handle. 'Limit Length' does not allow the IK chain to be shorter than its original length (suitable for arms and legs). The 'Save Volume' option automatically creates a 'Squash and Stretch Constraint' for the IK chain, allowing you to save the volume when compressing and stretching. On the 'Color Settings' tab, you can change the color of the IK and FK modes.

Create IK for Each Joint Selected

Allows you to create IK for all selected bones.

Make IK Stretchy

Adds the 'Limit Length' and 'Auto Stretch' attributes to the IK Handle, allowing you to stretch the IK chain while preserving the volume.

Connect to IK/FK

Associates the selected object with the IK Handle. Now you can switch kinematics without selecting IK Handle.

Select All IK Handles

Select all IK Handles in the scene.

Delete IK

To remove IK, select the bone, right click on the IK icon and select 'Delete IK'.

IK SPLINE

To create an IK Spline, select one or more bones and click 'IK Spline'. The original bone will be divided into seven parts and two FK controllers will be added to control the orientation of the IK Spline. When IK Spline is created on a bone with an existing IK, the source bone will not be changed and will control the orientation of the IK Spline.

IK Spline Settings

In the IK Spline settings, you can change the number of bones that will be used in IK Spline. The 'Auto Stretch' and 'Save Volume' attributes are the same as those in the IK settings and are responsible for the automatic compression and stretching of the IK Spline chain. On the 'Color Settings' tab, you can change the color of the IK Spline bones, the color of the FK mode and the color of the controllers.

Make IK Stretchy

Adds the 'Limit Length' and 'Auto Stretch' attributes to the IK Spline Handle, allowing you to stretch the IK Spline chain while preserving the volume.

Add Middle Controller

Adds an additional FK controller to change the central shape of the IK Spline.

Delete Middle Controller

Removes the middle controller from the IK Spline.

Bind Curve

Binds the IK Spline curve to the FK controllers.

Unbind Curve

Unbind the IK Spline curve from the controllers, allowing them to change their position and center of rotation.

Select All IK Spline Handles

Select all IK Spline Handles in the scene.

Delete IK Spline

To remove IK Spline, select the bone, right-click on the IK Spline icon and select 'Delete IK Spline'.

TOOLS

If nothing is selected, clicking on the 'Orient Joint' icon opens the orientation settings window. If a bone is selected, then the bone is oriented, in accordance with the parameters of the Orient Joint window.

Orient Joint

When the 'Orient Joint to World' option is turned on, all bones are oriented in accordance with the world axes. 'Primary Axis' allows you to specify the primary local axis for the bone. This is the axis that determines the direction of the bone. 'Secondary Axis' allows you to specify which axis will be used as the secondary orientation of the bone. The 'Reverse' option inverts the World Axis. When the 'Hierarchy' option is turned on, all the bones in the selected bone hierarchy are oriented. The '+' and '-' buttons let you fine tune the orientation on X. The 'Toggle Axis' button turns on and off the display of the local axes of the hierarchy of bones. The last bone in the hierarchy is automatically oriented in accordance with the selected parameters.

Split Joint

'Split Joint' allows you to split a bone into several bones. The number of divisions can be changed in the Split Joint Settings window.

Node List

A window with the list of nodes such as condition, multipleDivide, reverse, plusMinusAverage, distanceBetween and remapValue.

Colors

In the 'Colors' window, you can change the color of the selected controllers.

Group

Grouping an object with the center of rotation preserved.

Duplicate Joint

Duplicates selected bones.

Create Select Set

Allows you to create a Select Set for selected objects.

Create Controllers Select Set

Allows you to create a Select Set for all controllers.

Create RotateX Offset Node

Create a node with an inverted value of Rotate X for the selected bone. Sometimes it is necessary to create IK Spline on the mirrored bones.

Add Animatable Pivot Attributes

Adds attributes for the ability to animate and change the rotation center (works only with 'Classic' FK).

Face Constraint

Creates a locator that is bound to the selected polygon.

RENAME

Rename

A tool for mass renaming of bones. Allows you to change the name, add a prefix and postfix to the hierarchy, or only for selected objects.

Mark as Controller

Add postfix "_ctrl".

Unmark as Controller

Deleting postfix "_ctrl".

Mark as Left

Adding the prefix "l_".

Unmark as Left

Delete the postfix "l_".

Rename Duplicates

Search and rename duplicate object names.

Templates

Here are the main presets for quickly renaming the body parts of the character. Only the prefix "l_" is used, since the skeleton for the right side of the character is usually mirrored on the left side.

SKIN JOINTS

Bind Skin

If nothing is selected, clicking on the 'Bind Skin' icon opens the Bind Skin settings window. If the bones and geometry are selected, then the objects are skinned, according to the parameters of the Bind Skin window.

Unbind Skin

Unbind the geometry.

Select All Skin Joints

Select all bones marked as 'Skin Joint'.

Select Skin Cluster Joints

Allows you to select all the bones to which the selected geometry is bound.

Mark as Skin Joint

Mark the bone as 'Skin Joint'.

Unmark as Skin Joint

Remove the 'Skin Joint' label.

INITIAL POSE

The Initial Pose nodes allow you to store the values ​​of the Translate, Rotate and Scale attributes. Thus, you can return objects to their original position even if the initial values ​​of the attributes are different from zero (for example, in bones).

Save Initial Pose

Save the initial position of the controller.

Update All Initial Poses

Delete all the initial positions and recreate them for all controllers in the scene.

Delete Initial Pose

Delete the initial position of the controller.

Delete All Initial Pose

Delete all the initial poses.

CHARACTER MENU

Create Character Menu

Create a character menu. Allows you to access the character management functions when the HUD is on. This menu can be saved with a scene and used by animators that do not have the Rigger plug-in.

Delete Character Menu

Delete the menu.

SELECT MENU

Menu for quick access and control of the character.

Select All Controllers

Select all objects with the postfix "_ctrl".

Select Root

Selection of the main controller of the rig.

Switch IK / FK

To switch the kinematics, select IK Handle or IK chain bones and click 'Switch IK / Fk'.

Reset Pose

Reset the controller to its initial position.

CLEANUP MENU

Delete History

Delete the creation history of the object.

Freeze Transformations

Zeroing the attributes of Translate, Rotate and Scale.

Delete Unused Nodes

Removal of nodes that are not used in the rig.

Center Pivot

Centering the center of the object's rotation.

Center Pivot to World

Moving the center of the object's rotation to the origin of the world coordinates.

Find Joints with non Zero Rotations

Allows you to find in the scene a bone whose rotation values ​​are not equal to zero.

SETTINGS

Root

The name of the root object.

Group Posfix

Postfix for groups.

Controller Postfix

Postfix for controllers.

Mark Controllers Automatically

When creating FK, IK and IK Spline, automatically add postfixes to controllers and create initial poses.